Mary Gostelow tastes a townhouse

Girlahead checks-in to an exclusive address in South Kensington, London

Junior Suite, The Adria

Having a London townhouse sounds rather posh, but it’s a lot of hard work – cleaning all the stairs from one floor to another and so on. Owning such a home is also a continuous drain on the money supply. Staying in someone else’s London townhouse, however, is a completely different story. It’s divine, particularly if it’s The Adria.

This is a four-floor 1880s townhouse on Queen’s Gate, seven minutes’ walk from either Gloucester Road or, to the east, South Kensington, both on the Piccadilly Line so handy for Heathrow. Typically, large columns flank the main front door, reached by four heritage stone steps.

Lounge, The Adria
Lounge, The Adria

Inside, the look has been given a discreet professional touch so that the multitude of family-type photos have been hung with style. There are three large reception rooms, with plenty of books and chess and other games. Yes, just like home, or at least a home you always envisaged. The kitchen, incidentally, is out of bounds. It is used – at breakfast, a copious cooked-to-order spread that is remarkably good value. Other meals? Go to one of the dozens of all-cuisines restaurants and pubs in the area, or order in.

The Parlour, The Adria

The elevator buttons, A-Z, initially confuse. Then you realise you only need to remember your room name (no numbers here, merely 22 very-English names). For Elizabeth, press E. For Harrods it is H, and so on.

The Adria's entrance
Polo Lounge, The Adria

Elizabeth, up 90 carpetted stairs for those who eschew the elevator, is themed for Queen Elizabeth II, with a larger-than-life wall-hung collage of her unmistakable silhouette, crown atop. There’s a four-post bed, with no top tester. You have superbly rich double-chocolate biscuits, by Border. The tea kettle is Smeg, the toiletries are quintessentially English, Bamford. This lesson in national mores is enhanced by the really deep soaking tub, which has Victorian plumbing in the form of a baton-like waste stopper that has a mind of its own.

But that is what authenticity is all about. Hotel GM Gary Redmond runs this hotel with the passion of a faithful retainer, or a controller of a family household. This is the culture that guests quickly acquire. You are staying in what seems like your own townhouse and it makes a refreshing change after all ‘those brands’.

Signature Suite, The Adria

Mary Gostelow publishes the daily girlahead.com, a weekly newswire Mary Gostelow’s Inner Circle, and a unique weekly 15-minute industry Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast, all part of Almont Global.

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