Royal Garden Hotel-Honest MumOver the October half-term we were kindly invited to spend two nights and three days at the utterly splendid 5* Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London, set in the most perfect location for all the family.

Royal Garden Hotel

It was wonderful to have my parents come along with us too on this trip, meaning quality family time for us all in the capital.

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate had actually welcomed the President of Singapore, Tony Tan Keng Yam there the week before, with William even commenting he could see their bedroom at Kensington Palace from the hotel!

The Royal Garden is literally adjacent to the Palace with stunning views of Kensington Gardens so I’m not surprised he said that! Our room definitely had a wonderful view!

Executive Room-Honest Mum

Staying in a grand Executive Room perfect for 2 adults and 2 children (under 11) it overlooked leafy Kensington gardens and we loved it at first sight.

We had a huge Queen size bed, wooden cot if we needed it and double sofa bed and ensuite, it was the ideal size for this family giving us space to relax, eat and rest in.

In fact my kids actually sleep better in hotels than our own home and we all had the best two nights sleep we’ve had in a long time!

Check out our room with a view!

Room with a view-Honest Mum

room with a view-Honest Mum

I must state from the offset that this family doesn’t believe that having kids means compromising on luxurious getaways (we work hard and appreciate the finer things in life) but like many parents, understand and share the concern that naturally noisy children might not be wanted at luxe hotels!

I actually remember staying at The Ritz with my parents as kids (I realise we were very lucky children) and being ordered to stop taking photographs of the hotel…how times have changed!

Hands down, the Royal Garden is the most welcoming, child-friendly 5 * star we’ve ever stayed at and that’s not because we were reviewing it either, I observed lots of families at breakfast and afternoon tea, receiving the same fantastic service and treatment as we did, all content that their kids were wanted and encouraged to enjoy the hotel and the surrounding areas.

With kind staff who did everything they could to accommodate the needs of young children with toys and books along with the Royal Garden complimentary backpacks filled with organic food and drinks, playing cards and activity sheets, everything can been considered. We were also offered free scooters and large play bricks and board games to use throughout our stay.

And let me tell you when the ethos of the whole staff is to welcome children, the other guests follow. When a baby was crying in reception, no one batted an eyelid.

Royal Garden backpacks-Honest Mum

So back to our arrival, we were given a Royal welcome ourselves, there were flowers, artisan chocolate cakes, fresh fruit and the kids’ rucksacks waiting for us. Such a thoughtful start to our stay. Within the bags there was also a list of child-friendly activities and hot spots to visit if we so wished while we were there. Another lovely touch!

Rucksack-Honest Mum

Flowers-Honest Mum

cakes-Honest Mumfruit-Royal Garden Hotel-Honest Mum..My Mum who is recovering from an operation on her leg and who dislikes lifts, was given a plush room on the ground floor at our request-nothing was too much trouble at the Royal Garden Hotel.

Now back to our room-talk about palatial huh?!

Isn’t it beautiful. Understated chic with large discreet cupboards, a desk, wide screen TV and lots of floor space for little people!

luxury hotel-Honest Mum

sofa bed in hotel-Honest Mumsofa bed-Honest MumBed-Royal Garden Hotel

bedroomImportantly the huge ensuite was perfect for this busy family, all needing to get washed and ready at the same time!

Royal Garden Hotel-Honest Mum

bathroom-Honest Mum

shower-Honest Mum

sink-Honest Mumbathroom-Honest Mum


After a peaceful night’s sleep we were ready for breakfast and what an epic experience that was- as was all the culinary feasting we partook in-from room service the night before to afternoon tea before we left- delicious, seasonal food that was stunningly presented.

We opted for window seats at breakfast and the sun was out!

Breakfast-Honest Mum

condiments-Honest Mum

breakfast-Royal Garden Hotel

Breakfast was a three course affair with a sumptuous buffet of cereals, dried fruit, pastries, bread selection, three fruit salads, a range of yoghurt, cheese and cold meats followed by porridge, a cooked breakfast if you wished (beef, pork and vegetable sausages available), bespoke omelettes, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, American pancakes and more. You drooling yet?

Buffet-Honest Mum

eating cereal-Honest MumAlexander-Honest Mum

watermelon salad-Honest Mumscrambled eggs with smoked salmon20141029-DSCF9397What a feast!

Oliver eating breakfast-Honest Mum

Cooked English Breakfast-Honest MumAnd to top it all off they gave us a selection of fruit to end on too! Such a delightful way to start the day!

selection of fruit-Honest MumOh and Alexander was given some drawing activities by one of the charming waiters to keep him entertained so we could eat too! It’s these extra touches which make staying at the Royal Garden so effortless and relaxing!

20141029-DSCF9440 (1)

Full and content, we headed for a walk around Kensington, an area we know well and love (we used to live in Barnes), Oliver using a scooter and knee pads from the hotel.


scooter-Honest Mum

Tourist shops-Honest MumDespite living in London for 11 years and Oliver being born there (we moved to Leeds when he was 1), we actually felt like tourists again and two of these London bus and taxi sets were purchased for the boys!

My parents went off to do some shopping on their own and we headed for a late (very late, thanks to the breakfast) lunch at the Hare and Tortoise, one of our favourite child-friendly restaurants in London!

Alexander was fast asleep so Oliver got our undivided attention and made a gallant attempt to work the chopsticks!

chopsticks-Honest Mum

As we expected, the fresh salmon and tuna sashimi and sushi was out of this world! Here are just a few pictures I snapped (I focused on food, Peter took the other shots) of what we ate, I was so excited about the food I forgot to take more.

salmon sashimi-Honest Mum

sashimi-Honest Mum

California rolls-Honest Mum

sushi-Honest MumDivine salmon teriaki that Peter and Oliver enjoyed!

Teriaki Salmon-Honest MumAfter what was a whole day of eating with more to come, we headed back to the hotel to relax before dinner at the captivating French restaurant Aubaine! Full review of that gastronomic experience to come on the blog soon!

Aubaine-Honest Mum

The following day we headed straight to the tranquil and Autumnal Kensington Gardens, literally next door to the hotel. The sun was shining and it was a glorious day-surprising for October!

Kensington Gardens-Honest Mum

Autumn-Honest Mum

…Oh how I love this little joyous running sequence of Alexander chasing pigeons in the park!

running-Honest Mum

pigeon chasing-Honest Mum

Nearly got him!

Kensington Gardens-Honest MumLost him!

pigeon gone-Honest MumWe did make some furry friends though!

squirrels-Honest MumThen mischievously my Dad, Papa G left us all for ten minutes and returned with an electric go-kart and car for the boys-so naughty! How lucky are they?!

Lugging the cars by hand through the gardens, we quickly discovered the horse, bicycle and scooter lane so they could go for a spin!

kids electric car-Honest Mum

This go-karting lark is tiring work!

electric car-Honest Mumgo-kart

Kensington Palace-Honest MumReaching Kensington Palace, we embarked on a mini tour!

Kensington Palace-Honest Mum

Alexander stayed to play outside with my Mum and Dad (who visited after us)…

Alexander-Honest Mum

Staggeringly beautiful, I had to share some pictures from inside too!

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace-Honest Mum

Oliver was in complete awe, asking me if the chandelier was ‘real gold’! I could safely say it was!

Kensington Palace-Honest MumKensington Palace-Honest Mum

Kensington Palace-Honest Mumdresses-Kensington Palace

Oliver and I played snap for ‘gold’ coins in one of the palace rooms! How funny, playing snap in a palace!

playing games-Kensington Palace

An adjacent room was dedicated to dress up and arts and crafts for children. Oliver created a regal plate of food for King George III and had a mini history lesson in the process!

arts and crafts-Honest Mum

We did giggle at these rules for children from 1701 too! Remember to break your bread first kids!

kensignton palaceAs well as the regal dresses, I adored the modern photos in the gallery downstairs of Princess Diana, Princess Margaret and of course Kate and William with Prince George at his christening.

Princess Diana-Honest Mum

Kate, William and Prince George-Honest MumBefore we left, Oliver signed his name (which he can now write in full) in the Visitor’s Book. I wonder if Prince George might one day see it!

Visitors Book-Honest Mum

Oliver-Honest MumWhat a fascinating, fun visit for all the family!

Then it was back to the hotel for afternoon tea at the Royal Garden Hotel-to the restorative piano concertos played for us and soothing cups of tea. The choice was endless but I went for Earl Grey to start and ended with fresh mint tea with the cakes!

afternoon tea-Honest Mum

piano-Honest MumAfternoon tea-Honest Mum

Wearing gifted Fever London

A delectable array of sandwiches and gluten free ones for Oliver too, with various fillings ranging from beef to egg, chicken, salmon and cream cheese and roasted vegetables, all original, delicate morsels of loveliness! They should write that on the menu!

tea at the Royal Garden Hotelgluten free afternoon tea

The cakes were heavenly! Masterful, light, flavoursome pieces from traditional scones with jam and Dewvonshire clotted cream to French pattiserrie cakes.

It is little wonder they were awarded the prestigious ‘Awards of Excellence’ by The Tea Guild for the second year running. If you are seeking a quintessentially English Afternoon Tea, do book in at the Park Terrace Lounge there.

afternoon tea-Honest Mumthe best afternoon tea in the worldQuite possibly the finest afternoon tea we’ve had! Master Oliver was impressed too as you can see!

kids-Honest Mum

desserts-Honest Mum

Below is my favourite shot, Oliver kissing his Papu-the kids were so appreciative of everything and so well behaved, I was very proud of them both!

Grandad with grandsonNow, full of tea and sweet treats, we popped to Harrods with renewed vigour making our way straight to the Toy Kingdom, which I actually prefer to Hamleys- a more serene, spacious, uncluttered haven for kids, it’s almost like a museum for books and toys as much as it is a shop!

Kensington-Honest Mum


Toy Kingdom-HarrodsHarrods-Honest Mum

cuddles-Honest MumHarrods-Honest MumToy KingdomPlaying in Harrods

The car below is an absolute bargain! Ha! Santa’s letter for this will be getting lost in the post that’s for sure! Check out the price tag! Ouch!

Hummer for kidsHummer petrol car for kidsAlexander cute

The boys left with a small teddy and car as they’d had enough toys to last a lifetime this trip!

Talking of which it was soon time to try and pack the electric cars into our real one and drive back to Leeds so the boys could sleep all the way (which they happily did), no doubt dreaming of their new wheels!


What an incredible break for us all!

Huge thanks to Jonathoan, Anita, Charlotte, Panos and everyone at the Royal Garden Hotel for making our stay so special.

Disclosure: we were gifted 2 nights stay, breakfast, afternoon tea and tickets to Kensington Palace, and my parents were given a reduced rate for their room.

All opinions are honest and my own.

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73 Responses

  1. becky

    Sooooo so sooooooo tempted to book as a new year treat for me and the hubs! I would love to go, can you believe at 31 (in December!!) I have never been!! Unfortunatly the hubby’s not too keen on London though (apparantly) so probably would end up cancelling! But what a great place to go as a special treat! 🙂 X

  2. Kim Carberry

    Wow! That looks absolutely amazing!!!!
    It looks like you had a fantastic break away!!
    It’s so good that it’s so child friendly……and that bathroom! WOW! x

  3. Jenni - Baby Chaos

    What an amazing review, and wow, I love all the pictures.
    It looks like an amazing place and it looks like you all had a brilliant time! Can’t ask for more than that can you really =)

  4. Eline @ Pasta & Patchwork

    Aargh so many amazing pictures I don’t know where to start commenting! I’ll just say I love this entire review, and I’m with you on how important it is to the things you want with kids – including stays at luxury hotels if that’s a possibility! Even after our son was born we’ve continued travelling as much as we always did. It’s perfectly possible, though it does of course help if the places you go to are child-friendly. I’m very impressed at how thoughtful this hotel was!

  5. Mirka Moore @Kahanka

    So happy for you guys you had such a lovely time. This place looks awesome. Love the fact I met all you family this weekend and now have a special smile when i see them all on the photos, so magical. xxx

  6. Mum Reinvented

    Wow what a trip! I’m so jealous! Take me with you next time you go! That hotel looks absolutely gorgeous and they’re clearly amazing with children. I love sightseeing in London, despite having lived in South East London and worked in the city, it’s such a fascinating place. I’ve never been to Kensington Palace though but it looks beautiful, will have to add it to my list of places to visit!

    • honestmum

      Come along next time! Seriously fab break, love feeling like a tourist in London again! Thanks for your lovely comment x

  7. Idu

    Bliss! You look like you had a lot of fun. Family is everything. I usually stay at the Ritz London when I visit, will try this gorgeous hotel next time. Have a fab. weekend.

  8. My boys and me

    What a wonderful place to stay – I am so jealous! I love how welcoming they were to the kids with those rucksacks – what a lovely touch. It looks like you all had a fabulous timexx

  9. Kate/WitWitWoo

    Wow. Just wow. That hotel looks amazing. Isn’t it funny how it’s actually the little touches, like the rucksacks, that make all the difference? (Well for me they do lol.) Glad you had an awesome time x

  10. Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)

    Wow what an incredible trip! The hotel looks so amazing and just fantastic they are so child and family friendly. So many lovely little touches to help you have a fantastic stay. Looks like you had so much fun in London too, what a lovely few days 🙂 xx

  11. Seychellesmama

    Wow looks so beautiful, the room looks incredible and how wonderful are those back packs with ideas for kids friendly activities….just fab!!

  12. Ali @Mum in a nutshell

    Wow! what a fab write up. It’s convinced me that London is child friendly. The hotel looks great, I’ll definitely be checking it out as an option for us. Thanks for sharing with us.

  13. Maria (notyouraveragebaby)

    Oh God, that breakfast looks divine! I love nice hotels. If you’re going to treat yourself, I firmly believe you might as well do it right. Quality over quantity. So good to see child-friendly places. Great service makes everything so much more enjoyable. Looks like you had a brilliant time. Beautiful family and great blog! Maria x #brilliantblogposta

  14. Potty Mouthed Mummy

    Gorgeous pics as ever. I do love reading about good service. I stayed there myself in September and after initially being put in a smoking room, the team went above and beyond ensuring I was moved to a non smoking and better room. You remember service like that. Glad you guys had a lovely break xx

    • honestmum

      So good to hear and doesn’t suprise me Sian, every single member of staff was polite and kind, thanks for your lovely words x

  15. Mackenzie

    Wow! This looks absolutely amaaaaaaaazing! And I have ridiculous sushi-envy right now. I used to live in Vancouver where the sushi is cheap and delicious, and I soooooo miss it! The hotel looks as though it really knows what it’s doing when it comes to kids, which makes such a difference – staying in a hotel with our kids has never been particularly pleasant, no matter how nice it is, but this one looks fab. Thanks for sharing, and awesome photographs! xx

    • honestmum

      Haha sushi-envy, sushi was epic! They really do know what they are doing at the Royal Garden Hotel, so glad you enjoyed the post x

  16. Emily (Mama Ramblings)

    Wow, looks like a very memorable trip for you and your family 🙂 it’s so great to see a 5* hotel so welcoming of young families x

  17. Jess Paterson

    I am seething with jealousy! All looks so amazing and your photos are fantastic. You know which my favourite picture is 😉 I feel all Christmassy now and massively homesick for London (we also lived there, for 12 years). Cos our house was just like that hotel, obvs. I hope Mama G gets better soon. Lovely that you had a fab family holiday in such a wonderful place. x

  18. vicki-elliebearbabi

    What a wonderful break! The hotel looks truly stunning and so child friendly. Lovely that your parents were able to go too, making it a real family city break! x

    • honestmum

      Loved that my folks came, they are coming on our next trip too. Can’t wait, they deserve all the treats I can send their way x

  19. John Adams

    Great to hear of a five star hotel being so family friendly because they often aren’t. Loved the views too. I used to stay in a flat at the other side of Kensington Gardens so it bought back some memories.

  20. fashion-mommy

    Wow! The hotel looks fabulous and I love how child friendly it is. I’m definitely taking a trip to Kensington Palace next year – really want to see the dresses.


  21. tracey bowden

    Wow your photos are beautiful and it looks like you all had an amazing trip! I love how the hotel is totally child friendly what a nice surprise I can’t imagine there are too many 5* who provide all those little extras for families

  22. Leigh - Headspace Perspective

    Oh my goodness, it all looks so amazing I don’t know what to mention! It’s lovely the hotel make the children feel so welcome and attend to their needs. The food looks absolutely beautiful. I’d love to go to Kensington Palace too, to see all the beautiful frocks. Oh, and haha re you being told to stop taking photos at the Ritz when you were a child – shows how times have changed, try telling people to stop Instagramming everything these days! xxx #brilliantblogposts

    • honestmum

      Thanks Leigh for linking up and your lovely words, I’m a quick reader and writer and blogging is my full time job, thanks for all your support x

  23. Ebabee

    Wow! Stunning photos as always. So, so lovely to have a break with all 3 generations – such a treat. I love being a tourist in London – it’s such fun seeing and discovering or rediscovering new and old places. Your break looks fab and so does the hotel.

  24. You Baby Me Mummy

    WOW! This looks absolutely amazing! How lovely to have those gifts for the boys, very thoughtful hotel. What an incredible room and view. I love the rules – Not dip thy meat in sauce! Glad you had a wonderful time x #BrillBlogPosts

  25. Samantha Rickelton

    I love this post! We have a voucher for an overnight stay at The Royal Garden and are undecided about whether to take our daughter along or not – this has sealed the deal – she is definitely coming now! #Brilliantblogposts

  26. Yvette @ Big Trouble in Little Nappies

    Wow, this all looks amazing! I would stay there just for the bathroom – let alone the food and amazing views. Maybe we will make it one day! It’s really refreshing to see that they are so welcome to families too, and that we don’t have to spend every break at Butlins or every meal out at Harvester… although I do love both of these places 😉

    Love your photos, they paint such a picture of a fabulous weekend.

    • honestmum

      Thanks Yvette, they are so child-friendly and we all felt so welcome and cared for, an amazing time! Thanks for your comment x

  27. Mummy Tries

    Looks and sounds like your stay was EPIC hon. I love Kensington, Wholefoods is of course one of my fave shops and we have walked past this hotel many times. So pleased you had a fun trip to London xx

    • honestmum

      Thanks we really did and after 11 years living there it was lovely to return as tourists, such a fab time! We love Whole Foods too! x

  28. susan @happyhealthymumma

    h my gosh Vicki! I don’t know where to start! so many gorgeous photos! looks like you had an amazing time and how lucky are you!!!! I love that the goodies came from Whole Foods, love that shop! and I am totally taking Thomas to Harrods soon! The parents-in-law are coming from Bangkok over Christmas so will take them too! the park, the palace, the FOOD…..and as always you look stunning (how do you do it??!!) and the boys adorable!!! love how many photos there are too!! it feels like I was a fly on the wall 🙂 and I will definitely recommend this hotel to friends and family coming to the UK from Thailand! #brilliantblogposts

    • honestmum

      You are too lovely Susan, thank you! You guys will have a wonderful time and London at Christmas is simply magical-I was there on Tuesday too and some of the shops were already decked out! Thanks for your lovely comment, this hotel is wonderful so do recommend away x

  29. Helen | cocomamastyle

    What a wonderful trip! Living in London it’s so easy to forget all this is on my doorstep!
    And what a stunning hotel- I just love the little touches like the rucksacks- brilliant!

  30. Louise

    That sounds like a wonderful couple of days away – and looks like you fitted a lot in to your stay. The hotel looks fabulous and so lovely to hear that they are so child-friendly too – I love the children’s rucksacks, what a great idea. Love your photos in Kensington Gardens and in Kensington Palace – have never been there despite having lived and worked in London for several years but think I will have to try and visit sometime. Glad you had such a wonderful break.


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