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The Ampersand Hotel, South Kensington

Alexandra Bell finds tranquility in the heart of London at The Ampersand Hotel

They say

“The Ampersand Hotel’s unique concept is inspired by the capital’s world-famous museum district and the iconic ampersand symbol, which illustrates the hotel’s role in connecting its guests to the best of South Kensington.

“From the interior design to the collections and curiosities, The Ampersand Hotel unites guests with the local surrounding area through the five themes of botany, music, geometry, ornithology and astronomy.

“At The Ampersand Hotel, we take our responsibilities to the planet seriously. We are running on 100 per cent renewable electricity, sourced from wind, solar and biomass generators.”


Staying at The Ampersand was like finding a hidden cocoon of tranquillity right in the heart of London; our deluxe room, inspired by ornithology, was charmingly characterful at the same time as having that high-end luxury feel, with little thematic details throughout the décor. The bathroom was also in the same vein, and I was delighted to discover had excellent water pressure for my morning shower – not always a given.

The bed was incredibly comfy, with pillows so perfect they felt like clouds. Despite being in central London, we slept like we were far away from the traffic and bustle, high above it all in our nest for the night.


Dinner at Apero, The Ampersand’s restaurant, was a treat for the senses. The staff were the perfect level of friendly and attentive, making us feel right at home. We snagged a cozy archway booth that gave us just the right amount of privacy, slightly set apart from the restaurant floor, and is a great option for an added layer of intimacy, if you were out for a romantic evening.

I kicked things off with the house’s own ‘Peach Dream’ cocktail – its bourbon perfectly balancing the white wine syrup, peach and mint. The wine list had a pleasing mix of local (ish) European options, with both my rich Albarino and my partner’s Pinot Noir a hit.

The diverse menu was too alluring to resist, so we shared everything, starting with small plates including perfectly tender grilled octopus and a stand-out burrata with caramelised plum and pecorino crumble.

Our mains were just as impressive – lamb cutlets that melted in the mouth and a light but unctuous turbot dish with artichokes and asparagus. Despite being replete, we were tempted into a final course: a cheese board and a custard tart with honey-roasted plum, the peach sorbet on top a perfect complement to the denser custard.

If you’re eating at Apero, I definitely recommend delving into the menu widely and trying a mix of dishes – you won’t be disappointed.

Who goes there?

The Ampersand seems to attract a diverse crowd, from international tourists to UK residents enjoying a city break. During our stay, we noticed a mix of families, couples, and solo travellers, all seeking a comfortable and stylish base in the centre of London.

To do

Located in the heart of South Kensington, The Ampersand is an ideal hub for exploring London. The area is rich with cultural landmarks, including world-renowned museums including the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, all within a few minutes’ walk.

For those who enjoy a longer stroll, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens offer beautiful green spaces to relax and unwind, especially as we move into the summer months. The local area is also full to the brim with charming cafes, boutiques, and eateries, providing plenty of options for dining and shopping.

With excellent transport links nearby, you can easily access other iconic London attractions as well, making the Ampersand the perfect base for your adventures, whether you’re in London for a cultural tour, a shopping spree, or simply to soak in the vibrant city atmosphere.

The worst thing

There was a slight miscommunication at reception about the date of our stay, which led to my guest waiting in the lobby until I arrived, but it was swiftly fixed and all our bookings reconfirmed.

The best thing

All the attention to detail – the Ampersand is beautifully decorated throughout, with aesthetic surprises round every corner. I loved ‘The Plant Hunters’ book from Kew Gardens on the bedside table, and all the thoughtful touches throughout the room.

Apero was also a highlight – am I allowed two?! – and I have to again call out the restaurant and bar staff for their perfect service, never intrusive but appearing just when we needed them, despite our being tucked away.

The details

Single rooms from £240/night and Deluxe Doubles from £355/night.

The Ampersand, 10 Harrington Road, London, SW7 3ER

+44 (0)20 7591 4715