July 8, 2021
The Kingston 1 Hotel opens Solo a European culinary experience
As the Group editor of Luxuria Lifestyle International, I have just enjoyed a wonderful stay in Kingston upon Thames in a gorgeous boutique hotel, The Kingston 1, a stone’s throw from the Thames riverside.
The hotel is beautifully appointed, with luxurious and stylish touches throughout. The décor is pretty and chic, the rooms are designed using maximum space to ensure comfort and practicality, you can spread out, relax and feel completely at home.
The rooms and suites include all of the usual amenities, smellies in the bathroom, fluffy toweling gowns, Hugo Boss towels (not so usual), tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryers, free wifi, etc. and there is a concierge service should you have any special requirements, such as a cheeky cocktail in your suite!
We arrived feeling a little frazzled, we’d had a very busy week, not particularly stressful, just very full-on and when we checked-in it was such a treat to be welcomed so warmly, the staff could not do enough for us, they were definitely hand-picked for their people skills.
We very quickly dropped our bags into the suite and raced to the river, where we had an electric boat from GoBoat waiting for us, for a self-drive couple of hours cruising along the Thames. After a short concise lesson on river etiquette and boat instructions, that were really quite simple we were on our way with a map to help us navigate.
The sun was shining and we had some lovely tasty picnic bits and of course the obligatory bottle of bubbles. We cruised along the river in a most relaxed fashion, enjoying the scenery, marveling at the endless riverside bars and restaurants that cannot be seen except from the river, people enjoying the view of the river, promising we would return and book a meal in one very soon.
Each boat has seating for eight people around a sociable central table perfect for your picnic, although we were only two. The boat has a top speed of 4mph, the perfect speed for a lazy River Thames journey. Starting at Kingston Bridge, the route goes upriver past Hampton Court Palace and downriver to Teddington Lock, we chose to go downriver. The boats are powered with an electric motor, almost completely silent, and are made using sustainably sourced forestry wood and 80 percent recycled PET – the equivalent of 600 plastic bottles! One hour costs £89, not much for a full boat of eight people and well worth it, but you can go mad and spend up to four hours cruising for £199, you will get further along the river and see more the longer you spend onboard. It’s a lovely experience and the perfect way to while away an hour or more.
After our boat trip, we ventured back to our hotel and took advantage of the comfortable lounge area, and watched some Wimbledon before dinner in the hotel’s European restaurant Solo. We decided to begin with a cocktail, a strawberry daiquiri while checking out the menu. The restaurant, still adhering to COVID-19 government restrictions, of course, was airy and bright, with comfortable seating.
The head chef, Marco Palazzo has created the menu to include some truly delicious choices. Marco’s cuisine is influenced by contemporary Italian cooking techniques and celebrates local British produce. The menu is quite small but you will still find it difficult to choose, everything sounded perfectly divine.
We both decided to have the Seafood Scotch Egg, to begin with, it was presented on a pesto sauce, it tasted as good as it looked, with a soft yolk and crispy outside it was luscious.
After a short break and a few sips of our rosé Prosecco we chose our main course, we had a fillet steak and fries and a lobster dish that was served with a perfectly cooked scallop and chorizo on pepperonata. Both were fabulous, not too heavy, artistically presented, and prepared with passion.
We just about managed to save room for dessert, which we both decided chocolate was the choice of the day.
To be exact, a chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream. Of course, it perfectly spilled out rich creamy chocolate when cut into, mouth-wateringly sublime.
We decided to have a coffee in our room and promptly fell asleep in the soft and cozy bed.
We sadly could hang around too long the following morning, so we went to breakfast fairly early. The choices were standard, but the food was not. The Full English was the best we’ve had in a very long time, the produce being of the highest quality. Even the orange juice was freshly squeezed, and the coffee as good as the rest of the breakfast, it set us up for yet another busy business day.
We won’t forget our stay at The Kingston 1, or the meal in Solo for a long time. The hotel was stunning with lots of little thoughtful decorative details, the welcome from the staff was most special, warm, and inviting and the suite was perfect. We hope to return and spend a little more time in order to maybe visit Hampton Court Palace where there is always something spectacular going on.
W: The Kingston 1
A: 88 London Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 6PX
T: +44 (0) 20 8099 5551