For me one of the great pleasures in life is to be found in exploring a new city or suburb and of course one of the best places in the world to do this is London. South Kensington has been one of my favourite areas for some time which isn't surprising as it's home to my favourite museum the V&A, but until now I've not explored much of the rest of the Kensington. If you're looking for a base in the borough I can definitely recommend The Exhibitionist hotel where my husband and I stayed on a wedding anniversary trip, but their are lots of other hotels in Kensington to choose from.

After my recent visit I thought I'd put together a little guide of some known and some lesser known spots that I would recommend, starting off with another museum that took my breath away - Leighton House Museum (above) on the edge of Holland Park. The photo above is just one of the stunning interiors you'll experience alongside collections of the former owner Lord Leighton's artworks. It's only open on weekends but I highly highly recommend it if you're aesthetically inclined like I am!

Other museums in the area that are definitely worth a visit are the Design Museum, 18 Stafford Terrace and of course all that South Kensington has to offer - the Natural History Museum, the V&A and the Science Museum, but please do visit the smaller attractions first as they need our support the most!

There are lots of great places to stop for a refreshing drink and a bite in the area including some wonderful bakeries and cafes. I'm a big fan of the matcha and passion fruit mille crepe cakes at Sakurado or the magical meringue and cream bombs called Merveilleux from Aux Merveilleux De Fred.

If you're looking for some more serious eats or a great cocktail Hawksmoor (see above!) is never a let down or if you're a fan of Japanese food like me then Chisou is the place to go. If you fancy venturing into Chelsea (hey it's technically the same borough!) then you should treat yourself to a lobster and cocktail meal deal at Big Easy, one of my favourite places for amazing food and relaxed dive bar vibes. You can also never go wrong with cocktails and food at The Ivy. Really you're spoilt for choice in Kensington!

If you're looking to spend some of your hard earned cash in Kensington I can confirm that it's an easy task. Kensington High Street offers all you could wish from bigger chain stores but I love finding independent stores like South Kensington Books, a place I could spend far too much time and money in! I also love the Kensington Church Street area which is full of antique shops along with some lovely food shops. I can highly recommend Sally Clarke's Shop and Bakery for expertly done classics and lovely store cupboard ingredients and if you're looking for a bottle or two to accompany your treats Huntsworth Wine is just down the road.

As well as eating, drinking, shopping and taking in some culture at a gallery or museum, it's also wonderful fun just wandering around Kensington. There are so many gorgeous little mews and huge terraced mansion lined streets to enjoy and you'll often turn a corner and be surprised by a stunning view or a sweet little cafe. If I won the lottery a house on one of these mews streets would definitely be on my list of purchases...!

I hope you enjoyed this little guide, I'm hoping to do more this year as I explore new places - hopefully some places a little farther afield too!

The spending money for this visit was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.

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