In many ways, Christmas is all about decadence and splashing out, which is why it can be nice sometimes to rein things in a bit and opt for a festive gathering that feels a little more low-key. By opting for an intimate venue within a sophisticated area like Kensington & Chelsea, you can do so without losing any of the charm and quality that makes it such a special time of year.
The Rum Kitchen is a Caribbean inspired beach shack that perfectly captures to vibrant spirit of the West Indies, and which also serves as an excitingly unique restaurant and bar. Hidden cellars house more than 100 varieties of rum, so the drinks are more than taken care of. As for the music, a top resident DJ plays all the best of reggae, Latin, Calypso and Afro-Funk, so you’ll be on your feet in no time. When it comes to getting there, Westbourne park is the nearest rail link, reachable in well under 10 minutes on foot.
What sets apart the stylish Notting Hill member of The Italian Job family from its sister venues is the inclusion of Salotto ‘900, an eclectic cocktail bar found up on the second floor. Throughout the venue, you can expect to enjoy delicious Italian cuisine, inspired by street food and local delicacies, and all complimented by a fine selection of Italian craft beers. Better yet, the offerings are always seasonal, with the food and drinks menus changing week-to-week.
The Exhibitionist is found within beautifully restored 18th century townhouses in South Kensington, and is the next generation of luxury lifestyle boutique hotels. Art is at its very core of their event spaces, with the 8 galleries regularly displaying the work of up-and-coming artists, and thus forming an ever-changing backdrop. Licenced until 1am, there will be no need to bring the party to an end in a hurry, whilst the charming yet blank canvas nature of the spaces when empty means they can be completely customised according to personal taste.
Dirty Bones Kensington is like an underground labyrinth, full of interesting spaces to uncover. First, you’ll find the main bar, complete in a kitsch and funky style with highlights such as a vintage pinball machine, torn wallpaper and a large leather sofa. From there you could head to the dining room, which boasts hand-cut crystal lights, tile-topped tables and retro knick-knacks, or perhaps the private lounge, hidden behind a stickered fridge door and offering its own bar, sound system, projector and screen.