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Mostly Food & Travel Journal

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, London – Kingston Upon Thames

Hawkers Bar and Brasserie – finer dining in Kingston



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Hotel Reviews
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, London – Kingston Upon Thames

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DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, London – Kingston Upon Thames

Hawkers Bar and Brasserie – finer dining in Kingston


DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, London – Kingston Upon Thames

Hilton Kingston There is a new stylish hotel in Kingston and it’s a Hilton. But why Kingston Upon Thames? Well, it’s a good location for a decent hotel for business or pleasure, in an area which seems to have something of a lack of such accommodation.

But why would you want to go to Kingston, anyway? Kingston is an ancient town and still has lots of well-preserved and beautiful buildings. It’s on the banks of the River Thames with a slew of riverside pubs and restaurants which are popular for lunch and dinner on sunny days. Its railway station offers a 28-minute direct train to London Waterloo, with its Underground connections. And this is an ideal business hotel – either hold meetings here or use this Hilton as a base from which to travel into the city.

Kingston isn’t named by accident. It’s an historic town where Saxon kings were crowned. The traditional open market is still held daily in the Market Place and that is a square worth visiting, with its noteworthy building façades. It’s a town oft mentioned in literature, film and television: Victorian humorous novel Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome begins here. It’s mentioned in H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. More interestingly for some, the guitarist and singer-songwriter Eric Clapton spent time busking in Kingston.

Hilton Kingston Kingston is a fun and interesting day-trip destination in its own right, but it also makes a great holiday hub. It’s a convenient location from which to enjoy some of England’s most iconic sites, and you won’t need a hire car. Richmond is just a short bus ride away, or take a river boat. It’s a charming Thames-side town, with the green open space of Richmond Park just a short walk away. Twickenham is nearby and that will be a draw for anyone who might be interested in rugby. Kew Gardens are worth a visit and they are within walking distance of Richmond (or a 5 minute bus ride). Hampton Court Palace was built in the reign of Henry VIII and can be reached by a riverboat from Kingston.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London Kingston Upon Thames offers a comfortable home-from-home from which to enjoy the area. The hotel is easy to reach from Kingston bus stops outside the celebrated Bentalls Shopping Centre, and also from the train station – no need for a taxi. These transport facilities truly are just yards from the hotel, and not a luggage-hauling 20-minute walk; the hotel is just around the corner.

The hotel foyer offers an insight into another part of Kingston’s history. This town was the location for three of the wartime factories making parts for the Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft. There are mementos of that association around the hotel entrance. The welcome will be warm, with cookies which are equally warm – a nice convivial touch. Plenty of casual seating for drinks from the bar or meetings over tea or coffee.

Hilton Kingston Decor is muted and sophisticated. Rooms are well-appointed with Smart TV, complimentary WiFi as one would expect, and air conditioning as one would hope. A king-sized bed with crisp linen will assure a good night’s sleep and the luxurious walk-in shower will offer a reviving start to the day. Upgrade to a Hilton Honors suite and have more space, a private balcony and an espresso coffee machine. There is a 24-hour fitness centre to burn off a few calories and Hawkers Bar and Brasserie to put them all back!

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London Kingston Upon Thames is welcomed by locals who have already discovered Hawkers Bar and Brasserie, with its urban industrial design and its thoughtful menu taking advantage of local and seasonal produce. Breakfast is also served here, and is as comprehensive as any good hotel would offer. There’s all the items to compile a very full English breakfast, but also a choice of breads, pastries, fruits and juices for those looking for something a little lighter. It also stands to become the hotel of choice for those who need to work. It’s an accessible half-hour directly to or from central London, and a short hop to Heathrow, so its conference space will be appreciated by UK and overseas businesses and their delegates.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London Kingston Upon Thames
1 Skerne Road
Kingston upon Thames
KT2 5FJ

Phone: +44 (0)20 3096 0099

Fax: +44 (0)20 3146 4130

Visit DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London Kingston Upon Thames here.

food and travel reviews

Hawkers Bar and Brasserie – finer dining in Kingston

hawkers kofta I live only a short bus ride, or an even shorter train ride, from Kingston. I am there very often for retail therapy at the Bentalls Centre. I am a frequent visitor to the large Chinese, Japanese and Korean supermarket. I enjoy the historic daily fruit and vegetable market. I have, however, never thought of Kingston as a dinner destination.

There is a new restaurant in a new hotel in Kingston. The hotel is a conveniently situated Doubletree by Hilton and the restaurant is called Hawkers Bar and Brasserie. One might speculate on the origins of the name ‘Hawkers’ – perhaps an indication that hunting birds might be on the menu? The Hawker in question does actually have something to do with flight. It’s the Australian aviation pioneer Harry Hawker who was the chief test pilot for Sopwith and was also involved in the design of many of their aircraft. After World War One he co-founded Hawker Aircraft in Kingston, the firm that would later manufacture the successful Hurricane fighter plane. The hotel foyer offers mementoes of the company and its aircraft.

hawkers bloody mary The Brasserie and Bar have a contemporary urban design with exposed copper pipes and industrial fixtures. The restaurant area is large but thoughtfully divided to provide a degree of more-separated conviviality. Soft furnishings add texture and comfort to what would have been a rather masculine space. There are nods to the 1920s with lights and high ceilings.

There is an open kitchen here with the head chef Darren Edwards very much to the fore. The menu is well-crafted with classic British Brasserie fare, and the bar menu is also creditable. Crispy whitebait is outstanding and the portions of this and the other menu items are generous. The Artisanal Bread Platter with hummus, chutney, and balsamic olive oil dip is de rigueur with drinks, and the Mini Lamb Koftas with home-made mint raita make a marvellous nibble to go with one of the excellent cocktails here.

The Aviator is made with Kingston’s own Beckett’s gin (the only gin in the world distilled with British juniper and mint - I must book a visit to the distillery), fresh lemon, Crème de Violette, Maraschino liqueur and sugar. This is a perfect pre-dinner cocktail for anyone looking for a sweet start to the evening. But then there is the memorable Bloody Good Mary. That really is the name of this potent and spicy version of a classic cocktail. Russian Standard Vodka, fresh lemon, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, tomato juice and a dash of a secret sauce combine to present the sipper with a delicious explosion which was very much to my taste. This must be a signature cocktail here.

hawkers sea bass I chose Hawkers Puff Pie for my dinner. It’s made with the meat from an 18-hour slow roasted lamb shoulder, wrapped in puff pastry and served with a smoked bacon and cabbage parcel, with a rosemary gravy. I have never tasted lamb with quite so much flavour. I would be a believer if I had been told that the meat was mutton, which has a much richer taste than most lamb. This is unmissable. The meat was tender and aromatic. The pastry surrounding was flaky and cooked to perfection. The cabbage parcel was more of a partner than a side dish.

My guest enjoyed the Sustainable Blackened Sea Bass with smoked fennel, mussels, kale and Noilly Pratt sauce. That fennel was quite an innovation. The smoking removed so much of the metallic aftertaste which I dislike. The dish was delicious, beautifully presented and one for which to return.

Rhubarb and Champagne Trifle with white chocolate sauce was my guest’s dessert. This writer was far too full to even contemplate a pud. I confess I had a delightful spoonful which I shall call research. This was sweet, tart, refreshing and rich, and served in a cone of a glass displaying the traditional layers of a classic trifle.

hawkers dessert Hawkers Bar and Brasserie has only been open a short time but it is already the restaurant of choice for many locals as well as for the hotel guests. Its ambiance is accessible and friendly with a menu which displays flair and regard for British produce.


Opening Hours
Monday – Friday: 06:30 – 22:00
Saturday – Sunday: 07:00 – 22:00


Hawkers Bar and Brasserie
1 Skerne Road
Kingston upon Thames
KT2 5FJ

Phone: 020 3146 4144

Email: enquiries@hawkerskingston.com

Visit Hawker’s here



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