Kensington Church Street has an amazing amount of history – It was once a twisting lane that joined the Roman roads from Bath and Oxford to the City of London – the Roman soldiers used it as a place for rest and recreation – and by the 11th century it was the main thoroughfare of Chenesitun. Yes, that’s exactly what I said. Chenesitun.
The village began its royal connection in 1689, when William III was suffering from asthma and seeking a more rural place to hold court. He bought Nottingham House and transformed it into Kensington Palace. Location, location, location.
Queen Victoria was born there and there has been a royal connection ever since, so it’s no wonder that The Prince of Wales pub is still a thriving hub of the community, with manager Stefano Widdrington at the helm!
I popped in to have a chat with Stefano as his pub is directly opposite Barkers Arcade, which is where Banana Republic are opening their new store tomorrow… (Exciting!)
Stefano has worked in pubs all over London, but he has found that he loves working in this historic pub in Kensington… and this is largely down to the community in which his pub proudly sits.
“There is such a mix of people that come in here, and I get to meet them all! Families, journalists, the people who work in the local hotels, tourists, workers on the high street, the guys from the record labels, oldies – this is where they come to relax with their mates and feel part of something.”
Stefano explained to me that the pub is not a destination for people to seek out – it’s a proper community pub, and I think that’s very special. Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name… (LOVE Cheers).
The pub is clearly adored by its punters and has been known fondly for years as ‘the gem of the area’.
Stefano is clearly a very happy chap working here – he has a grin to rival a Cheshire cat and a love for Kensington and its people. He was very pleased to hear that his new neighbours were going to Banana Republic and he’s looking forward to meeting them at their launch party tomorrow night…
And with that in mind, if you fancy celebrating with them (and you like canapés and shopping) then they’d love to see you there. Banana Republic want to meet as many of their new neighbours and lovers of Kensington as possible – they’d be so pleased to meet you.
The party is tomorrow night (12th November)
5:30pm – 8:30pm
Banana Republic Kensington
63 / 67 Kensington High Street
If you’d like to attend this shindig, you need to rsvp at BRKensington.com
By the way, the pub is also a pit stop on the great Circle Line Pub Crawl… but that’s a whole different, slightly messier, story…
//Written in collaboration with Banana Republic :: Store opening on High Street Kensington 12th November 2015