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"A good pub hotel just across the road from Olympia"
The Hand and Flower is a traditional London pub from the Victorian era. It is set on Hammersmith Road in West London, which runs from the west end of Kensington High Street to the shops and transport links of Hammersmith Broadway. Hammersmith Road has heavy traffic flow, so visitors should be aware that there is some traffic noise audible in the pub. Across the road from the Olympia exhibition halls, the Hand and Flower is a 20-minute journey via London Underground from the very heart of the capital city.
This establishment is owned and run by Fullers Brewery, located in nearby Chiswick. Fullers have been brewing beer in London for more than 350 years and the company owns pubs and hotels through the southeast of England.
The nearest green space to the Hand and Flower is leafy Holland Park, a 15-minute walk away. The park includes children’s play areas, a café, sports pitches and formal gardens. There’s an Ecology Centre at the park which runs regular events and activities, many aimed at children. The park also hosts the upmarket Belvedere Restaurant, set in what was once the summer ballroom of the long-since destroyed mansion that stood in Holland Park. The restaurant serves a contemporary European menu with dishes like gigolette of venison, prosciutto wrapped monkfish and smoked mozzarella ravioli.
If you want to do some shopping, head for Kensington High Street, just a few minutes away. There you’ll find major branches of popular British stores like Boots and Marks and Spencers as well as a wide variety of fashion outlets. Kensington High Street also has an eclectic selection of restaurants offering cuisines from around the world.
The four-storey Hand and Flower features handsome Victorian architecture with stucco decoration to the façade, and displays of flowers and plants. The interior has been updated with tasteful furnishings and décor, including stripped timber floors in the bar.
The nine guestrooms are on the upper floors of the property, with the public bar on the ground floor and a spacious function room flooded by natural light on the first floor. This room is available to hire for social or business events. The hotel does not have a lift.
The guestrooms are all ensuite with complimentary toiletries and feature chic, contemporary décor including designer wallpaper. All rooms have flatscreen TVs, tea and coffee making facilities and free wifi. Room rates include breakfast, which is served in the bar. Guests can choose a continental or a traditional English cooked breakfast.
The Hand and Flower serves lunch, dinner and snacks every day. Menu choices include a range of burgers, and sandwiches with fillings like king prawn with lemon and tarragon mayonnaise, honey-roast ham with chutney, and roast peppers and hummus with basil oil. Guests can sample traditional English favourites such as beer-battered cod and chips with mushy peas and tartare sauce or homemade pie of the day. There are also salads and pasta dishes on offer.
Since this pub is owned by a brewery, it’s no surprise that they have a fine selection of cask-conditioned ales including the flagship London Pride and the potent ESB, both brewed at Fullers’ Griffin Brewery. If you enjoy the beer, you can actually go on a tour of the brewery, which is a 20-minute bus ride away. If you’re over 18, the tour includes a free tasting.
The Hand and Flower is a 10-minute walk from London Underground’s West Kensington Station which is on the District Line and offers connections to all central London destinations. You can also travel to Heathrow Airport from West Kensington by taking the District Line westwards and changing at Earls Court for the Piccadilly Line which goes direct to the airport. Journey time will be around one hour.