The ampersand

1/85: The Ampersand Hotel

The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand

from £700 hire fee / per morning

The Games Room

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Accommodating up to 32 seated or 50 standing, The Games Room provides an irreverent backdrop for your corporate event or private celebration. Shelves in The Games Room are lined with books and curiosities.

from £550 hire fee / per morning

The Library Room

20

With a capacity for 12 seated and up to 35 standing, this intimate snug is perfect for a low-key meeting, press day, private lunch/dinner or small cocktail reception. The Library is home to The Ampersand’s specially-curated collection of books, providing a unique interior style and inspiration for conversation.

from £125 hire fee / per hour

The Wine Room

10

The Wine Room is a decadent, elegant space for private dining for 10 people. Statement lighting, a polished basalt floor and an imposing oak banqueting table make this a sophisticated environment to sample The Ampersand’s impressive wine cellar.

+ show all 16 spaces

from £45 per person / per session

Baby Shower Party

20

Inspired by the hotel’s South Kensington neighbour, The Science Museum, the afternoon tea boasts a star menu of sweet and savoury dishes. Starting from £39.50 – why not complement the experience with a glass of champagne for £49.50 per person (or two non-alcoholic cocktails instead of champagne)

from £55 per person / per session

A Taste of Science

10

Inspired by The Ampersand Hotel’s neighbouring Science Museum in South Kensington, ‘A Taste of Science’ is served in one of the private dining rooms. Each of the dishes has been designed to create a unique experience for Science lovers. Guests can expect dry ice, scented mist, syringes, smoke and melting chocolate planets.

from £300 minimum spend / per evening

Christmas Party

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Celebrate Christmas with us at The Ampersand Hotel! We are delighted to offer Christmas packages for you and your guests, which include festive themed menus, décor, music, and plenty of cheer. The Library accommodates up to 14 for dining and up to 35 standing and is the perfect London room for an intimate dining experience. The Games Room can tak…

from £900 minimum spend / per session

Children's Party

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The Ampersand boasts beautifully decorated function spaces in eclectic Ampersand style. The Library accommodates 35 reception style and is the perfect London room for a children's party. The Games Room can take up to 50 guests standing and 85 in conjunction with The Library, offering the ideal space for both parents and children. A children's men…

from £400 minimum spend / per evening

Private Dining

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Our Kensington private dining rooms combine a sense of occasion with state-of-the art facilities, if you are looking for a private London venue. The Games Room provides an irreverent backdrop for your private celebration and can hold up to 32. Shelves in The Games Room are lined with books and curiosities. The Library Room, with a capacity for 17…

from £650 minimum spend / per day

The Ampersand is an elegant boutique hotel in South Kensington with function spaces beautifully decorated in eclectic Ampersand style. The Library accommodates 35 reception style and is the perfect London room for an intimate reception. The Games Room can take up to 50 guests standing and 85 in conjunction with The Library, offering the ideal locat…

from £45 per person / per session

Bridal Shower

20

Inspired by the hotel’s South Kensington neighbour, The Science Museum, the afternoon tea boasts a star menu of sweet and savoury dishes. Starting from £39.50 – why not complement the experience with a glass of champagne for £49.50 per person (or two non-alcoholic cocktails instead of champagne)

from £90 per person / per day

The Games Room, DDR

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Package includes:
• Room Hire • Arrival coffee break with selection of pastries • Morning coffee break with seasonal muffins • Afternoon coffee break with biscuits • Working Lunch Buffet • Complimentary mineral water •Stationary •LCD Television, DVD player & Cabling •Soft drinks in mini bar
•Nespresso coffee machine
•Flipchart & easel with …

from £90 per person / per day

The Library, DDR

20

Package includes:
• Rooms Hire • Arrival coffee break with selection of pastries • Morning coffee break with seasonal muffins • Afternoon coffee break with biscuits • Working Lunch Buffet • Complimentary mineral water •Stationary •LCD Television, DVD player & Cabling •Soft drinks in mini bar
•Nespresso coffee machine
•Flipchart & easel with…

from £90 per person / per day

The Wine Room, DDR

10

Package includes:
• Rooms Hire • Arrival coffee break with selection of pastries • Morning coffee break with seasonal muffins • Afternoon coffee break with biscuits • Working Lunch Buffet • Complimentary mineral water •Stationary •LCD Television, DVD player & Cabling •Soft drinks in mini bar
•Nespresso coffee machine
•Flipchart & easel with…

from £650 minimum spend / per evening

Birthday Party

32

The Ampersand is an elegant boutique hotel in South Kensington with function spaces beautifully decorated in eclectic Ampersand style. The Library accommodates 35 reception style and is the perfect London room for an intimate reception. The Games Room can take up to 50 guests standing and 85 in conjunction with The Library, offering the ideal locat…

from £23 per person / per afternoon

Private Brunch

32

PRANZO DELLA NONNA BRUNCH Italian-style weekend brunch — Pranzo della Nonna, or ‘Grandmother’s lunch’. In Italy, Sunday lunch with your family is an immovable date and something never to be missed. We bring that same sense of tradition to The Ampersand, with a flavourful, authentic brunch menu that’ll have you imagining you’ve just stepped off a …

from £45 per person / per session

Private Afternoon Tea

32

Inspired by the hotel’s South Kensington neighbour, The Science Museum, the afternoon tea boasts a star menu of sweet and savoury dishes. Starting from £39.50 – why not complement the experience with a glass of champagne for £49.50 per person (or two non-alcoholic cocktails instead of champagne)

10 Harrington Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 3ER South Kensington Station (150 yd)

Absolutely phenomenal! I still can’t believe how amazing the execution was! I was so happy! Food was amazing! Service unreal! ThankYou!

Amazing food and service, nothing was too much trouble.

Staff were very attentive, anything we requested they helped straight away. The catering was excellent, food was of high quality. We had a few dietary requirements and Ampersand were extremely flexible with this. The room was lovely, we were all comfortable ( we were a party of 12). Would definitely book this venue again.

Staff were on hand throughout the day and were friendly, flexible and helpful. The food was delicious and the location is brilliant – right next to the underground. The room was really well designed and a fun engaging environment to work in.

The room next door was extremely loud in the afternoon and there doesn't appear to any sound proofing to reduce the noise

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The Meetings and Event Rooms at The Ampersand Hotel combine a sense of occasion with state-of-the-art facilities and an intuitive understanding of your style and requirements. Whether you are planning a corporate event or looking for a private party venue, we have a choice of three spaces, available for hire separately or together, all of them decorated in eclectic Ampersand style and kitted out with the latest technology.

The capacities are both intimate and expandable while our dedicated events team will provide seamless support before and during your event.

The Ampersand Hotel

There’s more than a hint of Victorian whimsy about The Ampersand Hotel – a grand boutique with a few surprises up its sleeve. Filled with vintage curiosities and oozing contemporary elegance, it takes its design cues from London’s most famous museums. The striking lobby is a cool, monochrome space. Drawing rooms feature colourful furnishings and quirky décor, while the majestic, wrought iron staircase leads to luxury bedrooms – referencing the V&A, Royal Albert Hall or Natural History Museum.

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You could hark back to the hotel’s heyday and take afternoon tea in one of the drawing rooms. With sweeping windows they’re perfect for people watching in summer, while a log fire burns in colder months. When it’s time for dinner, Apero serves Mediterranean cuisine in the old hotel cellar.

To see the inspiration behind The Ampersand’s eclectic style, you won’t have to travel far. London’s famed museum district is close by.

Shoppers will be well served too, with some of the capital’s finest designer boutiques nearby in South Kensington and Knightsbridge.

And speak to the hotel reception – they make it their business to be ‘in the know’ and can even help with Hyde Park running routes and horse riding.

Enjoy your stay!

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    Science Tea Full Stand Afternoon Tea
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We stayed 3 nights in two rooms, a deluxe room and a superior room. Both rooms were spacious (especially for London) and had excellent beds with plugs on both side tables. The mini bar was refreshed daily and the bathrooms were cleaned/refreshed twice daily including at turn down.

I can't overstate Read more[SPLIT]Read lesshow nice these rooms were for being in central London at this price point, an absolute steal, especially including the extras mentioned above and the quality of robes, towels, linens, bath products, etc.

Each room also had its own segregated wifi which meant lightning fast speeds and also came with light controls via the TV if tech is your thing! The Times was also delivered daily and you could send laundry out to be pressed if needed. Overall the room experience was excellent and punched well above its price point.

We did have one night where we heard folks stomping in the room upstairs, but that seemed to be a one-off and the room was otherwise very quiet. Check-in and check-out were friendly and efficient as was service throughout, including everyone form doormen (offering suggestions and carrying bags, providing umbrellas, etc.

) the front desk staff, and cleaning crews who were always there with a smile and to ask if you needed anything. They even sent along a special plate of treats for my dad's b-day! The rest of the property was well appointed. There were several spaces to just relax and what appeared to be a beautiful tea, though we didn't participate.

The gym was also fine, with only a few machines, but that was enough as I was in there 3 times and never saw another guest. The only drawback I thought was the basement restaurant where service and the food was a tad lacking.

Location wise this was perfect for us, across the street from South Kensington station (circle/district and Piccadilly) but on a quieter side street. This enabled us to get anywhere throughout the city quickly while being away from the touristy crowds (well as much as you can be in London.) I'd highly recommend staying at this location and property again.

By Ryan Feb ’20 Trip Type Family

As it was my wife's birthday weekend, I told the staff during reservation. When we got there there was a little welcoming treat to say happy birthday to my wife. That was a nice touch and very special.

By Modestus Feb ’20 Trip Type Couple

Perfect for weekend getaways, location perfect being very close to subway. Very good service and breakfast was also great. Stayed in deluxe room and side of that room also very good for weekend getaways.

By Minna Feb ’20 Trip Type Couple

The Ampersand Hotel – JG Collection

The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand The Ampersand

The Ampersand is an elegant boutique hotel in South Kensington. This beautifully restored Victorian treasure is a small luxury hotel near the V&A, Natural History Museum and many of London’s most popular museums. It is also well located for Harrods and shopping in Knightsbridge, Hyde Park, Chelsea and the Kings Road. With South Kensington tube station just across the street, all of London is within easy reach.

The Ampersand’s interior contains five themes; botany, music, geometry, ornithology and astronomy which are derived from museums, venues, gardens and streets that surround the hotel such as Kensington Gardens, Science Museum, Albert Hall & Natural History.

The Hotel opened in summer 2012 and was originally called The Norfolk. It was built in 1888 and you were able to stay for two-and-six or 60 cents for US visitors!

ampersandhotel.com   |   Email Enquiry   |   Location Map

Things to know

  • The hotel has 111 eclectic designed bedrooms
  • The Walls reflect the location of the property – a mixture of V&A, Science Museum & Natural history custom-made prints

The History of the Ampersand – Black Lion Banner

Oct 15, 2017 · 5 min readThe Ampersand

These days everybody knows about the ampersand. It’s one of typography’s most unique and interesting characters.

Its rise to hipster fame has catapulted the ampersand from the sketchbooks of type designers onto just about every printable surface you can imagine, the variations of which seem endless. From traditional representations all the way to hyper-stylised forms that bear little resemblance to the original mark.

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The varied nature of its form allows type designers a little creative freedom, and is often seen as an opportunity to inject some extra personality into a typeface. Officially classified as punctuation by today’s unicode, it was in fact, once the 27th letter in the English alphabet existing as the graphical representation of the word ‘and’.

Designers in all fields both love and hate the ampersand in equal measure, but very few know much about its history, or intended use, which is actually rather interesting.

A Brief History of The Glyph

As with a lot of aspects of typography, the history of the ampersand begins with our triumphant and progressive friends, the Ancient Romans.

Roman scribes would write in cursive so as to increase the speed of their transcription, often combining letters into one form to save time while also increasing legibility, where certain characters overlap in a visually discordant manner — this was the birth of the ligature. The ampersand is simply a ligature of the letters E and T (et being the latin word for and).

As the Romans expanded their empire across the globe, many languages just absorbed this ligature into their own alphabet. However as these languages evolved, the connection between the original ligature and the word it now represents diminished beyond comprehension. The outcome was a rise in overly stylised versions, much less representative of its original form.

In some of the traditional style typefaces of the modern age, the ampersand is more clearly representative of the original et ligature. Caslon is a great example of this, with many italic typeface variants also following suit.

The Ampersand

In contrast, many modern handwriting fonts use a variation of E and T such as the examples below.

The Ampersand

While this helps explain why this character exists, and why it looks the way it does, it doesn’t really explain where it gets its name? Where on earth did the term ampersand actually come from?

The Etymology

Before deconstructing the word ampersand, you must first understand another latin legacy that made its way into our modern language.

By the early seventeen hundreds, schools throughout England had started to use the phrase per se (essentially meaning by itself) when spelling out words. This was specifically useful when encountering words that consist of only a single letter (A, I and originally O). As an example, in order to spell the phrase “I invite you”, children would say:

“Per se i, i, n, v…”

indicting that the initial i stood by itself, rather than a part of the proceeding word.

At the same time, and (the et-ligature &, now pronounced and) had become common place and was all but inducted into the English language as the 27th letter of the alphabet. It became so widely used that children in school, when reciting the alphabet, would include & after the letter Z.

The result of this was that phonetically you would hear “X, Y, Z and per se and” indicating that the & stood by itself at the end of the alphabet.

The phrase “and per se and” was inevitably slurred into one single term and by 1837, the term ampersand was well and truly immortalised in the English dictionary.

Interesting fact — The ampersand was the only letter in the English alphabet that did not represent a speech sound.

Correct Usage

Over time, the ampersand would be de-classified within the English alphabet and its usage decreased as a result. While the & glyph still remains with its meaning unchanged, its use in modern english writing is somewhat frowned upon. It does however serve some interesting use cases adding a level of clarity where simply using and would not. For example:

Clarity within lists

An ampersand adds clarity when items within a list require and as part of its name, rather than as a separator (e.g. “take your knife, pestle & mortar and ingredients”).

Accreditation

When giving credit to writers in the film, screenplay or story world, an & indicates collaboration of a closer nature than and. Writing ‘McAndrew and Thorne’ implies that Thorne was involved in re-writing some of McAndrews script. McAndrew & Thorne represents a dual effort where both writers collaborated to write the script together.

Referencing

Many educational institutions require the use of an & when citing sources of original work (e.g. ‘Gibson & Fellwinter, 1986’)

So there you have it. The history of the worlds most famous character*.

The Ampersand Hotel Review: What To REALLY Expect If You Stay

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  • Convenient South Kensington location near the V&A
  • Sophisticated themed rooms with elegant decor
  • Chic bathrooms with rainfall showerheads and luxury Miller Harris toiletries
  • Stylish on-site restaurant and bar serving all meals
  • Charming drawing room serving afternoon tea and snacks
  • 24-hour fitness center with Wi-Fi-equipped cardio machines
  • Event rooms including a game room with ping-pong
  • Business area with Mac computers
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout
  • Room service, laundry and dry cleaning, and babysitting
  • Pet-friendly

See More Pros

  • Breakfast not included in room rate
  • No on-site spa
  • Rooms can be small (typical of a London hotel)
  • Valet parking is expensive

See More Cons

The Ampersand Hotel is a five-pearl, 111-room Central London hotel with elegant and whimsical decor and an astounding attention to detail. Each room is designed around a theme of Victorian discovery, such as ornithology, music, or astronomy. Rooms are small (though typically sized for a city hotel), but elegantly decorated and have free Wi-Fi, bathrobes, slippers, luxury toiletries, and umbrellas for rainy-day sightseeing. Facilities include a charming tea room, an on-site restaurant and bar serving Mediterranean-inspired dishes, a 24-hour fitness area with Wi-Fi-enabled cardio equipment, and elegant themed meeting and event venues. Guests looking for another five-pearl property can try the Royal Garden Hotel, at the corner of Hyde Park — the decor here is less whimsical, but the hotel offers more extensive fitness facilities and a small spa. 

See More Bottom Line The Ampersand

Elegant from beginning to end, The Ampersand Hotel is situated in a magnificent white-and-gray Victorian building with wrought-iron balconies, bay windows, and regal molded details.

Built in 1889, it’s one of the few London properties originally constructed as a hotel, and a 2012 renovation has brought with it many modernizing elements without compromising the historic atmosphere.

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The theme of the hotel is “connection” (hence the ampersand) to the city of London, and each room category is a nod to the nearby museums and designed around a particular theme of discovery — astronomy, music, ornithology, botany, or geometry. 

A central staircase features an eclectic climbing light sculpture made of “flying” lightbulbs outfitted with wings, and the lobby has a sophisticated air with decorative details such as crown molding and columns, fresh marble floors, and rich black-and-white sitting areas.

Hallways are just as elegant as any other spot in the hotel, with large-scale Victorian-era scientific illustrations accompanied by themed quotes decorating the walls, white wainscoting, deep turquoise accents, and sconce lighting.

The hotel’s central location coupled with its elegance (and price tag) make it ideal for high-end tourists and leisure travelers as well as business guests. 

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The Ampersand Hotel is situated on a bustling street in the South Kensington area of Central London, and is in easy walking distance to a wealth of restaurants, cafes, shops, public transportation, and London sights.

Ideal for tourists who want to explore the city, the hotel is a one-minute walk from the South Kensington London Underground (aka tube) station, which can take guests to most area attractions in under half an hour. The Ampersand is also about a five-minute walk to three of London’s major museums: the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Science Museum.

The hotel is particularly well connected to Heathrow Airport, with a direct connection on the tube via the Piccadilly Line — the trip takes about 45 minutes. 

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The Ampersand

Rooms range in size and style, but all feature sophisticated decor with a touch of whimsical elegance.

Decor is subtly themed around subjects of discovery, such as botany, ornithology, or astronomy, and feature light walls, neutral carpets, floor-to-ceiling curtains, and dark-wood furniture.

An accent wall behind the bed shows off Victorian-inspired drawings of birds, flowers, or music notes, as well as framed black-and-white photos or art pieces. Chic details such as plush, button-tufted wingback headboards add to the elegance. 

All rooms include individually controlled air-conditioning, coffee and tea service, stocked minibars (sans alcohol, but with free water, soft drinks, and milk for coffee), iPod docks, bathrobes and slippers, flat-screen TVs with on-demand movies, hairdryers, laptop safes, and even umbrellas.

Chic bathrooms are black-and-white with rectangular sinks, black subway tiling, luxurious rainfall showerheads, high-end Miller Harris toiletries, and Ampersand rubber duckies. Some rooms have extra details — themed books, Nespresso coffeemakers, or in-room bathtubs.

The hotel provides twice-daily housekeeping and turndown service. Guests are generally enthusiastic about the rooms, though some complain that they are small for a hotel in this price range (though this compact size is typical of a city hotel).

Ground-floor rooms don’t have much of a view, and a few guests in these rooms have mentioned a slight background rumble from the tube.

The Ampersand

A beautifully converted boutique hotel in the heart South Kensington; it fits perfectly into the area with nods to the local museums and French quarter. It's smart with a few inventive and highly contemporary twists.

Just a few strides from South Kensington tube station. The Ampersand is in an enviable location, with the V&A just around the corner and the Natural History and Science Museums and the Royal Albert Hall close by. Almost next door is the French Institute, which shows films and exhibitions; the area too has a very French feel reflected in the cafés and bookshops.

The grand original building dates back to 1888 and there has been a hotel on the site ever since then; the first opening in the wake of the transformation of the area in the mid 1800s.

Today, the independently-owned Ampersand retains some Victorian features, such as the high ceilings and notably the fine staircase, but elsewhere the hotel has a subtly contemporary feel, for instance in the case of the eye-catching lighting installation that runs down the well of the staircase. It’s smart with a modern twist.

See more images at Booking.com

Service is efficient and helpful. Facilities extend to three meeting rooms, including the Games Room, which can house a ping pong table, the Library and smaller Wine Room, adjacent to the restaurant and with a banqueting table. Elsewhere there is an open-plan business centre and a small gym.

  • Parking

  • Restaurant

  • Room service

  • Bar

  • Laundry

  • Wi-Fi

  • Fitness centre

There are 111 rooms across five categories, including five suites (which have small balconies). The deluxe studios are particularly recommended – some have freestanding baths in the main room.

Room are of a good size, with king-sized beds and distinctive tall colourful headboards, while all the rooms select a different theme inspired by the hotel’s location – botany, music, geometry, ornithology and astronomy are reflected in the décor.

Rooms are equipped with iPod docks and Handy phones (which can be used to make calls and as guide book). The inviting black and white tiled bathrooms are stocked with L’Occitane products.

The two brightly coloured French-influenced Drawing Rooms (open 24 hours) on the ground floor are perfect for wallowing in sofas and studded armchairs. You can have a light snack or, better still, afternoon tea (from £33), with imaginative pastries. The Apero restaurant and bar are housed beneath the Victorian arches in the hotel’s basement.

Exposed brick walls mix with white metro tiles and wood floors, feeling nicely separate from the hotel. The menu here is Mediterranean but again the atmosphere is French; dishes include flash-fried baby squid (£9), saffron and seafood risotto (£14), and crispy skin Normandy duck (£14).

The mainly European wine list starts at £20 and there are interesting cocktails from £9.

Breakfast (from £16), a mix of self-service and à la carte, is a winner; dishes include confit duck hash and free-range duck egg (£9).  

Doubles from £216, room only. Breakfast from £16. Free Wi-Fi.

The hotel has lift access throughout and there are six adapted rooms.

Children are welcome and there is a kids’ menu, but really this is more of a boutique hotel.

Rooms from

£
179

A super-stylish boutique hotel in South Kensington, with breakfast, a welcome glass of champagne and a gift in the room.

  • Accommodation in a Superior room
  • Continental breakfast included
  • Welcome glass of champagne per person
  • Gift in the room
  • Check-in is at 2pm and check-out at 12am

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