Cupcakes and the Queen at the Rubens Hotel in London!

posted in: Blog, London | 45

Jess (aged 13) writes: Over the years, our family has stayed in some beautiful places. We spent the weekend in an old prison, experienced a Disney hotel and stayed in a room where Queen Elizabeth I is said to have slept, but it was a first to go to a hotel right on the doorstep of an iconic British landmark – Buckingham Palace.

The hotel
Me and Robert outside the hotel

The Rubens Hotel is right opposite the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace and minutes away from Victoria station, making it a prime location for sightseeing. Robert and I were really excited to stay, as we had been told that it was a fantastic hotel for families with young children (and we couldn’t wait for a delicious breakfast!)

Checking in to the hotel
Everyone was kind and friendly, and made a big effort to involve the children.

When we checked in, Robert was given a Rubens Passport and other pieces of paper to fill out. He had to write about himself and draw a picture, then get different members of staff to sign it! Robert really enjoyed this, as he enjoyed speaking to the staff. They were all exceptionally friendly, and smiled at me and Robert whenever we walked past; something that really brightened our day and does not usually happen at hotels. At the end of our stay we were given two bags of prizes containing bookmarks, jewellery, notebooks and more for completing the passport. Everything inside was lovely, and it was a nice surprise.

Our rooms were on the fourth floor, and were interconnecting. Upon entrance, we caught sight of some fresh, warm cookies which mum, dad and I devoured in seconds. There was also some delicious fruit and posh water which admittedly took longer to be finished, but were much appreciated. The rooms had large, comfy beds and massive TVs, and the bathrooms had coloured lights! There was just enough space (the rooms weren’t huge), but everything was clean and appealing.

In the room
Robert on one of the beds in our room. They were very soft and comfy!

Robert and I were both given a special kids’ welcome pack, which consisted of lots of puzzle books, a map of London for kids and crayons. Although I had revision to get on with, Robert had fun completing the challenges and creating dot-to-dot pictures.

Puzzle Packs
We were given puzzle packs and maps of London to complete

Dinner was a casual affair out of the hotel, although there was a place to eat inside of the Rubens. Soon, it was time to go to sleep, and I loved how soft our beds were.

We all had a great night’s sleep, and lazily walked down to breakfast the next day. As I expected, the beautiful room was full of fruit, cereal, juice, hot food and – most importantly – pastries. I loaded my plate with blueberry and lemon muffins, pastries with custard in the middle, biscuits and fruit salad, grasped a glass of orange juice and made my way to our table; what a dream! I also enjoyed the mushrooms, hash browns and tomatoes, and was stuffed by the end of the meal. However, I know that mum was disappointed there weren’t any vegetarian sausages on offer.

I gorged on cakes, fruit and biscuits for breakfast!

As Robert is allergic to dairy, soya and eggs, it is usually difficult to find something for him to eat at hotels. However, all of the staff were really kind and friendly, by bringing him special bread, hash browns and porridge. Mum, dad and Robert really appreciated this.

Before we went back to our rooms, we decided to look out of the main window, onto Buckingham Palace. We quickly became confused, as the road was closed off and a small crowd was forming. After about five minutes of waiting, two royal carriages drove past. Someone said that one of the carriages contained Prince Phillip, but we were not sure. Mum and Robert decided to walk around to the front of the palace, where they eventually managed to see Queen Elizabeth II, Camilla and Prince Charles (I kind of regret staying inside the hotel!) Robert has written about what happened here.

The Queen in her carriage
Mum and Rob saw the Queen!

We had one final thing to do before we left the hotel, and Robert and I were really excited about it. We were to take part in the Rubens Pastry Experience, which involved us putting on chef tops and hats, and going down into the kitchens below the hotel. We got to talk to the pastry chef, and found out that he had to create hundreds of pastries a day, which really surprised us. I had never considered how baking could be such a full on job before.

Decorating cupcakes
Robert and I had a great time decorating cupcakes (and eating them after!)

We got to ice chocolate cupcakes (which had been created especially so Robert could eat them) with a green frosting and to decorate them with berries, nuts and physalis – delicious! Next, we dipped strawberries in a special shiny chocolate, and left them to dry. We really enjoyed speaking to the chef and seeing what the hotel looked like from underground, and the food was obviously scrumptious. They made a really big effort with Robert’s dietary needs, and he was really happy with all of the food. We also really liked the certificates they gave us, saying that we had completed the course.

Robert and I were both very disappointed to leave, as we had a fantastic time. Everyone was really friendly to us – they really take notice of kids here – and they tried to make us feel included the whole time. The food was mouth-watering and the rooms were lovely; if only we could go back for another stay…

Disclosure: We were offered a complimentary stay at the Rubens at the Palace, but all our views are very much our own.

A two night family package at The Rubens, based on two interconnecting rooms, costs from £287 per room per night, including breakfast on both mornings, the Master Chef experience, and dinner on one night in the Old Masters restaurant:

The “Kids stay eat for free” option is extended to children under 12, so for a child over 12, the breakfast and dinner are subject to a small supplement, both of which are discounted from menu price. Breakfast would be a £7.50 supplement, and the dinner which would normally be £19.50 would be £12.25.

More fabulous places to stay:

Staying in jail! The House of Correction in Folkingham

A delicious breakfast in Park Lane


45 Responses

  1. Christine

    What a fabulous place to stay and a great location too. My daughter and I would love the pastry experience, I once considered a second career re-training in patisserie but never got around to it!

  2. Michelle

    What a great hotel to stay in – right opposite Buckingham palace? Amazing! I’m glad to read that dietary needs were well catered for (except for mum’s veggie sausages!) and it sounds like it was an all round fun stay!

    • Jess

      It was lovely that they made such a big effort for us; everyone was really kind and friendly!

  3. Sonia

    It looks like an amazing place to stay. Really looks like the kids were well looked after x

  4. Mums do travel

    What a wonderful place to stay, and it’s great that they catered for Robert and his dietary needs. How amazing that he and your Mum saw the Queen!

  5. Rom

    I’ve lived in London for years and I’ve NEVER seen the Queen! How lucky are you?!!

  6. Anne

    Such a wonderful hotel, I’m glad the beds were comfy, most important. They really do cater for the kids with so much to keep them happy. I love the chef experience too.

  7. Liz Burton

    What a fabulous experience! It’s great when hotels are so welcoming for children, we get a bad rap for not being family friendly here.

    Love the look of the chef experience too, that looks a lot of fun.

    • Jess

      Everyone was absolutely lovely, meaning that we had a great time. The cupcakes were delicious!

  8. Rachel

    Wow! Not that is an experience and it is so nice to see something for children in a hotel where they are welcomed x


    I once went for a work meeting in the Rubens – it seemed like a nice place. Great to know they cater for their younger visitors so well! This is a great review, thanks for sharing.

    • Jess

      Thank you very much! The rooms felt so luxurious, and it was a truly great place to stay.

  10. oana79

    Love, love, love the special touches the hotel took the time to add for the children! Sounds like a wonderful place to stay in and be treated like royalty!xx

  11. Anda

    What a lovely place to stay! I’ve been in London only once before but wasn’t so lucky to see the Queen. Why are we so fascinated with celebrities?

  12. Kara

    How exciting to have seen the Queen……would love to see her in real life. The hotel sounds lovely

  13. Lauren @ Justin Plus Lauren

    Thank you for the wonderful review, Jess! And Robert – I hear ya. I’m vegan and don’t eat eggs or dairy, and it can be hard to dine at hotels sometimes, particularly for breakfast! I’m glad they were so accommodating and it looks like you had a fantastic time.

    • Jess

      Thanks for your comment! It can get really confusing with the diary requirements, which is why the Rubens was so kind for sorting it out.

  14. Laura Lynch

    Well that just looks like the funnest experience ever! It’s so nice of the hotel to set up special kid packs and involve you in some great activities. Sounds like you had a really great time there.

  15. Michael Huxley

    I have heard great things about this place and seen it in passing many times, but would love to actually see it. It seems like it accommodates kids and families really well as well!

    • Sarah Ebner

      Yes, I had walked past it too – it’s in such a good location. But we were really pleased to actually go in and stay!

  16. Karilyn

    What a lovely post! I love that it’s written from your daughters perspective. What a fun experience for the family!

  17. Meg Jerrard

    Oh my goodness!!! Seeing Queen Elizabeth pass by would have been amazing for everyone to have seen! Seriously, what an awesome location for a hotel – really can’t get much better than that. And that breakfast looks scrumptious – you’ve made me hungry for a second breakfast this morning :D!

    Sounds like a great stay Jess!

  18. Laura

    It’s so good when a hotel (or any venue) makes an effort to welcome children. It can make such a big difference to your whole experience. This hotel looks like a great place to stay in.

  19. Michele TravelwithMrsT

    We just took a trip to London last year (my first time there) and really enjoyed our stay, though the accommodations at the Rubens look like a great choice for our next visit! I love huge breakfasts, and pastries are my favorites too!

  20. Alejandra

    That hotel knows the meaning of going all out. Its so nice when you feel your taken care of and your individuals need are met. Plus you got to see the Queen (well not you Jess), what an awesome stay!

  21. Robin

    Great job, Jess! I hope you’ll consider writing a hotel review for our site one day!

  22. Cathy (MummyTravels)

    This sounds such a lovely place to stay – what a clever activity idea getting staff involved with the passport, and how lovely that they were all so friendly. And that’s wonderful that they made so much effort to ensure Robert had food to suit his dietary requirements as well, I imagine a lot of hotels might shrug and leave you to sort it out yourself. After living in London for so long, I never really stay in hotels in the capital but this sounds a really fun weekend away without having to go too far away! Thanks for linking up to #citytripping

  23. Wander Mum

    I love the sound of this hotel. What a great idea to do the passports and the pastry-making looks particularly fun. They really welcomed you all. I’m so impressed your brother and mum saw the Queen too! Wow. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

  24. Roberta

    Your posting, Sarah, is just super. When we stayed at the Rubens it was just the two of us, but the service and food were wonderful, most especially the breakfast. I look forward to returning there some day.

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