1 Chelsea insider The best of Chelsea by the people who know
2 2 FOREWORD Foreword by Viscount Chelsea, Chairman, Cadogan Three hundred years ago this year, the eminent physician and collector Sir Hans Sloane bought the Manor of Chelsea a collection of 11 houses, a handful of tenements and 166 acres of what was then countryside and farmland. Today, Chelsea is a thriving and densely populated residential district, an upmarket shopping and dining destination and one of London s iconic urban villages, buzzing with history and culture. It is noted for its style, its friendliness and yes, on occasion its artistic eccentricity. For Cadogan, 2012 is a year of celebration: it is the 300th anniversary of the birth of modern Chelsea, the year of the Olympics and importantly the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. This intimate guide to Chelsea rather more comprehensive than the few pages devoted to the district in most London guides is part of that celebration; an affectionate tribute to the people famous and forgotten who have made Chelsea what it is today. We hope you enjoy browsing through the guide and strolling around Chelsea s streets and squares. There is much to see and experience. And here s to the next 300 years. Publisher: Erik Brown Editor: Lucy Brown Researcher: Alex MacKenzie Design: Adrian Day and Andy Lowe Sponsored by Cadogan. Published in 2012 by Publishing Business Ltd. Cadogan 2012
3 22 WHAT TO DO Music Chelsea insider Introduction 4 History Chelsea 5 Sir Hans Sloane 9 The Cadogans 10 Streets and sights Street by street guide 12 Walks Tours on foot 25 Things to do Art galleries 31 Museums 34 Film and theatre 35 Music 37 Green spaces 39 Sport 40 Spas 42 Events 43 Hotels and apartments Places to stay 48 Food and drink Restaurants 52 Cafés 60 Food stores 61 Pubs, bars and nightlife 62 Shopping Spotlight on shops 68 Sloane directory 73 Useful information Need to know 82 Map 84
4 4 INTRODUCTION Introduction Whether you re a visitor to London or a lifelong resident in the capital, Chelsea has something to offer. With grand buildings, a fascinating history and some of the best shops, sights and restaurants, there s always something to discover. In this guide, we look at Chelsea s evolution, from early settlements to the bustling centre of culture and retail we see today. We meet some of its most significant figures and explain how the focus shifted away from the River Thames and towards the Kings Road. We tell its story, from Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More to the Swinging Sixties to life in Chelsea today. And we get top tips and favourite places from locals who know the area inside-out our Insiders. Chelsea is still evolving today. And so, while we never intended to make this guide comprehensive indeed, it s impossible to do so when writing about busy, living, thriving place because it doesn t stand still we hope that it will give you an insight into how you could spend your time and enjoy the best of what Chelsea has to offer. Explore the past and present with our walking guide, sample a restaurant, listen to some live music or find a hidden gem that only people who really know the area would be able to tell you about. That s what this guide is about. We hope you find it useful and that it helps you discover the secrets and successes of this wonderful place for yourself.
5 5 HISTORY A short history of Chelsea A short history of Chelsea History Sloane Square A powerful past From humble origins as a tiny Thamesside fishing village, Chelsea grew to be a religious centre, an artistic hotspot, and a favourite of the wealthy. We reveal the area s fascinating history, from the Romans to Roman Abramovich Chelsea has had a rich and interesting history, and this is a brief overview of how it developed into today s wealthy, bustling area. For more information on specific streets, places and people, see Streets and Sights Early history There is some limited archaeological evidence of prehistoric activity in Chelsea. Flint and pottery fragments have been unearthed near Chelsea Common and Chelsea Old Church. A Neolithic flint sickle, an oak club or beater dated to BC, and part of a human skull were all found on the Thames foreshore. Chelsea Man, as the prehistoric owner of the skull fragment is now known, died between BC and had been subjected to trepanation, a surgical procedure in which a hole is drilled or scraped through the patient s skull in order to relieve afflictions such as migraine, or in an attempt to treat mental illness. The procedure was not uncommon and would have been performed on a conscious patient, without anaesthetic, with a piece of flint for a surgical tool. A form of the procedure is still practised today to treat patients suffering a build-up of blood around their brains. Chelsea Man survived this ordeal, as we can tell by the bone regrowth around the edges of the hole in the skull, only to die six months later. Roman times Little is known about Chelsea in the Roman period, although pits, ditches, and a timber structure found under the Chelsea Old Church churchyard indicate Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service that there may have been a small rural settlement there. A few metres away, at 6-16 Old Church Street, a pit and a shallow ditch containing third century AD Roman pottery suggests that the area was occupied in some way at the time. It is also possible that Julius Caesar used the low waters in the Chelsea section of the Thames at the time cross it during his invasion of Britain in 54 BC. Anglo-Saxon times A fishing village emerged around the site of Chelsea Old Church during the Anglo- Saxon period, and two large mid-saxon fish traps, originally thought to have been wharves, have been uncovered on the Thames foreshore, giving an insight into The Old Chelsea Bun House by Walter Greaves
6 6 HISTORY A short history of Chelsea Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service the lives of the residents in that period. The first mention of Chelsea cealchythe appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle s AD 785 record as the place where a litigious synod was holden. The Old English word cealc can mean chalk, stone or lime, and hythe translates as landing place. It is possible that Chelsea was a stopping point for boats shipping building materials or lime for fertiliser. Whatever its original purpose, Chelsea became a place of religious and political significance. Between AD 785 and AD 816, at least ten religious synods were held in the area. It is thought that the Mercian kings, who largely ruled what is now the Midlands, kept a residence at Chelsea to in order to deal with the Church and London. The etymology of the nearby hamlet of Kensal derived from cyning holt meaning king s wood also suggests there was a strong royal link. The political importance of Chelsea was still in evidence at the end of the The synod of AD785 as played out at the Chelsea Pageant in 1908 ninth century. Viking attacks had plagued London and the surrounding area from AD 830 onwards. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, there was great slaughter in London in AD Viking ships entered the mouth of the Thames in AD 851 and stormed London and Canterbury, and in AD 871 a large heathen army, which had been in England since AD 866, captured London and wintered there. By AD 898, King Alfred the Great had suppressed the threat from Denmark with a series of victories, concluding the Danish War. He then met with religious and political leaders at Chelsea to discuss the refounding of London. Norman conquest In AD 1086, 20 years after the Norman conquest which brought Anglo-Saxon dominance in England to an end, the Domesday Book recorded that the Manor of Chelsea covering 780 acres of meadow, pastureland and woodland, and with 60 pigs was valued at nine pounds. In the centuries after the Norman conquest, Chelsea remained largely unchanged. The Anglo-Saxon settlement by the river continued to be the focus of the area, and was surrounded by fields of arable land. The Thames retained its importance to the village. Travelling by river was faster and safer than by land, and Chelsea s position on its banks, two and a half miles upriver from Westminster, meant that a boat owner could travel there quickly. This convenience became a draw for the rich and powerful, and from the 13th century onwards, court officials, nobles and kings are said to have used the area. The Black Death Even though the Manor of Chelsea was quite secluded during this period, its proximity to London meant that it was vulnerable to the plague. In the mid-14th Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More By the time Pepys was setting off on his unfortunate journey, Chelsea had already undergone major transformation. In the 16th century, great mansions began to appear and a significant royal endorsement boosted the appeal of the village and its surrounding area. Henry VIII apparently wanted to have a nursery for his children at Chelsea and was said to have wanted to live there following visits to the house of his friend and advisor, Thomas More. When More was executed in 1535, the king received More s house. He neglected it his only recorded visit was in 1538, when he stayed for two days. Henry had built his own manor house on the site of today s Cheyne Walk in 1536, where Princess Elizabeth, Lady Jane Grey and Anne of Cleves lived at various times. Sir Hans Sloane bought the Manor of Chelsea in 1712 (see Sir Hans Sloane). The royal connection meant that Crown properties in Chelsea could be used as residences for members of the royal family and other notables. Henry granted a French Ambassador residence at the house of the late Sir Thomas More for the summer of 1538 so that he could take refuge from the plague, and Thomas Cromwell, the king s closest minister, was in Chelsea at the same time. While the wealthy continued to be drawn to Chelsea, more humble settlers came too. By the mid-17th century, housing demand was predominantly for smaller dwellings, rather than impressive mansions. The statue of Sir Thomas More outside Chelsea Old Church century, the Black Death ravaged London, and the manor of Chelsea along with it. Richard de Heyle, who inhabited the manor house at this time, saw his three children taken by the plague and, destitute, was forced to lease his property to Westminster Abbey for the duration of his life. Later, in 1630, the plague was still a threat to the area, as can be seen in a draft proclamation warning residents not to entertain strangers and risk the spread of the pestilence. On April 9, 1666, Samuel Pepys, thinking to have been merry at Chelsey, found himself and his companions confronted with a house that was shut due to the plague, and turned back to Kensington with great affright. Growth and change Another flashpoint in the development of Chelsea came in the late 1600s. Charles II authorised the construction of the Royal Hospital on December 22, It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and admitted its first in-pensioners in The Royal Hospital brought with it a sudden increase in interest in the area, and construction rapidly increased. The population rose along with the new buildings baptisms in the parish more than doubled between the 1680s and the 1730s. This boom came alongside change in the social make-up of the area. By the early 18th century, the aristocratic presence in Chelsea was declining. While Chelsea could be called a town of palaces in 1724, many of these great seats and houses were being let as boarding schools, and MPs and government officials rather than aristocrats were occupying the new developments around the Royal Hospital. Chelsea Embankment The construction of the Chelsea
7 7 HISTORY A short history of Chelsea A place of pleasure In the 18th century, Chelsea reached its heyday as a riverside pleasure resort. There were many inns and coffee houses, the most popular of which were dotted along the riverbank. A painting by Walter Greaves of the Cross Keys pub shows its proximity to the river. Don Saltero s Museum and Coffee House, famous for its good conversation, would have looked much the same. In 1742, Ranelagh Gardens opened to the public to much fanfare. The politician and author Horace Walpole commented on the gardens' centrepiece, a rotunda amphitheatre with a circumference of 555 feet and a diameter of 150 feet: 'Everybody that loves eating, drinking, staring or crowding, is admitted for twelvepence. Concerts were played there the child prodigy, Mozart, performed there in 1764 and there were fireworks, dancing and balloon ascents. Visitors could wander the gardens while the garden-orchestra provided a soundtrack. By the 1770s, Ranelagh was losing its allure, and despite attempts to revive it, the gardens were eventually closed to the public in Although many inns and coffee houses remained, and the The Chinese House and the Rotunda in Ranelagh Gardens, by Thomas Bowles, 1754 Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service A tournment at Cremorne Gardens famous Bun House was said to have sold 250,000 buns on Good Friday 1829, by 1833 a journalist could write that Chelsea though now proverbial for its dullness, was formerly a place of great gaiety. The opening of Cremorne Gardens to the public in 1846 signalled a revival for the resort, and the crowds began to return to see pony-riding monkeys or to parachute from hot air balloons. But Cremorne gained a reputation as a place where reputable women would not travel alone and men went looking for fistfights, and it never reached the heights of fashion that Ranelagh had. Embankment in 1874 signalled the end for the riverside resort. It was an important protection against flooding and improved sanitation, but the embankment also contributed to the steady northward shift of the village, away from the Old Church Street area where it had begun as an Anglo-Saxon fishing village. A new parish church, St. Luke s, had already been built on Sydney Street in 1824 and King s Road, which had officially become a public road in 1830 it had previously been the King s Private Road became the new heart of Chelsea. The construction of the embankment effectively closed the most famous of Chelsea s riverside inns and coffee houses, and ruined the vistas beloved of artists such as Turner and the Greaves brothers. At the heart of art In the second half of the 19th century, Chelsea gained a reputation as an artistic and bohemian haven. While in previous years artists had been drawn to Chelsea for its picturesque houses and riverside views, its proximity to the West End and the affordability of spaces for artists' studios attracted their descendants, particularly after the construction of the Chelsea Embankment. Pre-Raphaelite artists, such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, with his extensive menagerie of exotic animals, helped establish Chelsea s bohemian culture. Artistic Chelsea was a theme that continued to run into the 20th century. Mass-produced artists studios, which started to appear in the area towards the end of the 19th century and continued being built at the start of the 20th century, allowed a more diverse range of artists on a wider range of incomes to take up residence in the area. By 1921 a census showed that Chelsea had the highest concentration of male artists in London. Working class at the World s End Many Chelsea residents during the first half of the 20th century, however, were neither artists nor wealthy pleasure-seekers, but the lower and working classes, who lived in poverty in decaying properties. Many of these residents lived in the World s End area, and it was not until after the Second World War and the Blitz that the housing situation there began to improve. Cheyne Walk, by T H Shepherd, 1850 The Blitz Because of its central location, Chelsea did not escape Luftwaffe bombardments during the war. The worst attack happened in 1944, when a wing of the Guinness Estate in west Chelsea was destroyed, leaving 86 dead and 111 injured. Sloane Square Underground station was destroyed in November 1940, and five months later Chelsea Old Church was also razed to the ground. But on the whole, Chelsea was left relatively unscathed by German bombs and was described as neither blitzed nor blighted.
8 8 HISTORY A short history of Chelsea Quant and the Swinging Sixties Chelsea s bohemian heritage returned in full force after the Second World War when King s Road became the epicentre of the pop-culture revolution. Fashion icon Mary Quant had opened Bazaar, London s first boutique, at 138a King s Road in November The operation had to be run on a shoestring at first, with Quant making all of her clothes in her studio apartment using fabric bought at retail price from Harrods. She railed against the unattractive, alarming and terrifying, stilted, confined and ugly appearance of adults and developed instead the mini-skirt and hot-pants. Along the road, at Sloane Square, the Royal Court Theatre opened John Osborne s Look Back in Anger in 1956, changing the face of theatre and launching the idea of the angry young man used by the media to describe young British writers, often from working or middle-class backgrounds, who were disillusioned with society. It was a huge contrast to the more traditional, genteel plays that had come before it. Another hot topic in the media was the group that became known as the Chelsea set a crowd of young socialites headed by Quant and her husband Alexander Plunket Greene, including wealthy pleasure-seekers and the talented working class alike. During the day they met at Bazaar, Kiki Byrne s or one of the of coffee houses, and during the evening they convened at the Markham Arms or the Pheasantry before moving on to the house party of choice. The young and the beautiful flocked to parade themselves on King s Road throughout the 1960s as the day-to-day shops disappeared and boutiques, restaurants and cafes moved in to replace them. With the now slightly older generation of rebels with causes, the Quants and Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service Osbornes, forming the heart of the new in scene, girls wearing mini-skirts and bell-bottom trousers mixed with tourists and the media as they all descended on Chelsea. The aim was to be seen, and King s Road became a world-famous catwalk. Hedonism was the order of the day. In 1966, an article in Time magazine likened London to the cheerful, violent, lusty town of William Shakespeare. When the Chelsea Drugstore an American-style complex with space to drink, eat, dance and shop opened in The Chelsea Drugstore 1968, it soon became one of the King s Road s top venues. It appeared in Kubrik s A Clockwork Orange as the Musik Bootick, and was referenced in the Rolling Stones song You Can t Always Get What You Want. Pressure from local residents forced the Drugstore to shut down in The 1970s and punks In the early 1970s, King s Road was a jumble of boutiques, restaurants, cafés, delicatessens, antique shops and junk shops, where the young and eager would Granny Takes a Trip still migrate to shock and be shocked. It was in this setting, in 1971, that Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren opened the first incarnation of their infamous boutique, Let It Rock, and brought about the start of a new counter-culture: the punk movement. Let It Rock reopened in 1974 with a new name and a new sign the word SEX emblazoned above the shop front in PVC. As an extension of this second incarnation of the boutique, McLaren took on the management of a new band the Sex Pistols. They started playing gigs in the autumn of 1975 and took a stand against love and peace, drugs, flared jeans, long hair and beards, along with anything else to do with the 1960s ideology. Instead, they wore ripped T-shirts, ripped jeans, safety pins, black leather, rubber and piercings a look which was recreated, packaged and sold by Westwood and McLaren s boutique, which would become the face of the movement. SEX became Seditionaries, and moved its focus further towards bondage, and the punk movement continued to thrive along King s Road. The Sex Pistols, of course, weren t the only punk band associated with the area and groups like Siouxsie and the The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea The boroughs of Chelsea and Kensington were amalgamated in 1965 despite the best efforts of Chelsea residents when local government boundaries were redrawn and 32 new London boroughs were created. Banshees and Generation X carried on what the Sex Pistols had started. The punks brash lifestyles often landed them in trouble. Weekends would see violence erupt involving punks, Teds (Teddy Boys, who wore bootlace ties and styled their hair into quiffs) and football hooligans, and in July 1977 members of four separate punk bands were involved in separate incidents over the course of a few days. Sloane Rangers Because of their loudness, it s easy to think that Chelsea was completely overrun by punks in the 1970s and early 1980s, but they were very much in the minority. The eastern fringes of Chelsea had long been a seat of more conservative wealth. The fact that, by the 1980s, the term Sloane Ranger had been coined to refer to young upper-class men andwomen shows just how embedded the wealthy were in Chelsea by that time. Property and gentrification Behind these periods of youth counterculture revolution, more conventional forces were driving Chelsea. After the Second World War, a resurgence in the property market meant that
9 9 HISTORY Sir Hans Sloane many Chelsea tenants were left facing either hikes in their rent or eviction. This trend continued with other factors exacerbating the situation: the high proportion of space-hungry institutions in Chelsea such as the Royal Hospital meant less room for housing, and redevelopment led by the council started targeting tenants from higher income groups. Sections of society that had long called Chelsea home, such as the artists, were gradually forced out of the area. The cultural revolutions of the 1960s and 1970s sped up this process through the fashionable appeal that came with them, and by the mid-1980s the gentrification of Chelsea was in full swing. Today, Chelsea still bears the marks of its rich cultural heritage: fashion, art, theatre, music and history combine together to create the diverse area we see now. Chelsea s founding families Two names you see everywhere in Chelsea, from street signs to pubs, are Sloane and Cadogan the families who helped make the area what it is. And it all started with a medical genius who invented hot chocolate... Sir Hans Sloane Sir Hans Sloane is one of the most important figures in Chelsea s past and he is remembered in place names throughout the area, from Sloane Square to Hans Town to the Botanist pub. He was a physician and philanthropist who invented drinking chocolate and gifted the nation such a vast collection of natural specimens, books, coins, manuscripts and artefacts that the British Museum was formed to house them. Chelsea Physic Garden features a statue of Sir Hans Sloane Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service Born in Ireland in 1660, Sloane studied botany at the Chelsea Physic Garden and chemistry at the Apothecaries Hall. He travelled around Europe to learn more about medicine and botany, and passed his Doctorate of Physic in He was friends with botanist John Ray and chemist Robert Boyle (known for Boyle s Law). Sloane quickly became a rising star in the medical field, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1685 at the age of 25 and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in He set off on a voyage to Jamaica as the 2nd Duke of Albemarle s physician and wrote extensive notes about the flora and fauna, local customs and other points he found interesting. He also started collecting samples of plants and animals with a passion. Sloane invented a recipe for drinking chocolate, mixing it with milk rather than water, after encountering cocoa in Jamaica. It was originally sold by apothecaries as a beverage with health-giving properties and by the 19th century, the Cadbury Brothers were selling tins of drinking chocolate. Sloane returned to England in 1689 and set up a medical practice in Bloomsbury a few years later, which was hugely successful. He married Elizabeth Rose, a widow, in 1695, and they had two daughters Sarah and Elizabeth. He was appointed the physician to three different monarchs during his life: Queen Anne in 1696, George I in 1716 and George II in He was knighted in Sloane became president of the College of Physicians in 1719 and succeeded Sir Isaac Newton as president of the Royal Society in He was a socially-minded man and used some of the fortune he made providing medical care to the rich to give free services to the poor. Collecting was an obsession Sloane pursued throughout his life, and he bought the Manor of Chelsea from Charles Cheyne to house and exhibit his growing collections in It also gave him the freehold of the Chelsea Physic Garden, which he supported by leasing it to the Society of Apothecaries in 1722 for 5 a year in perpetuity on the condition that it be forever kept up and maintained as a physic garden and that 50 plant specimens a year were delivered to the Royal Society until 2,000 pressed and mounted species had been received. By 1795, the total had reached 3,700. The peppercorn rent is still paid to Sloane s heirs at the Cadogan Estate by the charity that runs the Chelsea
10 10 HISTORY The Cadogans The 8th Earl Cadogan Physic Garden today. When Sloane retired from his medical practice in 1742, he lived in the Chelsea house that had been built for Henry VIII until his death in 1753 at the age of 92. He was buried at Chelsea Old Church. In his will, Sloane offered his vast collection more than 71,000 natural history specimens, books, coins and medals to the nation for a fraction of its estimated value. He wanted the collection to stay together in London and be used and enjoyed for learning, so he would probably be delighted that it was acquired by Parliament and used to found the British Museum and later the Natural History Museum. When he died, Sloane s property was divided between his two daughters as his wife, Elizabeth, had died 29 years previously, in The Cadogans The name Cadogan comes from the Gaelic word Cadwgan, which means battle-keenness, and the family can trace its history back to Wales. The spelling was anglicised in the 15th century. The foundations for the Cadogan Estate in Chelsea were laid when Charles Cadogan married Elizabeth Sloane, the younger daughter of Sir Hans Sloane, in Charles became the 2nd Baron Oakley when his older brother William died in 1726 and passed the title to him. When Sloane died in 1753, his Chelsea property was left to Elizabeth and her sister, Sarah Stanley. The Manor of Chelsea included 11 houses, 166 acres and a selection of tenements, which were split between the sisters. The 2nd Baron started negotiations with Henry Holland, son-in-law of Lancelot Capability Brown (whom the 2nd Baron had contracted to landscape his estate at Caversham Park, near Reading) for a lease on 90 acres of land that would become Hans Town. The development was postponed because of the death of the 2nd Baron and the war with America, but the lease was granted by Charles Sloane Cadogan, the son of the 2nd Baron, in 1777 (see Hans Town in Sights and Streets). Charles Sloane was made Viscount Chelsea and Earl Cadogan in 1800 because he had been a supporter of Pitt s government, despite being a Whig politician. His grandfather, William Cadogan, had also held the title but this was a new creation, so Charles became in effect the second 1st Earl Cadogan. He completed the agreement with Henry Holland and sold the Caversham estate. General William Cadogan, the 1st Earl Cadogan Holland created Sloane Street, Hans Place and Sloane Square, laying the foundations for today s Chelsea. In 1821, the whole of the Manor of Chelsea came under the ownership of the Cadogan family because they were the closest surviving relatives to the heirs of Sarah Stanley, Sir Hans Sloane s other daughter. The next stage of the Cadogan Estate s development was led by the 5th Earl Cadogan, George Henry Cadogan ( ). He went to school with the Prince of Wales and became lifelong friends with the future King Edward VII. The 5th Earl was Under Secretary of War under Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Under Secretary for the Colonies, Lord Privy Seal in Lord Salisbury s cabinet and the Viceroy of Ireland. He was also a Chelsea councillor and its first Mayor. He commissioned William Young to build a new home for the family, and Chelsea House was completed in 1874, close to where the Jumeirah Carlton Tower stands today. As the leases on the buildings in Hans Town came to an end, the Cadogan and Hans Place Estate Co. pioneered the Pont Street Dutch style when it redeveloped the area. Most of the estate was redeveloped between 1877 and Holy Trinity Church was built with financial assistance from the 5th Earl. The 7th Earl was a military man, in the tradition of the family, and the last Mayor of Chelsea before it was incorporated with the Royal Borough of Kensington. He died in 1997, aged 83, when the title passed to Charles Gerald John Cadogan, the current Earl Cadogan. Today the Earl Cadogan is Life President of Cadogan Group Limited, the holding company for the UK property investment business of his family, which is owned by both charitable and family trusts. The Cadogan family and Cadogan as a company are active in keeping Chelsea moving forward as well as preserving its past, from building the shopping success story Duke of York Square to providing funding for a new organ at Holy Trinity Church.
11 11 INSIDER Memories of the King s Road The Insider s Guide to memories of the King s Road 1950s My first memory of Chelsea was spending time in the family business, then a rather Victorian drapery store selling everything from household linens, furnishing fabrics and haberdashery to hats, gloves and gowns. The staff, mostly women who were dressed in black with white collars and cuffs, were like family, and quite a few really were relatives. In 1953, aged six, I remember hanging out of the window of 52 King's Road watching the Queen and Prince Philip riding by our shop (then called Sidney Smith) opposite the Duke of York s HQ in an open-top car, with all the staff of local shops among others waving and cheering. 1960s-1970s I hung out, occasionally dropped out and worked in various jobs including the shop at the weekends. The King s Road was the catwalk for the fashion subcultures of youth denim and leather, beads and embroidery, prints and PVC, all tailored to the mood of the moment. By Hazel Smith, member of a century-old King's Road family business, currently trading as the King s Road Sporting Club. Chair of the King s Road Trade Association, ex-flower child, ex-policewoman, ex-professional scuba diver, ex-maker of suede and leather made-to-measure clothes and belts, international business consultant and writer There were mods and rockers, flower children and hippies, skinheads and punks. At one point, the pavement outside the Duke of York s HQ was strewn with youths with jagged paintwork on their faces, hair stuck up in coloured spikes, tattooed knuckles and wearing ripped clothes with silver studs punks. One of them, Dave, whose frizzed-up afro hair was black on one side and red on the other, soon began to organise them. If a tourist looked as if they were trying to take a photo, he would go up to them and suggest a pose (for which he got paid). If any of his mates turned up with a less-than-perfect look a floppy mohican, for instance he would send them packing. On September 20, 1973, an IRA bomb went off at about 1am in the ground floor garage of the Duke of York barracks across the road from my flat. I was reading in bed and was sucked out onto the floor. I looked out of the window, saw what I thought were flames of my burning building being reflected in the windows opposite, and evacuated my flatmates. We arrived in the street to find that it was the now-windowless barracks burning, and there were some injured people who needed help. About eight bombs went off in hearing distance of my flat. The first caused great concern. By the eighth, we looked at one another and shrugged our shoulders if we had time to do that, then it hadn t hit us! During this period I worked as a Special Constable in Chelsea. On one occasion, I was involved in the arrest of about 90 skinheads, who had been fighting outside the Chelsea Potter pub. It was bedlam in Chelsea Police Station as we processed all those arrested, and there were a few children in the melee. I heard one eight-year-old tell another: If you don t leave me alone, I ll tear your safety pin out. The pin in question was through the nose. A few weeks later, one of the guys I had processed came into the shop and tried to chat me up. He kept saying he knew me and I kept on telling him he didn t. Finally, exasperated, I told him where we had met he turned very pale and backed out of the shop. 1970s-1990s This was the era of the King s Road custom car cruise. Every Saturday, the road would be full of noise and smoke as the most fabulous customised cars, lovingly turned out in all their unique designs and splashes of shining colours, would vroom and sometimes rattle and jump up and down the road. A sight to behold and mostly missed the traffic today would mean they would stand in one place a lot longer present I enjoy sitting in a café (formerly Blushes, now Caffé Concerto) people-watching. For most of the past two decades, it has been with my friend Branko Bokun, the author, who I assisted with writing his last three (of 30) books, notably his memoirs, The Nomadic Humorist. The people who stopped and talked to us came from all walks of life and from around the world. I grew up and live in a street strewn with familiar faces, from royals to music and movie stars, entrepreneurs, politicians and world leaders, much as it is today. It is sometimes hard to remember whether one knows the person or just recognises their face from the media. I have loved and love every bit of it, it s my home and place of work. One thing is for sure when I want to see someone or they want to meet me, I have no problem suggesting they come to me rather than I go to them. In the words of my lovely late mentor, Branko: Why go anywhere when you have arrived?
12 12 STREETS & SIGHTS Stellar streets Streets and sights There s history around every corner in Chelsea, and you can still stroll past the houses where personalities including Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde and Mick Jagger lived, worked and in Mick s case partied. Here we explore some of Chelsea s notable streets and sights. For a general overview, see History, page 5 Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service Anderson Street Karl Marx ( ) lived with his wife and children at 4 Anderson Street in 1849, but was evicted for not paying the rent and moved to the German Hotel in Leicester Square, and later Dean Street in Soho. Beaufort Street Sir Thomas More, advisor to Henry VIII, bought more than 20 acres of land on the site of what is now Beaufort Street in the 1520s and built a house there. He was the first of several prominent figures to build large properties in the area, including Henry himself, who decided Chelsea would be a fitting place for his children to grow up (see Cheyne Walk). Left: Beaufort House. Below: Thomas More More became Henry's Lord Chancellor in He initially supported the king s annulment of his marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, but when Henry moved to declare himself Supreme Head of the Church in England and dissolve the monasteries, he resigned. More s downfall came when he refused to take an oath swearing allegiance to the Act of Succession in 1534, which named Henry s daughter Elizabeth (by Anne Boleyn) the legitimate heir to the throne and declared Mary, his daughter from his first marriage, illegitimate. It acknowledged the break from the Pope s authority over the Church of England, which More refused to accept. More was arrested, charged with high treason and was executed in Five years later, More's Chelsea home was demolished and, in 1566, Beaufort Street was built on part of the site. (See Chelsea Old Church for more about Sir Thomas More). Bywater Street John Le Carré s fictional spy, George Smiley, lived at 9 Bywater Street, a little cul-de-sac off the King s Road, with houses painted in lovely pastel colours. Cadogan Place William Wilberforce ( ), the politician, philanthropist and leader of the movement to abolish slavery, died at 44 Cadogan Place. Actress Dorothy Bland ( ), also known as Mrs Jordan, lived at 30 Cadogan Place. She never married, so Mrs Jordan was a name she took to seem more respectable on stage. She became the mistress of William, Duke
13 13 STREETS & SIGHTS of Clarence, later King William IV, and had at least ten illegitimate children with him. Cadogan Square Novelist Arnold Bennett ( ), who wrote The Old Wives' Tale and Anna of the Five Towns, lived at 75 Cadogan Square. Carlyle Square Dame Sybil Thorndike ( ), the famous actress and wife of actor and theatre director Sir Lewis Casson, lived at 6 Carlyle Square. George Bernard Shaw wrote the play Saint Joan with her in mind for the title role, which she performed at the London premiere in The production was a huge success. Her remains are buried in Westminster Abbey. Chelsea Barracks The 12.8-acre Chelsea Barracks site was a former British army barracks which had been closed to the public for more than 150 years. The Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, via its subsidiary Project Blue Ltd, won planning permission from Westminster City Council in June 2011 to redevelop the land. The masterplan went through a 21- month consultation process and will see the area turned into a residential neighbourhood in a landscaped setting, featuring houses, apartments, local convenience shops, restaurants, a multipurpose community and cultural centre, a public sports and fitness facility and a medical centre. The development will also feature five acres of new streets and gardens, and around a third of the residential units will qualify as affordable housing. The architects behind the successful plans are Dixon Jones, Squire and Partners and Kim Wilkie Associates. The planning permission was granted two years after Prince Charles intervened over a previous design, after which the planning application was withdrawn. Chelsea Park Gardens Artist and Royal Academy president Sir Alfred Munnings ( ), best known for his paintings of horses and his criticism of Modernism, lived at 96 Chelsea Park Gardens. However, the plaque to mark this fact is on the side of the building, in Beaufort Street. Chelsea Reach and Chelsea Yacht and Boat Company The Chelsea Yacht and Boat Company, established in 1935, owns the residential houseboat moorings that stretch between Battersea Bridge and Lots Road, close to Cheyne Walk. Celebrities including Laurence Olivier and Nick Cave have owned houseboats there and the community is tight-knit and bohemian. The Chelsea Reach Residents Association which represents 59 boat owners, with high-profile members Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service Chelsea Embankment Chelsea Embankment was built to improve the sewer and drainage system in the area, protect it from floods and provide a thoroughfare. It changed the look of the riverside and some streets were lost in the process, including some of the scenes painted by Turner and other artists. Joseph Bazalgette s design for the embankment was completed in 1874 as part of the Metropolitan Board of Works plans to combat the days of the Great Stink, when the smell of raw sewage in the Thames became unbearable in the hot summer of Gardens were planted to soften the look of the new embankment (see Green Spaces). George Frederick Samuel Robinson ( ), 1st Marquess of Ripon and Viceroy of India, lived at 9 Chelsea Embankment. He was born at 10 Downing Street, the son of Prime Minister Frederick John Robinson. Despite his father being a Tory, he was a Whig and a Liberal, serving in the cabinet and as Leader of the House of Lords. He pushed for more legal rights for native Indians while he was Viceroy of India. Chelsea Reach houseboats including artist Damien Hirst and YO! Sushi founder Simon Woodroffe are trying to buy the Chelsea Yacht and Boat Company after it was put up for sale in Cheyne Walk Named after one of Chelsea s first landlords, Cheyne Walk has been home to a roll call of famous people. Henry VIII s manor house was on the site of today s Cheyne Walk. He built the Manor of Chelsea in 1536, and residents included Princess Elizabeth, Lady Jane Grey and Anne of Cleves at various times. In 1655, Charles Cheyne married Jane Cavendish, a wealthy lady whose family owned land in London. With her dowry, he was able to buy Henry VIII s former manor house, which the couple modernised and renamed Chelsea Place. When Charles died in 1698, their son William inherited the property and Sir Hans Sloane bought it in Number 6 Cheyne Walk was home to Italian physician Dr Dominiceti in 1795, who built a series of baths and claimed that bathing in them would cure any illness. Dr Samuel Johnson was not impressed and said there was nothing at all in his boasted system. Civil engineer Sir Marc Isambard Brunel ( ) and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel ( ), who worked together on the first tunnel under the Thames, lived at number 98 from 1808 until One of the greatest English landscape painters, Joseph Mallord William Turner ( ), lived at 119 Cheyne Walk in his old age until his death. He was inspired by the view of the river from his Chelsea home and had a balcony built so he could see it better. Mallord Street is named after him. The Pre-Raphaelite poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti ( )
14 14 STREETS & SIGHTS lived at number 16 for 20 years from 1862, and kept a menagerie of animals there, including armadillos, kangaroos and peacocks much to his neighbours distress. He was particularly fond of wombats, which he described as a joy, a triumph, a delight, a madness. He even lamented the death of one in a pen drawing and a verse: I never reared a young wombat, to glad me with his pin-hole eye, But when he was most sweet and fat, And tail-less he was sure to die a parody of Irish poet Thomas Moore s Lalla Rookh. Algernon Charles Swinburne and George Meredith also lived with him at the house at various times. Victorian author George Eliot ( ), who wrote novels including Middlemarch, Daniel Deronda, Silas Marner and The Mill on the Floss, moved into number 4 with her new husband in She died there later that year of a kidney infection. She used a male pen name rather than her own name, Mary Anne Evans, because she thought it would help her work to be taken more seriously. The American artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler ( ) lived at Henry VIII s Chelsea manor house Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service several addresses in Chelsea including 96 Cheyne Walk, where a plaque bears his name. He was known for his wit and was friends with Oscar Wilde. A sculpture of Whistler by Nicholas Dimbleby stands on Cheyne Walk near Battersea Bridge, at a point affectionately known as Whistler s Reach. He signed his works with a butterfly image and painted scenes around the area, including Nocturne: Blue and Gold Old Battersea Bridge, and Nocturne in Black and Gold The Falling Rocket (see Art). Number 10 housed one of the 20th century s key politicians, David Lloyd George ( ) the only Welsh prime minister and the last Liberal to hold the office. He was PM between 1916 and 1922, and was one of the big three (along with France s Georges Clemenceau and US President Woodrow Wilson) who finalised the Treaty of Versailles, signed in June 1919, that ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers after the First World War. Scottish sculptor John Tweed ( ), known for statues including Lord Kitchener at Horse Guards Parade, the peers war memorial at the House of Lords and Joseph Chamberlain in Westminster Abbey, lived at 108 Cheyne Walk. Poet, essayist and historian Hilaire Belloc ( ) moved to 104 Cheyne Walk in 1900 and lived there for five years. He worked closely with the writer GK Chesterton, leading George Bernard Shaw to call their partnership Chesterbelloc - a name that stuck. The house had previously been occupied by artist Walter Greaves ( ), who lived there from and painted the river extensively. Mathematician, logician and philosopher Bertrand Russell ( ), lived at several Chelsea addresses including 14 Cheyne Walk. He wrote the landmark maths tome Principia Mathematica with Alfred Whitehead, who lived at 17 Carlyle Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service Square, while living in Chelsea. Women s rights campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst ( ) lived at number 120. She was the daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the Women s Social and Political Union, and, like some of her fellow suffragettes, endured imprisonment and force-feeding for her cause to try to win rights for women and be treated as equals to men. Carlyle Mansions, on the corner of Lawrence Street and Cheyne Walk, was home to several wordsmiths, earning it the nickname the Writers Block. Residents in the flats through the years included Henry James, TS Eliot, Somerset Maugham and Ian Fleming, among others. Sir Jacob Epstein, the sculptor who created the memorial to Oscar Wilde that stands in Paris s Père Lachaise cemetery, lived at 72 Cheyne Walk. The site of his studio, which he used between 1909 and 1914, was bombed in 1941 and is now known as Roper s Garden. Other residents of Cheyne Walk have included composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, artists William Holman Hunt and Philip Wilson Steer, designer and architect Charles Robert Ashbee and Rolling Stones members Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. George Eliot s house on Cheyne Walk, by W Burgess Cheyne Row Artist William De Morgan ( ) lived at 30 Cheyne Row and 127 Old Church Street. He worked with William Morris and is best known for his glazed pottery, but he also painted and designed stained glass, and wrote a novel that became a best-seller in Margaret Damer Dawson ( ), the founder of the Women s Police Service, is remembered in a plaque at number 10 Cheyne Row. The organisation started out as the Women s Police Volunteers when the First World War began in 1914, paving the way for women to enter the police service. Danvers Street Sir Alexander Fleming ( ), discoverer of penicillin, lived at 20a Danvers Street. Draycott Avenue Pioneering plastic surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe ( ), who helped airmen who had been badly burned in the Second World War, lived at Flat 14 in Avenue Court. Draycott Place John Rushworth Jellicoe ( ), 1st Earl Jellicoe and Admiral of the Fleet, lived at 25 Draycott Place. He commanded the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in the First World War, and there is a bust of him in Trafalgar Square. Duke of York Square Duke of York Square has become such a part of Chelsea that it s now difficult to imagine the King s Road without it. It used to be the Duke of York s army barracks, which had been inaccessible to the public for 200 years, and before that had been a school, the Duke of York s Royal Military Asylum, set up in 1802.
15 15 STREETS & SIGHTS Cadogan bought the site from the Ministry of Defence in 1999 and began a 120 million development which included 100,000 sq ft of shops, cafés, offices and flats. Architects Paul David & Partners worked with English Heritage to make sure the new buildings complemented the historic ones around them, and work began in April The area was landscaped by Elizabeth Banks Associates and was designed to create a haven from the bustle of the King s Road, with pale stone, fountains and shrubs. It was the first new public square in central London for more than a century. The development was opened by HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, on March 19, A sculpture of children playing commemorates the school that stood on the site, and a statue of Sir Hans Sloane links it to both Chelsea and Cadogan s past. Today, Duke of York Square features the Saatchi Gallery and a variety of fashion, beauty and food shops, as well as restaurants and cafés. There are regular events, including the Saturday Farmers' Market, the annual BADA Antiques & Fine Art Fair and concerts. For more, visit Elm Park Gardens Labour politician Sir Stafford Cripps ( ) was born at 32 Elm Park Gardens. He served in several posts in the wartime coalition in the Second World War and was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1947 to Entertainer and writer Joyce Grenfell OBE ( ) lived in Flat 8 at 34 Elm Park Gardens between 1957 and She is best known for her onewoman shows and monologues, including her role as a nursery teacher with the catchphrase: George don t do that. She had also lived in the King s Road and St Leonard s Terrace. Duke of York Square opening King s Road The King s Road started life as just that the King s private road. It was built by Charles II in the 17th century as a route from Whitehall to Hampton Court. Because not everyone could use the thoroughfare, Chelsea was based more around the riverside. However, locals were allowed to use the road, and when George I looked set to take away this right, Sir Hans Sloane and the local rector organised a petition and saved the custom. It remained closed to the general public only those with a special token could pass until 1830, when it was opened to everyone, helping to invigorate the area. The King s Road s reputation as a fashion hub and key scene in the Swinging Sixties really began with the opening of Mary Quant s shop Bazaar in She railed against traditional fashion and launched cutting-edge designs including mini-skirts and plastic raincoats. Iconic boutiques such as Granny Takes a Trip, Hung on You and the Chelsea Drugstore complex also sprung up in the King s Road. The road was the epicentre of punk culture in the 1970s, as a new era swept away the idealism of the 1960s. Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren opened their shop, Let It Rock, at 430 King s Road in It reopened as SEX in 1974 and changed its focus to S&M-inspired anti-fashion that challenged the establishment. McLaren had been helping a band called the Strand soon to be known as the Sex Pistols and spotted John Lydon, who auditioned at SEX and became the band s lead singer, Johnny Rotten. McLaren managed the band and The Pheasantry on the King s Road helped them gain notoriety. In the 1980s, the King s Road became known for Sloane Rangers, after the publication of Ann Barr and Peter York s Official Sloane Ranger Handbook in Sloanes was a term for the caricature of the young, upper or upper-middle class men and women often seen on the road. Today the King s Road is known for its shopping, nightlife and history (for more on the history of the King s Road, see History). Thomas Arne ( ), the composer of Rule, Britannia!, lived at 215 King s Road. He also wrote music for concerts at Ranelagh Gardens. His son, Michael, who was also a composer, had a passion for alchemy and built a laboratory in Chelsea, where eventually his obsession destroyed his finances. Actress Ellen Terry ( ), one of the great beauties of her time, also lived at 215 King s Road. She was one of the era s leading actresses and appeared at Chelsea s Royal Court Theatre. Her first marriage was to the artist George Frederic Watts, who was much older, and she features in several of his paintings. Although they separated after less than a year, she wasn t divorced from him until much later making her relationship with architect Edward William Godwin, with whom she had children, something of a scandal. John McKean Brydon's Chelsea Old Town Hall was finished in The front of the building, seen from the King s Road, was added 30 years later by Leonard Stokes. The building hosts events and has beautiful rooms available for hire, including for civil marriage ceremonies and receptions. It also houses the Chelsea Library. Thomas Crapper had a bathroom fittings showroom at 120 King s Road. Contrary to myth, he didn t invent the flush toilet, but he did help to popularise it and developed several important inventions, such as the floating ballcock. The Six Bells pub on the King's Road was a favourite of artists including Whistler. It is now Henry J Bean s (see Pubs, bars and nightlife). The Glaciarium, the first mechanically frozen ice rink, opened just off the King s Road in 1876 and moved to a permanent venue on the street the next year. Australian-born pianist, composer and arranger Percy Grainger ( ) lived at 31 King s Road. He is best known for his piano arrangement of the folk tune Country Gardens, which he is
16 16 STREETS & SIGHTS said to have detested. Much of his work was experimental. The Pheasantry at 152 King s Road is a Chelsea landmark with a long history as a hub for creative artists including dancers, actors, writers and musicians. The building s name comes from its earlier use as a site to breed pheasants. Ballet dancer Princess Seraphine Astafieva ( ) lived and taught there from She was a relative of Tolstoy and her pupils included Margot Fonteyn and Alicia Markova. The basement housed a club and restaurant from the 1930s up until the mid-1960s and it counted Dylan Thomas, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Gregory Peck and Peter Ustinov among its members. Eric Clapton lived on the top floor in the late 1960s, and the Pheasantry also hosted early UK gigs by Lou Reed, Queen and Hawkwind. The building now houses a Pizza Express, which carries on the tradition by continuing to host live music. The Markham Arms pub at 138 King s Road was frequented by East End crime figures the Kray twins in the 1950s. The bow-fronted building is now a bank. The Chelsea Drugstore mentioned in the Rolling Stones You Can t Always Get What You Want and featured in Stanley Kubrick s A Clockwork Orange as the Musik Bootick opened in It was a trendy, American-style complex based on Le Drugstore in Paris, with spaces to eat, drink, dance and shop, and had a very modern glass and aluminium look. It was open 16 hours a day, seven days a week, and even offered a flying squad delivery service, where girls on motorcycles would deliver purchases. It closed in 1971 after pressure from local residents, and although a pale imitation opened later, it failed to revive the glory days. The site is now a McDonald s. Christian the Lion was a real lion that lived in a basement flat on the King s Road. He was bought as a cub from Harrods pet department by John Rendall and Ace Bourke in 1969, and visited restaurants and exercised in the grounds of the Moravian church on the King s Road. But he was growing fast, and Rendall and Bourke worked with Born Free stars Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna and conservationist George Adamson to return Christian to the wild. He was released in Kenya in 1971 and the footage of the emotional reunion with his former owners when they visited a year later has since become a YouTube hit. Ian Fleming s iconic fictional spy James Bond lived in a unnamed square off the King s Road. Lawrence Street Porcelain was manufactured in Chelsea in a house in Lawrence Street, established around It was known for high-quality tableware and figures, and was run by craftsmen including former silversmith Nicholas Sprimont and later Chelsea Methodist Church With its striking blue and gold front, Chelsea Methodist Church might catch your eye amid the shops on the King s Road. The church and pastoral centre run a variety of different activities for young and old throughout the week and the building is also the hub of West London Churches Homeless Concern, a separate charity. Methodists started meeting in Chelsea in a local woman s house in the 18th century, where the movement's founder, John Wesley, preached to them several times. As the movement grew, they first rented rooms in Ranelagh Gardens, then leased and converted a slaughterhouse in the Sloane Street area and had a purpose-built chapel in Sloane Square (now the site of the Royal Court Theatre) in the early 19th century. Their second chapel was in Sloane Terrace, on the present site of Cadogan Hall. They built here on the King s Road in 1903, but a bomb destroyed the sanctuary in 1941, and the whole site was redeveloped in The new design created 21 flats for the elderly and sanctuaries designed by Bernard Lamb, including the narthex (welcoming area) in front of the church s main sanctuary. Today, the upstairs hall is used by community groups, play sessions and classes, and office space on the top floors is rented out to charities. The narthex welcomes everyone, from the homeless to people who just need to see a friendly face (9-4pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays). The church also takes part in the winter night shelter for the homeless run by West London Churches Homeless Concern. It is open every day for prayer and there are services from 11am on Sundays, with a diverse congregation. 155a King s Road, SW3 5TX. T:
17 17 STREETS & SIGHTS Chelsea Old Church Chelsea Old Church is on the corner of Old Church Street and Chelsea Embankment. There has probably been a church on this site ever since Christianity came to England, and it used to be the parish church of the village of Chelsea before it was part of London. The building before it was bombed during the Second World War dated from the 13th century, and consisted of the chancel, north and south chapels and the later nave and tower (dating from 1670). The chapels were private property and the north one, the Lawrence Chapel, belonged to the Lord of the Manor of Chelsea. The south chapel was rebuilt in 1528 as Sir Thomas More s private chapel. The date appears on one of the capitals of the pillars leading to the chancel, said to have been designed by Holbein. The church was almost completely destroyed when it was heavily bombed in 1941 and a painstaking period of rebuilding and restoration followed, led by the architect Walter Godfrey. The More Chapel suffered the least damage and was extended and reopened in The chancel and Lawrence Chapel were restored and were rededicated in May 1954 and the entire church was reconsecrated in May 1958 by the Lord Bishop of London, in the presence of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. It is still on the original foundations. The More Chapel was brought back into use for weekday services in July Chelsea Old Church features many important monuments commemorating some of the people who have worshipped there. They were damaged in the Second World War, but were mostly saved and restored. These include the monument to Sir Thomas More against the south wall of the sanctuary, with an inscription composed by More in tribute to his first wife and wishing that he and his second wife should be buried in the same tomb. It s a matter of debate where More s final resting place was after he was executed in A tomb in the south-east corner of the More Chapel remembers Jane Dudley, the Duchess of Northumberland, who was the mother of Elizabeth I s favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. On the north side of the nave, Lady Jane Cheyne, daughter of the Duke of Newcastle and a benefactor of the church and Chelsea, is remembered in a 1669 memorial by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. These are just a few of the church s monuments. Sir Hans Sloane is buried in Chelsea Old Church and a monument was erected in his honour on the north wall of the chancery, paid for by the Friends of the British Museum and unveiled by Earl Cadogan, a descendent of Hans Sloane. Chelsea Old Church is Anglican and part of the Church of England s Diocese of London. The church hall is the nearby Petyt Hall, which can be hired. There are regular services and the church is also open Tuesday to Thursday from 2pm-4pm. For more information, telephone or visit oldchurch.org.uk. by Derby porcelain factory owner William Duesbury. It closed around For The Cross Keys, see Pubs and Bars. Novelist and poet Tobias Smollett ( ), best known for The Adventures of Roderick Random and The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, lived at 16 Lawrence Street and also lived in part of the same house as the porcelain factory from 1750 to Lennox Gardens Polish statesman and diplomat Count Edward Raczynski ( ) lived at 8 Lennox Gardens from He was the Polish ambassador to the League of Nations and became the ambassador of the Republic of Poland in the UK. He signed the Anglo-Polish alliance that led Britain to declare war on Germany after Hitler s aggression towards Poland, and was his country's president-in-exile from Mallord Street Mallord Street is named after Joseph Mallord William Turner. Painter and etcher Augustus John ( ) lived at 28 Mallord Street in a house modelled on Rembrandt s studio in Amsterdam, designed for him by Dutch architect Robert van t Hoff. He later lived at 33 Tite Street. AA Milne ( ), author of Winnie-the-Pooh, lived at 13 Mallord Street. Oakley Gardens Novelist George Gissing ( ) lived at 33 Oakley Gardens from 1882 to Oakley Street Lady Jane Francesca Wilde ( ), Oscar Wilde's mother, lived at 87 Oakley Street from 1887 to 1896.
18 18 STREETS & SIGHTS She was an Irish poet, who wrote under the pen name Speranza. Captain Robert Falcon Scott ( ), also known as Scott of the Antarctic, an explorer who led two expeditions to the South Pole, lived at 56 Oakley Street. He led a small team to reach the pole in January 1912, only to discover that a rival Norwegian team had beaten them to it by five weeks. Scott and his team all perished on the return journey, despite the unwell Captain Lawrence Oates famously sacrificing himself by walking out of the tent into a blizzard to give his team-mates a better chance of survival. David and Angie Bowie lived at 89 Oakley Street from 1973 to 74. Old Church Street John F Sartorius (c.1775-c.1830), best known for his sporting paintings, especially of horses, lived at 155 Old Church Street from University professor, Church of England priest and author Charles Kingsley ( ), best known for writing The Water-Babies, lived at 56 Old Church Street. His father was Chelsea s parish rector from Ceramic artist and novelist William De Morgan ( ) and his wife Evelyn ( ) lived and died at 127 Old Church Street. He was friends with William Morris and designed tiles, stained glass and furniture for Morris & Co, while Evelyn was a Pre-Raphaelite painter. Sound Techniques, an independent recording studio, was at 46a Old Church Street from , and was used by artists including Nick Drake, Pink Floyd, the Who and the Yardbirds. Former Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark ( ) died from a drug overdose at his home at 44 Old Church Street, aged 30. Royal Hospital Chelsea Pont Street Sir George Alexander ( ) lived at 57 Pont Street. He was actormanager of St James s Theatre and produced several major plays, including Oscar Wilde s Lady Windermere s Fan and The Second Mrs Tanqueray by Sir Arthur Wing Pinero. Wilde s The Importance of Being Earnest premiered at the theatre in February 1895, with Alexander himself Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service The Flying Man One of the most colourful stories from Chelsea s past is that of the flying man. Vincent de Groof, a Belgian with a dream of making a flying machine that imitated a bird s wings, planned a public demonstration of his invention at Cremorne Gardens in He had already successfully trialled his flying apparatus at the gardens, and claimed he could fly through the air for 500 feet. On a fateful July evening, the crowds gathered to watch him make his descent. His invention, made of cane and silk and similar to a bat s wings, had levers to control it and he planned to swoop down from a balloon. The balloon lifted de Groof and his machine high into the air, about feet, but he seemed to lose his nerve and ask for the balloon to be lowered to he could make his flight from nearer the ground. According to newspaper reports at the time, as the balloon drifted towards St Luke s Church, the balloonist was heard to tell de Groof to cut himself loose or he would land on the church roof. De Groof cut the rope when he was 80 feet from the ground, hoping to land in the churchyard, but his wings didn t inflate and he plummeted into Robert Street (now Sydney Street). He never regained consciousness and in the role of Mr John Worthing, JP. The Marquess of Queensberry, who would eventually bring about Wilde s downfall (see Oscar Wilde under Tite Street), intended to disrupt the premiere, but Alexander and Wilde were tipped off and prevented him from attending. Wilde s conviction for gross indecency in May 1895 led to the play being closed, despite its success. died shortly after at Chelsea Infirmary. His wife reportedly fainted at the sight of the crash and the flying machine was carried off in shreds by the crowd before the police could secure it. The balloon soared away over Victoria Park and was apparently watched with interest by many people, unaware of its role in the tragedy. Actress Lillie Langtry ( ) lived at 21 Pont Street (see The Cadogan in Hotels). Royal Hospital Road The Royal Hospital Chelsea is a beautiful, grand Grade I-listed 17thcentury buildings, mostly built by Sir Christopher Wren, with three large courtyards and well-kept grounds. The main courtyard, Figure Court, features an Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service
19 19 STREETS & SIGHTS impressive statue of Charles II, which was regilded in 2002 for the Queen s Golden Jubilee. The Chelsea Pensioners themselves are immediately recognisable in their scarlet uniforms, and there are tours by Chelsea Pensioner guides (see Museums). The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the South Grounds of the hospital since There are events, such as concerts, held at the hospital and certain rooms can be hired for functions or weddings. The Royal Hospital was established under Charles II, who issued a Royal Warrant in 1681 authorising its building to provide for the welfare of old or disabled soldiers. Sir Christopher Wren, Surveyor-General of Works to Charles II, was commissioned to design it and Sir Stephen Fox, former Paymaster General to the Army and Commissioner of the Treasury, secured the funds with some difficulty. Despite delays and problems with funding, building work was finally completed in 1692 and in February the same year, the first in-pensioners were admitted. The hospital includes the Long Wards, which contains the pensioners living quarters, the State Apartments, the Wren Chapel, the Great Hall and the Octagon. The berths in the Long Wards, where the pensioners sleep, were extended in and again in 1991 to their present size of 9 x 9ft. The Royal Hospital was funded by deductions from army pay and got occasional boosts from other sources in its early days, but since 1847 it has been supported by Government grant-in-aid, legacies, donations and unclaimed shares of money from the Army Prize Fund. Today it is still supported by grant-in-aid but major projects and non-routine maintenance are funded by private donations. It is home to between 300 and 350 veteran soldiers who have surrendered their military pension to the Treasury in return for accommodation, food, uniform clothing and medical care. The Great Hall, where the pensioners eat, is an impressive space and features a number of artworks, including a mural painting by Antonio Verrio and Henry Cooke of Charles II on horseback, dating from around 1690, which was restored in One of the hospital s real gems is the Wren Chapel. It has a high ceiling, great acoustics and a mural of the Resurrection by Sebastiano Ricci, dating from The first televised church service in Britain was broadcast from the chapel in Chelsea pensioner tour guides The Octagon, which links the chapel and the Great Hall, supports the cupola and rises to 130ft. The Royal Coat of Arms over the north entrance originally came from the Royal Hospital at Kilmainham, Dublin, which closed in The striking statue of a Chelsea Pensioner by Philip Jackson was erected in front of the Octagon in 2000 to mark the new millennium. Sir John Soane added a new infirmary building on the site of today s National Army Museum in 1809, but it was demolished after being bombed in 1941, during the Second World War. Parts of Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service St Luke s and Christ Church St Luke s Church St Luke s on Sydney Street and Christ Church off Flood Street are treated as the same parish. St Luke s, designed by James Savage, was consecrated in 1824 and was built because Chelsea Old Church had become too small for the rising population. Christ Church, designed by Edward Blore, was consecrated in 1839, originally as a chapel of ease for St Luke s. St Luke s is regarded as one of the first neo- Gothic churches in London. Charles Dickens married Catherine Hogarth at St Luke s on April 2, 1836, two days after the first part of The Pickwick Papers was published. Other famous figures connected with the church include The Water-Babies author Charles Kingsley, whose father was the rector of the parish from ; John Goss, who wrote the hymn Praise My Soul the King of Heaven; and John Ireland, who wrote the tune for My Song is Love Unknown. Goss and Ireland were organists at the church. The nave is 60ft high, thought to be the tallest of any parish church in London, and the tower is 142ft tall. The east window covers more than 500 sq ft and was designed by Hugh Easton. It features emblems of the saints and was installed in 1959 to replace a window destroyed in the Second World War. Behind the altar, a painting by James Northcote ( ) shows the taking of Christ from the cross, and two modern sculptures by Stephen Cox either side of the high altar depict Adam and Eve at the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. The ten bells in the tower were cast at Whitechapel when the church was built and are still rung. The organ at St Luke s was built by John Compton in 1932 and includes some of the original 1824 instrument. It was the prototype for the organs at Broadcasting House and Downside Abbey. The PPFA Chapel on the south side of the church is used for prayer and is a memorial chapel to the Punjab Frontier Force, based in India from 1847 to There are other memorials to locals at St Luke s, including Lt Col Henry Cadogan and Luke Thomas Flood. The labyrinth of crypts under the church is now used as offices, and the burial ground has been a public garden since 1881 (see Green Spaces). Christ Church is smaller than St Luke s and was designed as a church for the working class. It was funded by the Hydman family trust and cost much less than St Luke s, the idea being to cater for the maximum number of people for the minimum cost. It was extended over the years, with adornments added as the social make-up of the area changed. The organ and pulpit were rescued from churches that were being demolished. Christ Church established a boys school soon after its consecration at rented property in Flood Street. It accepted girls from 1843, when land was donated by Lord Cadogan and new schools were built. Today, it is a Church of England primary school. Christ Church rejoined St Luke s in 1986 to form the Parish of Chelsea: St Luke and Christ Church. Each church is managed separately. For more information, telephone or visit
20 20 STREETS & SIGHTS the hospital were also damaged by bombs in 1918, rebuilt in 1923 and destroyed again by a V2 rocket in The Margaret Thatcher Infirmary with its 125 en suite bedrooms, built by Quinlan Terry, was opened in 2009 to provide state-of-the-art care. The creation of the Chelsea Embankment resulted in the loss of Wren s original formal gardens, and the Royal Hospital has lost and gained land over the years. Today, the grounds cover 66 acres. The Chelsea Pensioners Appeal, a registered charity, is campaigning to raise 30 million to update the living accommodation in the Long Wards, which are already being refurbished, hoping to change wooden cubicle berths and shared bathrooms into modern en-suite study bedrooms. (For more information about visiting the Royal Hospital Chelsea, see Museums and Green Spaces.) For the National Army Museum, see Museums. For the Chelsea Physic Garden, see Green Spaces. For Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Foxtrot Oscar, see Restaurants. Sloane Square Sloane Square was part of the 1771 Hans Town development designed by Henry Holland and his son, also called Henry, and named after Sir Hans Sloane (see Hans Town panel on page 23). In those days, it had a small green in the centre and Blandel Bridge crossed the River Westbourne in the eastern corner. The bridge was known as 'the bloody bridge because it was a notorious spot for highwaymen, muggings and murders. Many of the premises in this area were utilitarian in nature at first. By the 19th century, roads had sprung up to connect the surrounding streets. Sloane Square station opened in 1868 (see Sloane Square Station) and Peter Jones was created when draper Peter Rees Jones opened shops at the top end of King's Road, redeveloping them as a single building in the 1880s (see Peter Jones in Shopping). The building that houses the Royal Court Theatre was built in 1888 (see Royal Court Theatre in Theatre). The Venus Fountain at the centre of the square is Grade II-listed and was sculpted by Gilbert Ledward. It was installed in 1953 and shows a kneeling Venus pouring water from a conch shell, while the basin depicts Charles II and his mistress, actress Nell Gwyn. Several proposals to redevelop the square have been put forward in recent years. A public consultation was held in 2007 about changes to the road layout, including a plan to create a crossroads. However, the plans were not popular and a renovation of the square was carried out instead. Sloane Square Station Sloane Square Station serves the District and Circle Underground lines and is on the south-eastern corner of the Square, next to the Royal Court Theatre. The station was opened in 1868 as part of the District line. The River Westbourne, one of London s lost rivers, flows above the tracks in a pipe on its way from its source at Hampstead Heath to the Thames at Chelsea Hospital. The station was rebuilt in the late 1930s but it was heavily bombed in the Second World War. In November 1940, bombs fell on the station causing the roof to collapse while a train was at the platform, killing or seriously injuring 79 people. Another tragedy at the station was the death of Peter Llewelyn Davies, the inspiration for JM Barrie s Peter Pan, who committed suicide on the tracks. The station is usually decked with Holy Trinity Sloane Square Despite being known as Holy Trinity Sloane Square, this church is actually on Sloane Street. One of London s most beautiful buildings, it was built in 1888 by John Dando Sedding, an architect inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, which promoted skilled, hand-crafted work as a reaction to industrialisation. The church was described by poet John Betjeman as the cathedral of the Arts and Crafts movement, featuring works by William Morris, Edward Burne-Jones and Christopher Whall, among others. The roof was destroyed by incendiary bombs during the Blitz, but the church was restored by the 1960s. The beautiful stained-glass windows, made by William Morris & Co, Sir William Blake Richmond and Christopher Whall, have been returned to their former glory and are once again a showcase for the Arts and Crafts style. Music is very important at Holy Trinity Sedding himself was an organist, so the church was designed with a huge organ chamber more than 40ft high. The Sunday morning services include music and there are often concerts held at the church. The restoration of the organ began in July 2011, funded by the Cadogan family and Cadogan Estates Ltd. The original was built by James John Walker and completed in It has been modified and repaired many times since then, including an unfortunate incident in 1967 when a member of staff fell into the second largest pipe while replacing glue on the joints (he survived). The rebuilt organ, which will have a completely new structure and mechanism while retaining most of the historic pipework, is expected to be completed in late summer Made by Harrison & Harrison organ builders, it will have 4,200 pipes, ranging from three-quarters of an inch to 32 feet. For more information, telephone or visit
21 21 STREETS & SIGHTS plants when the RHS Chelsea Flower Show (see Events) is running. Sloane Street Jane Austen stayed with her brother at 64 Sloane Street (see Hans Town panel on page 23). Statesman and author Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke ( ) lived at 16 Sloane Street. He had been tipped as a future prime minister, but a high-profile divorce case in which he was cited as the seducer of an MP s young wife, ruined his career. He spent much of his life trying to clear his name. Actor and theatre manager Sir Herbert Tree ( ) lived at 76 Sloane Street, where a plaque now marks the fact. Tree changed his surname from Beerbohm so it was easier for audiences to call for an encore. He managed the Haymarket Theatre and helped fund the rebuilding of Her Majesty s Theatre (then known as His Majesty s Theatre), which he later managed. He also played Henry Higgins in the premiere of Pygmalion there. He also founded the famous Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1904, and was knighted for his contributions to theatre. Swan Walk Swan Walk was named after The Swan, a pub visited by Samuel Pepys and mentioned in his diaries. It was the original finishing place of the Doggett s Coat and Badge Race. The Doggett s Coat and Badge Race is a rowing race for the young Freemen of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen along the River Thames from London Bridge to Chelsea. The race is four miles and seven furlongs long, and in recent years has included women. The Watermen and Lightermen still work the Thames the Watermen are concerned with passenger transport, and the Lightermen with the carriage of goods. The race was founded in 1715 by Thomas Doggett actor, comedian and manager of Drury Lane Theatre and until 1873 was rowed against the tide. The prize is a scarlet coat, breeches and a silver badge, based on the original costume of 18th-century Watermen. It is still run each year, but the finishing point is now Cadogan Pier. Mary Astell ( ), a pioneering feminist writer, lived on Swan Walk. Elizabeth Blackwell ( ) lived at 4 Swan Walk. She was a botanical illustrator who recorded many of the unusual plants in the Chelsea Physic Garden, a career she turned to after her doctor husband, Alexander, ended up in a debtor s prison. St Leonard s Terrace Bram Stoker ( ), author of Dracula, lived at 18 St Leonard s Terrace. Oscar Wilde Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service Tite Street Tite Street runs down from Redburn Street to Royal Hospital Road and is best known for being the home of Oscar Wilde. It was named after William Tite, an architect who was a member of the Metropolitan Board of Works, which was largely responsible for the creation of Chelsea Embankment. The numbers have changed over the years and today s numbers are given here (for example, 34 Tite Street was known as number 16 when Wilde lived there). Landscape and portrait painter John Singer Sargent ( ) lived at 31 Tite Street. Henry James, who lived in nearby Carlyle Mansions, was one of his sitters. Irish writer, poet and wit Oscar Wilde ( ) lived in Tite Street, first at number 44 and then at today s number 34 after he married Constance Lloyd in They had two sons, Cyril (1885) and Vyvyan (1886). The house was transformed by Edward William Godwin, who had also designed a house in the street for James Abbott McNeill Whistler although Whistler never got to enjoy it because of his costly libel action (see Art). Many of Wilde s greatest successes happened while he lived here, including the publication of his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891) and the staging of Lady Windermere s Fan (1892) and A Woman of No Importance (1893). Salomé, which he wrote in French, was refused a licence by the Lord Chamberlain s Office and was first performed in 1896 in Paris. In 1895, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest were staged, but at the height of his fame, Wilde sued the Marquess of Queensberry, the father of his lover Lord Alfred Douglas, for libel over an insulting note that read For Oscar Wilde, posing somdomite [sic]. It was a disastrous decision the evidence that the case unearthed led to Wilde being arrested for gross indecency with men (see The Cadogan in Hotels for more about Wilde s arrest). He was eventually convicted and sent to prison, sentenced to two years of hard labour. By chance, the judge who decided his fate also lived in Tite Street. After Wilde was released in 1897, he fled to Paris and died there in His remains lie in the Père Lachaise cemetery. Constance Wilde changed her and her sons surname to Holland after Wilde s conviction. The composer Peter Warlock (a pseudonym of Philip Arnold Heseltine, ), lived at 30 Tite Street. Tedworth Square Samuel Clemens ( ), better known by his pen name Mark Twain, lived at 23 Tedworth Square in He wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Upper Cheyne Row Journalist and poet Leigh Hunt ( ) lived at 22 Upper Cheyne Row. He was a Chelsea resident from 1833 and published poets including Keats and Shelley in his weekly periodical The Examiner. However, it landed him in prison after he printed an insulting description of the Prince Regent.
22 22 INSIDER Buildings & architecture The Insider s Guide to buildings and architecture By Hugh Seaborn, chief executive of Cadogan, which represents extensive Cadogan family land holdings in Chelsea. These date back to 1712, when Sir Hans Sloane purchased the Manor of Chelsea and Charles, 2nd Baron Cadogan, subsequently married his daughter Elizabeth Sloane in 1717 Duke of York Square Peter Jones, Sloane Square I would start at the top of Peter Jones, enjoying a coffee while drinking in the view from its picture windows. On the way in, wonder at the statement made by the building, built in the 1930s on an impressive scale. Look at its size compared to everything around it. The confidence it conveys is reflected in the pioneering use of curtain walling. This is where the John Lewis workers cooperative began. Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace A two-minute walk away in Sloane Terrace is the hidden gem of Cadogan Hall. This concert hall, open to the public, was converted with great sensitivity from a Church of Christ, Scientist. It was originally built by Robert Chisholm in two sections, and was finished in Above all, look at the windows, which were designed by Baron von Rosenkrantz with beautiful, rich colours. Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street On the way back, walking south on Cadogan Hall Sloane Street, you will pass the Holy Trinity Church designed by John Sedding, where you can marvel at the peace just off this busy shopping street, and again drink in the stained glass windows with the light behind them. Duke of York Square, King s Road From here it is less than five minutes to the Duke of York Square, opposite Peter Jones. There is much to see, but I would start with the Saatchi Gallery, which was originally a home for soldiers children built in the first years of the 19th century by John Sanders. The connection with children continues today as you will frequently see children from Hill House School on the playing fields in front of the gallery. The buildings were so well converted by Paul Davis and Partners that it feels as though it was designed for its present use. Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road No visit to Chelsea for someone interested in buildings is complete until you have enjoyed the Royal Hospital, designed by Christopher Wren in the late 17th century. It is extraordinary that these wonderful buildings are still used for the same purpose they were designed for, more than 300 years ago. The Chelsea Pensioners add to the dignity and elegance in their smart, scarlet uniforms. Cadogan Square Finally, if you have the energy left, I would suggest taking a walk around Cadogan Square and look at the variety of gables. Imagine the confidence of the Victorians building these mansions for their successful merchants in place of the small Georgian houses that had been there for 100 years previously. Number 52 on the west side of the square may particularly catch your eye. It was designed in 1885 by Sir Ernest George and is rich in the styles of the Flemish and German Renaissance. It is a private house, so you cannot go in, but the external details alone justify the visit.
23 23 STREETS & SIGHTS Hans Town The area of Chelsea that was known as Hans Town has been frequented by many remarkable characters, including authors Jane Austen, Lady Caroline Lamb and Mary Mitford. Henry Holland the builder and his son, Henry Holland the architect, put forward plans in 1771 to develop 89 acres of fields and market gardens between Knightsbridge in the north and Blacklands what is now Turks Row, behind the Saatchi Gallery in the south. It was an ambitious scheme. To put it in perspective, the 2 billion regeneration of King s Cross which is destined to deliver 2,000 homes, 500,000 sq ft of retail and 3.4 million sq ft of offices, covers only 67 acres. The Holland scheme known as Hans Town after Sir Hans Sloane, whose heirs owned the land became the model for many new towns in central London during the building boom in the 18th and 19th centuries. Work on Hans Town began in 1777, and by 1790, spacious three-storey Georgian terraces lined the west side of Sloane Street and flowed into Hans Place, Hans Street and Hans Crescent. The buildings had been let on 99-year leases and when the leases came to an end, the Cadogan Estate launched a redevelopment programme in a style that art critic, author and cartoonist Osbert Lancaster described as Pont Street Dutch. The red-brick buildings, with their large windows, ornamentation and gables, are instantly recognisable. Sloane Place Henry Holland the architect built himself a mansion south of Hans Place, set in three acres, and had moved in by Pont Street Dutch gables Originally called Sloane Place, it became known as the Pavilion because the front of the house was built as a model for the Brighton Pavilion, with a Doric column colonnade. The south of the mansion looked over landscapes designed by Capability Brown, Holland s father-in-law and partner. The gardens featured a Gothic icehouse and a faux ruined priory, created using stones from the demolished home of Cardinal Wolsey. The Pavilion was demolished during the 19th-century redevelopment, but is commemorated in the name of Pavilion Road. Cadogan Square was laid out in part of the gardens. 22 Hans Place 22 Hans Place was a school in 1978, attended by Lady Caroline Lamb, novel- ist Mary Russell Mitford and journalist, poet and novelist Letitia Landon, who was known by her initials, LEL. Lady Caroline Lamb ( ) married the future prime minister, the 2nd Viscount Melbourne, and is best known for her affair with Lord Byron. She famously described Byron as, mad, bad and dangerous to know. Mary Mitford ( ), who wrote Our Village, was a friend of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and had plays produced in Covent Garden. Letitia Landon ( ) had her first poem published in the Literary Gazette when she was 18, and went on to become its chief reviewer. Her poetry was popular but her reputation suffered after rumours began to circulate that she had given birth to secret children something her fiancé John Foster did not help with when he investigated to see if it was true. She broke off the engagement and married the governor of the Gold Coast in Africa in 1838, leaving Britain behind. Two months after she arrived in Africa, she was found dead with a bottle of prussic acid in her hand. After redevelopment, 22 Hans Place became the headquarters of the Irish Treaty delegation. It was decided there on December 5, 1921, that the delegates would recommend the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which ended the Irish War of Independence, to the Dáil Éireann. 23 Hans Place Jane Austen s brother Henry lived in a house at 64 Sloane Street in 1811 and Jane visited him in the spring, just before Sense and Sensibility was published. But two years later, his wife had died and he had moved to rooms above his bank in Covent Garden. In 1813, he moved to 23 Hans Place and Jane stayed with him several times before he became ill in 1815.
24 24 INSIDER Favourite places The Insider s Guide to favourite places By Michael Hoppen, owner of the Michael Hoppen Gallery in Jubilee Place. He is a leading photography dealer and his recent exhibitions have included works by legendary fashion photographer Guy Bourdin and the first European solo show from Japanese photographer Hisaji Hara. Michael is the son of Stephanie Hoppen, whose gallery is in Walton Street, and the brother of interior designer Kelly Hoppen St Luke s, Sydney Street I have always loved St Luke s church. It s beautifully maintained, close to my gallery, and the gardens are always a good place to reflect. A refuge. 606 Club, 90 Lots Road 606 still makes my feet tap whenever I go. Chelsea Physic Garden, Royal Hospital Road The Chelsea Physic Garden is an amazing place to wander. So much history and so many beautiful, small things to look at. Chelsea Arts Club, 143 Old Church Street A long lunch at the Chelsea Arts Club is a perfect way to spend an afternoon in Chelsea. Fetter Lane Moravian Church, 381 King s Road My secret green space is the Moravian gardens down at World s End. I remember seeing the lion cub exercise there when I was a small boy growing up around Chelsea in the 1960s (see Christian the lion, page 16, in Streets and Sights). Phat Phuc Noodle Bar, 151 Sydney Street The best Vietnamese noodles in town. The Pig s Ear, 35 Old Church Street This pub has a great atmosphere for when the Arts Club is too busy. The King s Road I have so many memories of the King s Road as I grew up here from the early 1960s. I remember the Stones concert in Hyde Park when all the hippies came down the King s Road walking to the park. There was a couple who painted their bodies with flowers and walked naked up the street. My eyes were on stalks! Cocomaya, Unit 10, 186 Pavilion Road A wonderful café behind Peter Jones the best coffee in Chelsea bar none.
25 25 WALKS Wander of wonders Don t miss any of Chelsea s treasures with these walking tours of the area s unmissable sights Chelsea is a small enough place for you to see a lot on foot, but big enough that there is plenty to see. Even within a few streets, the atmosphere and architecture can be vastly different. We have planned three walks to show you some of the best sights and hidden gems in the area. How long they take to walk is up to you the estimated times given here are purely for the routes on foot. Make sure you give yourself extra time for any shopping, eating or visiting attractions. Sloane Square to Knightsbridge
26 26 WALKS Sloane Square to Knightsbridge Time: 45mins Sights include: Holy Trinity Sloane Square, Hans Town, Harrods and Harvey Nichols. This walk takes you from Sloane Square Tube station to Knightsbridge Tube station, covering a bit of history and some of the area s iconic shops. Start at Sloane Square Tube station. Cross over the road towards Hugo Boss. Continue past Hugo Boss and walk up to the traffic lights. Turn right and cross over to the middle of Sloane Square q itself [see page 20 for more details]. Have a look at the fountain, which usually has pennies in it where visitors have made a wish. Continue over Sloane Square and cross the pedestrian crossing to Sloane Street, which has Tiffany & Co. on the left-hand corner, followed by Cartier. Walk up Sloane Street and you will see Holy Trinity Sloane Square w on your right, an impressive Arts & Crafts building with striped brickwork [see page 20]. Notice the carving over the door and the ornate window. Continue up Sloane Street. Insider Cassandra Goad s shop e is immediately after the church [see pages 67, 69, 80]. Just before you reach Jo Malone, turn right into Sloane Terrace to see Cadogan Hall r [see page 37]. There is a carving over the stage door, a remnant from the building s former life as the First Church of Christ, Scientist. Return to Sloane Street and turn right to continue up it, past Jo Malone. Turn right down Ellis Street (just after the Paule Ka shop). There is a charming little row of shops here, including Lulu Guinness t [see pages 70, 76]. Walk to the end of Ellis Street and turn left into D Oyley Street. On the corner of D Oyley Street and Cadogan Gate, there are a couple of white metal bollards marked Hans Town Turn left into Cadogan Gate, with Cadogan Place Gardens on your right, to return to Sloane Street. There are some Barclays Cycle Hire bicycles here, known colloquially as Boris Bikes after Mayor of London Boris Johnson, a prominent supporter of the scheme [see page 83]. At the end of Cadogan Gate, turn right and continue up Sloane Street. Cadogan Place Gardens y is one of Chelsea s many private gardens and is residentsonly, but you can peek over the railings to see what the people who live here enjoy. Cross over to the other side of Sloane Street to walk on the left-hand side of the road. After a few minutes walk, you ll see blue plaques to actor Sir Herbert Tree and politician Sir Charles Dilke [see page 21] on your left, at number 76. u Continue up Sloane Street and you will see the Cadogan hotel i [see page 49] on the left, where Oscar Wilde was famously arrested. Sloane Street meets Pont Street here. Look down Pont Street to the left to see Great Taste at the Cadogan [see page 54], formerly Langtry s, where there is a blue plaque marking it as the former home of legendary actress Lillie Langtry. Look right to see a green hut o on Pont Street one of the charity-funded cabmen s shelters, which are scattered around London. They have been a food and respite stop for cabbies since 1875 and were conceived by the Earl of Shaftesbury as a way for cab drivers to have a hot meal and a cup of tea without leaving their cabs unattended. Cross over Pont Street to continue up Sloane Street. Just before the the Embassy of Iceland, turn left into Hans Street and walk towards the green trees at the end. This is Hans Place, with a private garden in the middle and great examples of Pont Street Dutch architecture [see page 23]. Walk around Hans Place clockwise. Number 22 a has had an interesting past, including being a 19th-century school and the headquarters of the Irish Treaty delegation in At number 23 s you can see a blue plaque marking the London home of Jane Austen. Continue around Hans Place until you reach Hans Road. If you look down Hans Road, you can see Harrods, d with its beautiful detailing and iconic green canopies [see page 68]. Visit it if you like, and then to continue the walk, return to Hans Place via Hans Road. Continue walking around Hans Place until you reach Herbert Crescent. There s another white bollard on the corner, marked St Luke Chelsea Walk down Herbert Crescent and head for the big, white house at the end, which is on Hans Crescent, and then turn right down Hans Crescent to return to Sloane Street. You should be able to see Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino and Yves St Laurent on Sloane Street ahead of you. Turn left to continue up Sloane Street, where there are a whole range of designer shops, including Chanel, Bulgari, Hermès, Fendi, Versace, Jimmy Choo and Dior. Continue to the end of Sloane Street until you reach the junction with Brompton Road. Harvey Nichols f [see page 69] is on your right at the end of Sloane Street, with an entrance for Knightsbridge Tube station in front of it.
27 27 WALKS Chelsea Old and new Chelsea Old and new Time: 1 hour Sights include: Royal Hospital Chelsea, the National Army Museum, Tite Street and Duke of York Square/Saatchi Gallery. This walk shows you some of Chelsea s historic sights and takes you through to Duke of York Square, a recently-built development that has proved a huge success. Start at Sloane Square Tube station. Cross over the road towards Hugo Boss. Continue past Hugo Boss and walk up to the traffic lights. At the traffic lights just after Hugo Boss, turn left into Lower Sloane Street. Walk down Lower Sloane Street. Look out for the dragon on top of the Pont Street Dutch-style building at number 44. q You can see the Sloane Club at number 52. Walk past the shops and the Rose and Crown pub and continue towards the trees at the end of Lower Sloane Street. The Chelsea Barracks site w [see page 13] is on the other side of the road, next to Chelsea Bridge Road. Turn right into Royal Hospital Road and cross over to walk on the left-hand side of the street. The Royal Hospital Chelsea s Margaret Thatcher Infirmary e is on your left. When you reach London Gate, turn left to go into the grounds. There s a painted statue of a Chelsea Pensioner on a bench, and the café, museum and souvenir shop are on the left as you walk down. The State Apartments are on the right. Walk down to the trees at the end and go through Garden Gate. The peaceful Ranelagh Gardens r [see pages 39, 46] are on the left, which you can explore if you wish. When you want to continue the walk, retrace your steps back out of the grounds to Royal Hospital Road. Continue down Royal Hospital Road and pause at Chapel Gate to see the Royal Hospital Chelsea t from the front [see pages 18, 35]. If you want to explore further, Light Horse Court, Figure Court, College Court and the Chapel are open Monday-Saturday 10am-12pm, and 2pm-4pm, and the Great Hall is open Monday-Saturday 11am-12pm and 2pm-4pm. (For reception and enquiries, go to Chelsea Gate, further up Royal Hospital Road). Continue along Royal Hospital Road. After passing the Royal Hospital Chelsea, you will see the National Army Museum y on the left [see page 34]. Visit if you like, and to continue the walk, return to Royal Hospital Road. Keep walking along Royal Hospital Road and cross over Tite Street, which we will return to later. You will see some shops on your left, including Foxtrot Oscar u [see page 55]. Further down Royal Hospital Road is Restaurant Gordon Ramsay i [see page 57]. When you reach Swan Walk, you will see a blue plaque with information about Chelsea Physic Garden o [see page 39]. Turn left down Swan Walk and the entrance to the garden is on the right. Visit if you like, and return to Swan Walk to continue the walk. Continue down Swan Walk to Chelsea Embankment [see page 13] and turn left. Walk down the Embankment and look out for the blue plaque on Turner s Reach House, a number 9, marking the home of George Frederick Samuel Robinson, Marquess of Ripon and
28 28 WALKS Viceroy of India. Continue walking along Chelsea Embankment and turn left into Tite Street. Walk down Tite Street, looking out for a stone plaque on the right marking John Singer Sargent s house at number 31 s. Continue down Tite Street, looking out on the left for blue plaques to Lord Haden-Guest at number 38, Oscar Wilde s house at number 34and Peter Warlock at number 30 d [see page 21]. Keep walking down Tite Street, crossing over Royal Hospital Road and Christchurch Street, until you reach Tedworth Square, where the trees are, at the end of Tite Street. Turn right and see the blue plaque marking the house on the corner as Mark Twain s house f [see page 21]. Walk to the end of the block and turn left, walking past the green square with it on your left, until you reach the northeast corner of the square. Turn right onto St Leonard s Terrace, and walk down, crossing straight over the junction with Smith Street and Durham Place, with Burton Court on your right. Look out for the white house on the left with the blue plaque Bram Stoker s house g [see page 21]. St Leonard s Terrace was also the home of Alex Rider in the film Stormbreaker [see page 36]. Turn left into Royal Avenue, which has a gravel section in the middle with lines of trees on either side. There is a plaque explaining the history of Royal Avenue, which was laid out by Sir Christopher Wren, on the side of the house on the right-hand side of the avenue. Further up on the opposite side of Royal Avenue, there is a blue plaque to film director Joseph Losey at number 29 h. Continue to the end of Royal Avenue to the King s Road. The McDonald s on the left side of the junction between Royal Avenue and the King s Road used to be the Chelsea Drugstore j [see pages 15, 36] and was a film location for A Clockwork Orange. Turn right on the King s Road and walk up towards Duke of York Square, k which is on the right after Jigsaw. Walk into Duke of York Square [see page 14], where there is a statue of Sir Hans Sloane [see page 9]. The Saatchi Gallery is on your right as you face the statue [see page 33]. You can either finish your walk here, visiting the Saatchi Gallery and exploring Duke of York Square, or make your way back to the King s Road and turn right to walk back up to Sloane Square Tube station. Historic Chelsea and Chelsea Green Time: Part one (50 minutes), part two (20 minutes), whole walk (1 hour 25 minutes, including walking between the two parts). Sights include: Cheyne Walk, Old Church Street, Chelsea Old Church and Chelsea Green. This walk takes you through some of Chelsea s most historic streets and into Chelsea Green. It is a fairly long walk, so you can either do the whole walk or split it into two parts. The first part covers Cheyne Walk and Chelsea Old Church, while the second includes Chelsea Farmers Market, St Luke s and Chelsea Green. Part one Start on the King s Road at the top of Flood Street, which is opposite the purple Trafalgar pub and is about 15 minutes walk from Sloane Square Tube station. Turn left down Flood Street, which is named after Luke Thomas Flood, who performed many charitable works in Chelsea. There is a memorial to him at St Luke s Church, which appears in the second part of this walk. Walk to the end of Flood Street, looking down Robinson Street (on the left about three-quarters of the way down) to see Christ Church, q which is linked to St Luke s Church [see page 19]. Continue to the end of Flood Street and turn right into Cheyne Walk. This beautiful street has been home to many famous people, although not all of their former homes have blue plaques for a detailed list, see Streets and Sights, page Walk down Cheyne Walk. At number 4, there is a blue plaque marking it as George Eliot s house w [see page 14]. Tudor House, e which was home to Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Algernon Charles Swinburne, is at number 16 and has a blue plaque [see page 13]. There s a little passageway called Cheyne Mews on the right just before the junction look out for the plaque on the wall about Henry VIII s manor house. You can see down Cheyne Mews to the trees at the end, and there s also a little sign just under the arch, reminding drivers to walk their horses. Cheyne Walk is split by a junction, which you need to cross to continue down Cheyne Walk. Cross over Oakley Street, towards the Mercedes-Benz showroom. In front of the showroom is a statue, Boy With a Dolphin r by David Wynne. Continue past the showroom and continue down Cheyne Walk. When you reach Cheyne Row [see page 14], which runs off Cheyne Walk to the right just before the Cheyne Walk Brasserie [see page 54], step into the gardens on the left to see a statue of Thomas Carlyle. t Go back out of the gardens and walk down Cheyne Row to see Carlyle s House y at number 24 [see page 35]. It is a National Trust property and you can visit it at this point if you wish. Continue to the end of Cheyne Row and turn left down Upper Cheyne Row to reach Lawrence Street. There s a blue plaque at number 16 u noting this street s past as a site of the famous Chelsea China pottery, and that author Tobias Smollett lived in part of the same building. Turn left down Lawrence Street and
29 29 WALK Historic Chelsea and Chelsea Green look down a picturesque little street called Justice Walk. Continue down Lawrence Street past the Cross Keys pub i [see page 64]. It closed in May 2012, but you can still admire its quirky decorative exterior. At the end of the street, Carlyle Mansions o [see page 14] is on the left. Notice the white mouldings. Turn right, back onto Cheyne Walk, and walk to the end, where you can see Chelsea Old Church a [see page 17]. There s a statue of Sir Thomas More in the gardens to the left of the church, and the large stone memorial to Sir Hans Sloane in the church grounds, by the gate marked Petyt Hall. Continue around the church to the beginning of Old Church Street. You can see the front of the church here, with Roper s Garden s [see page 40] on your left. Walk up Old Church Street. The Pig s Ear pub [see page 65] is on the left, and just after that on the opposite side of the road is a yellow house (number 46) with some tiles painted with pretty country scenes. Look down the driveway next to it to see a building with a large cow s head on the front. Continue up Old Church Street. Manolo Blahnik [see page 70] is on the left. Walk to the end of the street to return to the King s Road. This forms a natural break in the walk, so you can either finish your walk here, or continue to part two of the walk by turning right to walk up the King s Road towards Sydney Street. If you continue the walk here, look out for Henry J Bean s d [see page 64] on the right as you walk up the King s Road. It s an old pub that used to be the Six Bells, a favourite of Whistler s. Dovehouse Green f [see page 40] is opposite it, on your left. Continue up to Sydney Street, just before Heal s furniture shop. Part two If you are continuing the walk from part one, turn left off the King s Road into Sydney Street. If you are starting the walk here, start at the top of Sydney Street, where it meets the King s Road. Walk down Sydney Street. On the left is Chelsea Farmers Market, g which isn t really a farmers market but rather a collection of huts containing interesting shops and restaurants, including the Chelsea Gardener. Have a look around the market if you like, and then return to Sydney Street and continue walking. Spare a thought for the unfortunate Flying Man [see page 18] as you walk along Sydney Street towards St Luke s h [see page 19]. Walk past the church grounds and the sports facilities and turn right onto Cale Street. Walk up Cale Street past the church, passing Insider Tom Aikens s [see page 30] Tom s Kitchen j [see page 58] on the right. This is the area known as Chelsea Green, k although the green itself is tiny today. There are lots of charming shops and boutiques here, from the Chelsea Fishmonger to Jane Asher Sugarcraft. It has a village feel that is quite different from the bustle of the King s Road. Continue walking until you reach the triangle of shops surrounding Chelsea Green. The tiny green has some benches and is a pleasant place to sit. Turn right down Jubilee Place, a pretty street that will take you back to the King s Road. Look out for Insider Michael Hoppen s gallery l [see pages 24, 33] as you approach the King s Road. When you reach the King s Road, look right to see the Chelsea Potter pub ; [see page 64]. You can either end your walk with a well-deserved drink in there, or turn left to walk back up the King s Road to Sloane Square Tube station.
30 30 INSIDER Favourite places The Insider s Guide to favourite places By Tom Aikens, one of Britain s leading chefs. After working in Michelin-starred restaurants including La Tante Claire and Pied à Terre, he opened his own restaurant, Tom Aikens, in Chelsea s Elystan Street in He won its Michelin star in His second Chelsea restaurant, Tom s Kitchen, opened in Cale Street in (For more on Tom Aikens restaurants, see Restaurants) The Chelsea Fishmonger, 10 Cale Street This is the freshest and best fish in Chelsea. It comes direct from the south coast and Billingsgate Market. They always have a wide range of line-caught fish and sustainable produce, which is very important to me. Dri Dri, Chelsea Farmers Market, Sydney Street This ice cream shop is fairly new to Chelsea. The recipes are Italian-based and you'll find delicious favourite flavours like frozen yoghurt, pistachio, strawberry and caramel. They are served in cups, cones or large freezer packs to take away, which I like. old and new objects. A great place to find something unique. Haynes Hanson & Clark, 7 Elystan Street Haynes Hanson & Clark is a thriving, independent wine merchant in Chelsea and has another shop in Gloucestershire. They have a great range of wines and I believe they deliver all over the UK. Aubaine, Brompton Road If I have time to take a little break in the afternoon, I love nothing more than grabbing a coffee and treat from Aubaine. It s particularly nice in the summer on the terrace. Felt, 13 Cale Street Felt stocks contemporary jewellery, featuring beautiful pieces by Giorgio Vigna, Taher Chemerik, Alyssa Norton, Pippa Small, Alison Evans, Marijke de Goey and Jemima Rogers. They also sell great felt products and have an eclectic mix of
31 31 THINGS TO DO Art galleries Art of the matter Things to do Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London, Matthew Booth, 2009 Whether you re in the mood to check out a gallery, catch a ground-breaking play, find a quiet spot to sit or listen to a spellbinding concert, there s plenty to do in Chelsea Galleries showcasing photography, sculpture, drawings and paintings from all ages are found splashed around the Chelsea area, which is now a major arts hub, partly thanks to the arrival of modern art mecca, the Saatchi Gallery 9 Langton Street Along with its sister gallery on Lacy Road in Putney, 9 Langton Street exhibits figurative and abstract contemporary art including paintings and sculpture from around 65 young London artists. The gallery is nestled in between the Italian restaurant La Famiglia (see Restaurants) and Offer Waterman & Co (see below) and specialises in one-off shows by talented young artists who are hitting the ground running. Although there are a few artists who have built up their reputation through longer-standing relationships with the gallery, the majority are new and previously unknown. Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, by appointment at weekends. 9 Langton Street, SW10 0JL T: Andipa Gallery & Andipa Contemporary Descended from a family of art dealers and collectors that dates back to 16th-century Venice, and based on Walton Street since 1967, the Andipa Gallery owns an impressive catalogue of paintings, drawings, sculptures and rare prints by some of the biggest names in modern and contemporary art. Matisse, Picasso, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Hockney, Damien Hirst and Banksy are all represented there. Andipa Contemporary holds exhibitions in the Andipa Gallery lower ground gallery and was opened in 2010 to showcase fresh, innovative and aesthetically stimulating works by new artists from around the world. Monday-Friday 9.30am-6pm, Saturday 11am-6pm, by appointment at other times. 162 Walton Street, SW3 2JL T: Cricket Fine Art Cricket Fine Art was founded in 1996 by Leslie Pratt, who ran the gallery from her home. In 2003 the gallery joined others on Langton Street, before moving to Park Walk in It was created to promote and support talented contem-
32 32 THINGS TO DO Art galleries porary artists. The idea that art is best viewed hanging in a home environment is integral to the gallery hence its furnished home feel. Monday-Friday 10:30am-6pm, Saturday 11am-5pm, and by appointment. 2 Park Walk, SW10 0AD T: Daniel Hunt Fine Art Based just south of Sloane Square, Daniel Hunt Fine Art is a world leader in the field of sporting art and also has a large collection of Italian and Dutch Old Masters, early British paintings and early marine paintings. Prices usually range between 1,000 and 50,000, but some higher value works are also available. Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, by appointment at all other times. 60 Lower Sloane Street, SW1W 8BP T: The Gallery at Anthropologie Flying Colours Gallery With a name that was picked from Roget s Thesaurus, the Flying Colours Gallery was founded in Scotland, came to London in 1995 and is now based in Chelsea. It promotes both emerging and established talent in British art. Exhibitions feature a range of figurative and landscape works of art priced from 500 to 30,000. Monday-Friday 10.30am-5.30pm, by appointment at all other times. 6 Burnsall Street, SW3 3ST T: The Gallery at Anthropologie In line with Anthropologie s reputation for doing things its own way, the Gallery at Anthropologie allows the staff at its King s Road clothing and home decor store to share inspiring work from unknown artists they admire with their customers. This means that exhibitions cover a wide spectrum of work, such as Tom Stogdon s water-eroded garden sculptures, Chloe Harrison s hand-stitched tweed trophy heads or Moroccan Boucherouite rugs. The gallery opened in February Gallery hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 10am-7pm, Thursday 10am-8pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm. 139 King s Road, SW3 4PW T: kings-road-store/page/kingsroad/ James Harvey British Art The Harvey family live above the gallery, and the upstairs hall and drawing room are even used for larger exhibitions and entertainment. The gallery is situated in the little cluster of galleries on Langton Street and promotes traditional figurative contemporary art and British artists dating back to the 17th century, particularly focusing on the less well-known Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service The London Sketch Club The London Sketch Club is a gentlemen s club for artists, illustrators, graphic designers and architects that has its origins in the sketching section that formed in the Artists Society in This became the Langham Sketching Club when the society moved to 1 Langham Place in In 1898, the members fell out over whether meals should be served hot or cold, and the hot meals supporters including Phil May, Tom Browne and Dudley Hardy split off and formed the London Sketch Club. The new club first met at the Modern Gallery, 175 Bond Street, and its first president was George Haité. After being based at several different sites in London, the club moved to its current home in Dilke Street in Members have included Heath Robinson, Peter Blake, Gerald Scarfe and Michael Foreman. The club holds regular sketching nights and evening dinners, and often co-hosts events with Chelsea Arts Club. It is staunchly traditional and has resisted allowing women full access even today, the only women admitted on drawing nights are the life models. Visits to the club are by invitation only. 7 Dilke Street, SW3 4JE. T: (bar phone, Tuesday and some Friday evenings only). The London Sketch Club in 1969 artists of the 18th and 19th centuries. Tuesday-Thursday 10am-6pm, by appointment at all other times. 15 Langton Street, SW10 OJL T: Jonathan Cooper Gallery The Jonathan Cooper Gallery is based just south of Fulham Road on Park Walk and has been promoting international contemporary artists for more than 25 years. The gallery specialises in botanical and wildlife art in paintings, photography and sculpture, and holds solo exhibitions throughout the year. Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 11am-4pm. 20 Park Walk, SW10 0AQ T: King s Road Gallery Along King s Road to the west, almost as far as World s End, the King s Road Gallery exhibits European and Asian contemporary art from both established and emerging artists. The gallery opened on the King s Road in 1998, three years after its Hong Kong sister gallery. Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 11am-5pm, by appointment on Sundays. 436 Kings Road, SW10 0LJ T: Little Black Gallery After the death of the iconic photographer Bob Carlos Clarke in 2006, three people close to him his wife Lindsey, friend Tamara Beckwith and agent Ghislain Pascal came together to found the Little Black Gallery, which opened in One room at the gallery is permanently dedicated to his work and there are frequent guest exhibitions. Monday-Friday 11am-6pm, Saturday
33 33 THINGS TO DO Art galleries 11am-4pm, by appointment at all other times. 13A Park Walk, SW10 0AJ T: Mica Gallery Mica opened in the wake of the Arab Spring in 2011 with an exhibition of contemporary Egyptian art from both before and after the country s revolution. The gallery specialises in and is an acronym of modern Islamic and contemporary art which has been influenced by Islamic culture or heritage. The Mica definition is pretty flexible modern Islamic works are rooted in traditional calligraphy and geometry, while the contemporary artists are more broadly inspired by Islamic cultural heritage at large from British, European, Arab, African and South Asian artists. By appointment only from 10am-6pm Monday-Friday and 11am-6pm on Saturdays. 259A Pavilion Road, SW1X 0BP T: Michael Hoppen Gallery & Michael Hoppen Contemporary Gallery The Michael Hoppen Gallery specialises in 19th, 20th and 21st-century photography. Based just north of the King s Road, near the Chelsea Potter pub, the gallery has been in Chelsea since The Michael Hoppen Contemporary Gallery another major international photographic gallery opened in 2000 and occupies the second floor of the same building. It supports established and emerging contemporary artists. Monday-Friday 10.30am-6pm, Saturday 10.30am 5pm. 3 Jubilee Place, SW3 3TD T: Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service Chelsea Arts Club Chelsea Arts Club is a private members club. The membership is divided into ordinary members who practice the visual arts painters, sculptors, architects, photographers, designers and so on and associate members from related fields, such as musicians, actors, gallerists and writers. The club was founded by artists including sculptor Thomas Lee and painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler as a rival to Mayfair s Arts Club. Originally based at 181 King s Road, the club moved to 143 Old Church Street in The Chelsea Arts Ball, held from 1908 to 1958, was a themed public fancy dress ball that became progressively more lavish and raucous and grew to occupy Chelsea Town Hall and then the Royal Albert Hall. It was originally held for Mardi Gras, but eventually moved to New Year s Eve. It was banned in 1959, but was revived in 1984/5. Club membership was opened to women artists in Would-be members need to be proposed and seconded by people who have known them for more than two years and who have been members of the club for more than two years. The outside of the building is sometimes painted to mark an event, such as the the 70th anniversary of the end of the Blitz in Old Church Street, SW3 6EB T: Artwork for the Chelsea Arts Club annual dinner 1968 Northcote Gallery The Northcote Gallery, which has a sister gallery on Northcote Road in Battersea, specialises in modern British and international contemporary paintings and sculpture and hosts ten solo exhibitions from established and emerging artists each year. Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm, Sunday 1pm-4pm. 253 King s Road, SW3 5EL T: Offer Waterman & Co Established in 1996 amid the small cluster of art galleries next to the La Famiglia restaurant on Langton Street, Offer Waterman is a leader in the fields of 20th-century British paintings, drawings and sculpture, and can also offer expertise in American and European, Impressionist, modern and contemporary art. Monday to Friday 10am-6.30pm, by appointment on Saturdays. 11 Langton Street, SW10 0JL T: Proud Chelsea The Proud Group was launched by Alex Proud in 1998 and includes a music venue in Camden, a speakeasystyle venue in the City, a gallery just off the Strand and Proud Chelsea a photographic gallery that aims to introduce high-quality photography to a mainstream audience. Proud uses popular themes to create accessible exhibitions with a distinct rock n roll emphasis the Sex Pistols, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, the Libertines and the Rock n Roll Years have all been the focus of exhibitions. Daily 10am-7pm, until 8pm on Wednesdays. 161 King s Road, SW3 5XP Proud Chelsea T: Saatchi Gallery In 2009 and 2010 the Saatchi Gallery held five of the six most attended exhibitions in London the only one to achieve more visitors was Van Gogh at the Royal Academy of Arts. Charles Saatchi opened his original Saatchi gallery in 1985 in a disused paint factory in St John s Wood before moving to County Hall on the South Bank in The gallery was forced to close in 2005 after a row with County Hall s owners and was without a home for three years. In 2008, the Saatchi Gallery reopened at the Duke of York s Headquarters a vast 70,000 sq ft space that was a perfect blank canvas to display paintings, sculpture and installations. The gallery exhibits contemporary art from home-grown talent, often previously unseen, and international artists that have rarely or never before exhibited in the UK.
34 34 THINGS TO DO Art galleries Recent exhibitions include The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today, Abstract America: New Painting and Sculpture, and The Shape of Things to Come: New Sculpture, each reportedly drawing around 4,000 visitors a day. Entry to all shows is free of charge. The Gallery Mess (see Restaurants) is worth checking out, and the gift shop is great for interesting presents for arty types. Rooms at the gallery can be hired for events. Daily 10am-6pm, last entry at 5.30pm. Duke of York s HQ, King s Road, SW3 4RY. T: Stephanie Hoppen Gallery Stephanie Hoppen mother to famous gallery owner Michael and interior designer Kelly has been working at 17 Walton Street since She believes in a practical approach to art, cutting away jargon and theory, where the one consideration for buyers should be whether there is love at first sight. The gallery displays works from British and international contemporary artists and photographers. Tuesday to Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 12pm-5pm, Monday by appointment. 17 Walton Street, SW3 2HX T: Nocturne in Black and Gold the Falling Rocket American-born artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler lived at many places in Chelsea (see Streets and Sights) and his painting Nocturne in Black and Gold the Falling Rocket, which depicts fireworks at Cremorne Gardens over Battersea Bridge, resulted in a costly libel case against the critic John Ruskin in Whistler had exhibited the painting at the Grosvenor Gallery and Ruskin had called him a coxcomb for asking two hundress guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public s face. Whistler sued him for libel, saying it was an artistic arrangement rather than a view of the gardens, and that he didn t ask two hundred guineas for the time it took to paint, rather for the knowledge I have gained in the work of a lifetime. Whistler won the case, but was only awarded a farthing in damages and had to pay his own costs, forcing him to sell his new house in Tite Street, designed for him by E W Godwin, and bankrupting him. Time travel From the Carlyle s House to Chelsea FC, these museums will give you an insight into the past and the present National Army Museum The National Army Museum is a bit different to most other museums it uses the objects in its collection as a way to link the past and present, rather than to examine history as a separate entity. It aims to tell the story of the British Army and the Indian Army, up until 1947 as a whole, right up to the present day. The online exhibition about the Army in Helmand, Afghanistan, and its permanent exhibition in the museum, Conflicts of Interest, 1969-present, show its dedication to covering current conflicts as well as historic ones. It receives grant aid from the Ministry of Defence and it pays ground rent of precisely one guinea a year to its landlord, the Royal Hospital. The collections look at both the Army s role in history around the world and the personal experiences of servicemen and women. The exhibitions, particularly on modern or current conflicts, give an intimate portrayal of what it is like to serve in the military, and doesn t shy away from the psychological impact. It links into popular culture, too for example, War Horse: Fact & Fiction explores Michael Morpurgo s novel. The new Kids Zone soft-play area is a great addition, helping young children to learn in a fun way, with the Early Years Foundation Stages at its heart. There are also plenty of family events. The education department is excellent. In fact, the museum is so popular that an expansion is planned, with a glass atrium, a roof terrace, a restaurant, new National Army Museum education facilities and an overhaul of some of the galleries in the pipeline. An interesting series of celebrity speakers runs at the museum, from authors to anthropologists and first-hand accounts from soldiers, along with lunchtime lectures. There s sometimes a ticket fee for talks, but most of the museum s events are free. Open daily 10am-5.30pm. Free admission. Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HT T: Chelsea FC Chelsea Football Club s museum at Stamford Bridge tells the story of the club from its beginnings in 1905 to its global reach today. It features memorabilia, interactive experiences including the adidas Shooting Gallery which teaches visitors how to shoot the perfect goal and a showcase of shirts from some of the team s greatest players. The museum works in conjuction with an updated stadium tour route and shop.
35 35 THINGS TO DO Museums A Chelsea Pensioner dressed in the famous uniform Open 10.30am-5pm (last entry 4pm) on match days the opening hours will vary depending on kick-off time. Open until 6pm (last entry 5pm) in July and August. Museum only prices: Adult (16+ years) 10, child (five-15 years, under fives free of charge) 8, concession (senior citizen and students with valid ID) 9, family ticket (two adults and two children) 32. Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, SW6 1HS. T: (general enquiries), (tickets) Carlyle s House The house of Scottish satirical writer Thomas Carlyle and his wife Jane, preserved since They were a celebrity Royal Hospital Chelsea (For more about the Royal Hospital Chelsea, see Streets and Sights) The Royal Hospital, home of the the Chelsea Pensioner, has a small museum in the grounds. It originally opened in 1866 and its collection is mostly made up of objects left by former In- Pensioners. There are artefacts associated with the Duke of Wellington, a diorama of the Royal Hospital in 1742, a reconstruction of a typical berth in the Long Wards (which are not open to the public) and a collection of more than 2,100 medals, among other items. Visitors can also see the Parade Chair, which was presented to Queen Elizabeth II by the Royal Hospital, and the Sovereign s Mace, which the Queen presented to the hospital in You can even book a guided tour with a Chelsea Pensioner ( 65 per tour, which contributes directly to the Royal Hospital s funds to benefit the welfare of the Chelsea Pensioners. Tours begin 10am and 1.30pm, Monday-Friday). The Museum and Souvenir Shop are open to the public Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm, excluding bank holidays and official Royal Hospital events, such as Founder s Day. Individuals and groups of up to 10 people can visit the Royal Hospital Chelsea for free (larger groups must book a tour on the number below). Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4SR. T: (switchboard), (to book a tour). couple in the Victorian literary world, and Thomas influenced other famous authors of the time, including Charles Dickens and John Ruskin. Jane was a wellknown letter-writer in her own right. The house is kept as it was in the 1850s, when Robert Tait painted a portrait of the couple in their home. It s a chance to peek into the past of this very creative part of Chelsea. Open Wednesday-Sunday and bank holiday Mondays, 11pm-5pm, last admission 30 minutes before closing. Admission: Adult 5.10, child 2.60, family Cheyne Row, SW3 5HL T: Star quality With two luxury cinemas, two worldclass theatres and more movie cameos than Alfred Hitchcock, Sloane Square and the King's Road are unmissable destinations for fans of stage and screen Chelsea Theatre Launched in 1953, Chelsea Theatre commissions and presents new work from leading international companies and artists, such as Goat Island, Lone Twin, Ron Athey, Annie Sprinkle, Pacitti Company, Julia Bardsley, Dries Verhoeven and Kazuko Hohki. Recent collaborations have involved exchanges with theatres in Vienna, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro and New York. Under artistic director Francis Alexander, the focus since 2004 has been on the production and presentation of live art, creating work where artists cross between visual, time-based and performance practice. The theatre has gained support from organisations including Arts Council England, the British Council and the Live Art Development Agency. World s End Place, King s Road, SW10 0DR. T: Cineworld Chelsea Cineworld Chelsea is a four-screen cinema showing the latest blockbusters and independent films. The building is one of the oldest of Cineworld s sites, and first opened as a cine-variety venue in 1910, and has continued to screen films right up until the present day. Cineworld Chelsea also has a programme of alternative content, including live feeds of the Met Opera, seasonal showings such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and golden oldie favourites. Ticket prices: Adult after 5pm Monday-Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday, 8 before 5pm Monday-Friday, child (14 and under) 6.60, senior/student 7, family 29 after 5pm Monday- Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday, before 5pm Monday-Friday. Weekend prices apply to bank holidays. There is an additional cost for 3D films ( 2.30 for adults, 1.50 for child/senior/student/unlimited, 5.60 for family ticket, 3D glasses 80p per pair). On-street parking only. 279 King s Road, SW3 5EW T: Curzon Chelsea A 700-seat luxury cinema, Curzon Chelsea shows both big releases and smaller arty, independent and foreign language films. It also shows live screenings of opera and theatre from the New York Metropolitan Opera and London s National Theatre, among others. It s a location full of cinematic history, built on the original site of film pioneer William Friese-Greene s studios and laboratory. He patented a moving image Curzon Chelsea
36 36 THINGS TO DO Film and theatre camera in 1839, and experimented with colour and motion pictures. By 1934, a huge cinema the Gaumont Palace had replaced his studio. A bas relief of his image can still be seen on the façade of the building. Designed by William E Trent and Ernest F Tully, it had seating for 2,502 and included a fully-equipped stage, a rehearsal room, dressing rooms and a Compton theatre organ. It became the Gaumont Theatre from 1937 and was modernised in It was renamed the Odeon in 1963 but closed its doors in The foyer and stalls became Habitat, while the stage became flats and offices. A new Odeon cinema opened in September 1973, seating 739, occupying the former balcony area, but it closed in After the cinema had been dark for two years, distributor Artificial Eye took it over and renamed it the Chelsea Cinema. It joined Curzon Cinemas in 2006, and became the Curzon Chelsea after extensive refurbishment in 2010m boasting the biggest screen outside the West End. The auditorium has 713 seats, some of which are luxury Pullman seats, and the cinema also has a bar. Ticket prices: Adults 10.50, Cineaste (Curzon members) 8.50, Pullman seats 15/ 13 Cineastes (Monday-Friday after 5pm, Saturday and Sunday after 2pm). Cinesaver (Monday-Friday 2pm-5pm) 7.50 adults, 6.50 Cineaste, 11/ 9 Pullman seats. Early bird (open to 2pm) 7.50 adults, 6 Cineaste 5, 9/ 8 Pullman seats. Children (under 15) 6 at all times. There is a surcharge of 2 on all tickets for 3D films. The cinema is currently inaccessible to wheelchair users, but staff can offer assistance with stairs if you phone in advance to discuss your needs. 206 King s Road, SW3 5XP T: Film locations With its diverse architecture and rich history, Chelsea has always been in demand as a location for films. Here are just a few of the movies that have scenes shot in the area Blow-Up (1966) Michelangelo Antonioni s thriller sees glamorous fashion photographer Thomas (David Hemmings) showing his portfolio to his agent, Ron (Peter Bowles), in El Blason, 8-9 Blacklands Terrace, and attending a party on Cheyne Walk. A Clockwork Orange (1971) The McDonalds on the King s Road used to be the Chelsea Drugstore, which doubled as a record store visited by Alex (Malcolm McDowell) in Stanley Kubrick s iconic film. Withnail and I (1986) Monty, played by Richard Griffiths, lives at 35 Glebe Place and is visited by his nephew Withnail (Richard E Grant) and his friend, played by Paul McGann and named only as & I in the end credits. Bruce Robinson s black comedy is a cult favourite and counts Beatle George Harrison as one of its executive producers. Match Point (2005) Scarlett Johansson s American actress character Nola auditions for a role at the Royal Court Theatre in Woody Allen s thriller. A Good Year (2006) The iconic Bluebird Café on the King s Road features in Ridley Scott s romantic comedy. Alex Rider: Stormbreaker (2006) Adapted from Anthony Horowitz s novel, this film stars Alex Pettyfer as teenage spy Alex Rider, who lives in St Leonard s Terrace. Royal Court Theatre The Royal Court is a non-commercial theatre renowned for its work championing new writing and staging landmark plays, such as John Osborne s Look Back in Anger and Edward Bond s Saved. Its ongoing writers programmes and festivals, including Rough Cuts and the Young Writers Programme, have helped to launch the careers of new voices such as Mike Bartlett, Lucy Prebble, Polly Stenham, Laura Wade and Bola Agbaje. The Royal Court originally called the Court Theatre was built by Walter Emden and opened in It became famous for its George Bernard Shaw seasons. It was used as a cinema from , after which it closed for a while, and was damaged in the Second World War. After the war, it presented light musical reviews. In 1952, former music hall performer Alfred Esdaile acquired the lease of the theatre and the land next to Sloane Square underground station from the Cadogan Estate, and reopened the building as a theatre club. The English Stage Company, led by artistic director George Levine, made the Court its home in Look Back in Anger opened at the theatre in 1956 the start of a new era of modern British drama. The Royal Court has also been instrumental in the abolition of censorship on the London stage, with Osborne s A Patriot For Me and Bond s Saved and Early Morning being refused a licence to be performed in public by the Lord Chamberlain s Office in the 1960s. The role of official censor was abolished in In 1966, the Young People s Theatre was set up to develop and produce new writing by writers under 25 years old, and the Young Writers Festival, now a regular event, was launched in The Theatre Upstairs, one of the first Artistic directors at the Royal Court Theatre : Dominic Cooke : Ian Rickson : Stephen Daldry : Max Stafford-Clark : Stuart Burge : Robert Kidd and Nicholas Wright : Oscar Lewenstein : William Gaskill, Lindsay Anderson and Anthony Page : William Gaskill : George Devine
37 37 THINGS TO DO Film and theatre Notable Royal Court Theatre productions Look Back in Anger by John Osborne (1956) The Chairs by Eugene Ionesco (1957) Endgame by Samuel Beckett (1958) Roots by Arnold Wesker (1959) The Knack by Ann Jellicoe (1962) Saved by Edward Bond (1965) The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka (1966) Over Gardens Out by Peter Gill (1969) The Contractor by David Storey (1969) As Time Goes By by Mustapha Matura (1971) The Rocky Horror Show by Richard O Brien (1973) The Island by Athol Fugard (1973) Cloud Nine From the original Royal Court Theatre production of The Rocky Horror Show by Caryl Churchill (1979) Bent by Martin Sherman (1979) black box studios opened by a mainstream theatre, launched in The Royal Court s building closed temporarily for redevelopment in 1996, with the company moving to the West End until it reopened in A book about the Royal Court s life The Royal Court Theatre: Inside Out by Ruth Little and Emily McLaughlin is available in the bookshop or from the online shop. Play texts are also available. Recent successes at the Royal Court have included Jez Butterworth s awardwinning Jerusalem, which transferred to Top Girls by Caryl Churchill (1982) Rita, Sue and Bob Too by Andrea Dunbar (1982) Rat in the Skull by Ron Hutchinson (1984) Road by Jim Cartwright (1986) Our Country s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker (1988) Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman (1991) Blasted by Sarah Kane (1995) East is East by Ayub Khan-Din (1997, performed at the Ambassadors during the Royal Court building s redevelopment) Attempts On Her Life by Martin Crimp (1997, performed at the Ambassadors) The Weir by Conor McPherson (1997, performed at the Ambassadors) Plasticine by Vassily Sigarev (2002) A Number by Caryl Churchill (2002) Fallout by Roy Williams (2003) Motortown by Simon Stephens (2006) Gone Too Far! by Bola Agbaje (2007) That Face by Polly Stenham (2007) Shades by Alia Bano (2009) Enron by Lucy Prebble (2009) Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth (2009) Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris (2010) The Heretic by Richard Bean (2011) the West End and New York's Broadway. The Royal Court s artistic director, Dominic Cooke, has announced that he will step down from the post in April 2013 to focus on freelance work. His successor has not yet been announced. The Jerwood Theatre Upstairs is the studio theatre, while the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs is the main house. All seats are 10 on Mondays, available on the day of performance from 9am online, 10am in-person. Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS. T: Tuned in Whether you'd like to hear the Royal Philharmonic in a spectacular concert hall or enjoy live jazz with your jumbo shrimp, Chelsea's many music venues should hit the right note 606 Club The 606 Club is a jazz club restaurant which hosts live British-based music seven nights a week. Run by musician Steve Rubie, the club is set in a basement venue and has been hosting a variety of jazz, latin, soul, groove, R&B and blues acts since It moved to its current location to suit higher demand in There is a bar, but non-members can only be served alcohol with a substantial meal. Membership costs 95 per year and you must have visited the club at least three times before being accepted. There is also a music charge of 10 (Sunday to Thursday) or 12 (Friday and Saturday), which goes straight into the band s pocket and is added on to your bill. Sunday-Thursday 7pm-12am, Friday- Saturday 8pm-2am. 90 Lots Road, London SW10 0QD T: Cadogan Hall Cadogan Hall is the home of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the grandest of Chelsea s music venues. It was designed by Robert Fellowes Chisholm as a New Christian Science Church in 1907 and could draw congregations of up to 1,600. Almost 90 years later, in 1996, the congregations were dwindling and change was needed. The Cadogan Estate bought the hall in Club and converted it into a music venue, with acoustics, atmosphere and technology high on the list. The hall can seat an audience of around 900 and offers an eclectic mix of music including classical, opera, choral, jazz, rock, pop and world music. See the website for listings. The box office is open Monday- Saturday 10am-6pm (8pm on performance days) and on Sundays (only on performance days) from 3pm-8pm. 5 Sloane Terrace, London, SW1X 9DQ T: Caffé Concerto (see Cafés) Chelsea Old Church Classical concerts are held at Chelsea Old Church most months (avoiding busier times in the church calendar such as Christmas and Easter). The singers and musicians for the
38 38 THINGS TO DO Music most part come from the professionals affiliated with Chelsea Old Church, although other artists also appear. There are operatic arias and requiems on some evenings. It is worth calling or checking the website for details of upcoming events. 64 Cheyne Walk, SW3 5LT T: Holy Trinity Sloane Square The Holy Trinity Church at Sloane Square hosts concerts throughout the year and prides itself on the diversity of the music at its Sunday morning services fitting for a church that the former Poet Laureate and Chelsea resident John Betjeman described as the cathedral of the arts and crafts movement. Holy Trinity also has a fine organ, which was built in 1891 by JW Walker & Sons. See the website for details of upcoming concerts and services. Sloane Street, London, SW1X 9BZ T: Chelsea musicians Thomas Arne, the composer of the traditional British song Rule, Britannia!, lived at 215 King s Road during the final years of his life. Percy Grainger a famous pianist and composer who was said to have detested the piece that he was most famous for, Country Gardens lived at various addresses in Chelsea between 1901 and Peter Warlock originally Phillip Arnold Heseltine died from gas poisoning at 30 Tite Street on December 17, Holy Trinity Sloane Square Ralph Vaughan Williams, who composed favourite English hymns such as Come Down O Love Divine, lived at 13 Cheyne Walk from 1905 to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart stayed on Five Fields Row (now Ebury Street) in 1765 for seven weeks. He wrote two symphonies while he was there and also performed at Ranelagh Gardens all at the age of nine. For more notable figures who lived and worked in Chelsea, see Streets and Sights. Royal Hospital Chelsea The Royal Hospital hosts the RHC Concerts series every autumn, showcasing internationally celebrated musicians as well as promising young artists. The concerts are held in the Wren Chapel to meet high demand for tickets. See the website for more information. Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4SR T: Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crabshack Diners can enjoy live jazz, rock, R&B and soul music at Big Easy every night in the main dining room from 8.30pm on Sundays-Thursdays and 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays King s Road, SW3 5UR T: Pizza Express the Pheasantry Live music kicks off at Pizza Express at the Pheasantry early on most evenings. There is an eclectic mix of music predominantly jazz, but also including swing, blues, cabaret, latin, pop and a wide range of other genres and styles. The website has an up-to-date and comprehensive list of the line-up for the months ahead. For details about The Pheasantry s history, see Streets and Sights. 152 King s Road, SW3 4UT T: pizzaexpresslive.co.uk Cadogan Hall Chelsea in music Chelsea has featured in many songs and music pieces. Here are just a few Chelsea Bridge is a 1941 jazz standard by Billy Strayhorn, which has been recorded by artists including Duke Ellington, Ben Webster, Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald. The Rolling Stones song You Can t Always Get What You Want on their 1969 album Let it Bleed mentions the Chelsea Drugstore, which was on the King s Road: I went down to the Chelsea Drugstore/To get your prescription filled. The Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song King s Road appeared on their 1981 album Hard Promises. The first verse is: Well they put me out on the old King s Road/I didn t know which way to go/there was people all around/wearin funny lookin clothes/some boys, some girls, some I don t know.
39 39 THINGS TO DO Green spaces Garden party You don't have to look too hard to find a calm, green space to transport you from all the bustle of the King's Road. Here are our pick of some of the area's greatest gardens Royal Hospital South Grounds and Ranelagh Gardens Ranelagh Gardens opened in 1742 and were designed as pleasure gardens, a popular attraction of the time. A Chinese house was built and a huge rotunda staging classical music concerts provided a grand centrepiece. A young Mozart performed there in However, by 1805 the site had deteriorated and was closed. The Royal Hospital acquired the gardens and a summer house was built for the pensioners there in John Gibson, the designer of Battersea Park, redesigned the gardens in 1860, along with the South Grounds famous as the site of the Chelsea Flower Show, which Ranelagh Gardens takes place in May. Other events and fairs are also held there. The grounds include sports areas for football, tennis and netball (see Sports). Opening times: April am- 7.30pm, May 1-August 31 10am- 8.30pm, September am-7pm, October am-5pm, November 1- March 31 10am-4.30pm, open from 2pm on all Sundays. Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4SR. T: (Switchboard, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) Open Garden Squares Weekend Open Garden Squares Weekend is a rare chance to see some of the hidden gems of Chelsea, with gardens not normally open to the public welcoming visitors. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is one of the biggest contributors and around 80 gardens in the area took part last year, including Markham Square and Paultons Square. The event will take place on June 9-10 in Chelsea Common Chelsea Common used to be around 30 acres, but as Chelsea developed, buildings and roads encroached on the land, and this pretty garden is the last remaining piece. Cale Street, SW3 Chelsea Embankment There are several small, pleasant gardens near the Thames, including the Chelsea Embankment Gardens outside Chelsea Old Church and the St Thomas More Gardens, which feature a statue of More. The gardens were created after Sir Joseph Bazalgette built the Thames embankmentbetween 1869 and Chelsea Embankment, SW3 Chelsea Physic Garden This is a different kind of garden one that s not only beautiful, but useful. There are more than 4,800 kinds of plants in the four-acre space, and there is an emphasis on those that have a practical purpose. There are plants that are used in medicine both in pharmaceutical treatments and in cultures throughout the world perfumery, aromatherapy and rare vegetables. Collections are grouped around little signs marking uses like dermatology and parasitology, and there are earthy-smelling glasshouses of ferns and more exotic plants. The garden was founded by the Society of Apothecaries in 1673 and leased to them for 5 a year in perpetuity from 1722 by Sir Hans Sloane on the condition it stayed a physic garden. The sum is still paid to his heirs at Cadogan by the charity that runs Chelsea Physic Garden today. Sir Hans himself is immortalised in a statue in the grounds. It is like a living museum, and there is a walk showing the work of different people associated with its history, including Philip Miller, William Hudson, Sir Joseph Banks and William Forsyth. The Grade II*-listed pond rock garden, created from stones from the Tower of London, Icelandic lava, fused bricks and flint, was completed in The garden has a wide-ranging events programme, from workshops in beekeeping to photography and making cosmetics. There is a café (see Eating section) and the garden welcomes people with disabilities (telephone in advance for details about access). Adults and senior citizens 9; students, unemployed and children (five- 15 years) 6; Friends of the Garden and companions of disabled visitors are admitted free. Assistance dogs only. Maximum of two children allowed per accompanying adult. Opening times: April 1-October 31, Tuesday-Friday 12pm-5pm, Sundays and bank holidays 12pm-6pm, last admission 30 minutes before closing. 66 Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HS T:
40 40 THINGS TO DO Green spaces Cremorne Gardens This garden has good views and commemorates the former riverside pleasure gardens, which opened in 1845 and closed in The Cremorne Pleasure Gardens hosted entertainment including concerts, balloon ascents and fireworks. Whistler captured the scene in Nocturne in Black and Gold the Falling Rocket, which became the subject of a libel case (see Art). Cremorne Gardens was regarded as somewhere where respectable women would not wish to be seen alone, and it faced heavy criticism from its neighbours. Staffed garden, open 7.30am until dusk. Public toilet facilities. Lots Road, SW10 Dovehouse Green A gift to the borough from Sir Hans Sloane in 1733, this was used as a burial ground until It was developed in , when the small area was opened to the public and the mortuary was demolished. The Chelsea Society and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea turned the space into a garden in 1977 for the Queen s Silver Jubilee and renamed it Dovehouse Green. The garden was reworked again in 2003 for the Queen s Golden Jubilee. It is a quiet spot to sit and escape the commotion of the King s Road. Dovehouse Street, SW3 Roper s Garden Close to Chelsea Old Church, this garden was once an orchard, which Sir Thomas More gave to his daughter, Margaret, when she married William Roper in The buildings were destroyed by a parachute mine in April 1941 and a sunken garden was created on the site in March An ancient cherry tree was planted in it to mark the visit of Gunji Koizumi, a The Female Blondin Cremorne Pleasure Gardens drew crowds to watch spectacles, and one of these was an attempt by Madame Genevieve, or the Female Blondin as she was billed, to cross the Thames from the gardens to Battersea on a tightrope in August It nearly ended in disaster. After she had started crossing the tightrope, the guy ropes were cut by someone so they could steal the lead weights. She managed to avoid danger by sliding down a rope and reaching a boat on the Thames. The tried again a week later and successfully completed the stunt. martial arts master who introduced judo to the UK in Cheyne Walk, SW3 St Luke s Garden The gardens next to St Luke s Church have beautiful flower displays, a playground and a games area (see Sports). They are a popular place to sit. The site was consecrated in 1812 to cope with the parish s growing population and it was used as a burial ground until It became a public garden in 1881 and the gravestones were moved to form a boundary wall. The gardens were developed in 1887, and the church and the gardens are Grade II listed. Open 7.30am until dusk. Sydney Street, SW3. Good sports Sweat it out on the squash court, test yourself on a treadmill, or leave it to the professionals from the comfort of the stands at Stamford Bridge with this run-down of some of the area s stunning sport and leisure venues Chelsea FC Now one of the top teams in the world, Chelsea Football Club was founded in 1905 by two brothers, HA and JT Mears. They entered the second tier of the English Football Leagues and immediately began drawing big crowds on Good Friday that year, their match against Manchester United was attended by 67,000 people. After only two seasons in existence, Chelsea FC reached Division One the highest level of competition in the English game at the time. They found success in the 1950s, 1960s and 1990s, winning the League Division One title in 1955 and FA Cup titles in 1970, 1997 and On July 2, 2003, Roman Abramovich bought the club and made it a global powerhouse overnight. In his first offseason period, Abramovich spent more than 100 million on players. During the Russian oligarch s ownership of the club, Chelsea has finished either first or second in all but one Premier League seasons (2008-9). It also won three FA Cup titles, reached the final of the UEFA Champions League (2007-8), and has lifted the Football League Cup and the FA Charity/Community Shield twice. The Stadium, Stamford Bridge, seats 41,841 spectators and prices range from 41 to 87 for a Premier League fixture. Tickets for matches are often hard to come by they only go on general sale after being offered to members and season-ticket holders. If any are available, they appear two weeks from the date of the fixture. Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, SW6 1HS. Ticketing sales & enquiries: (UK), (Intl.) Sport centres and facilities Chelsea Sports Centre Inside its charming exterior, the Chelsea Sports Centre houses a swimming pool and has facilities for five-a-side football, basketball, badminton and table tennis. There s also a gym (see Fitness Centres). Monday-Friday 6.30am-10pm, Saturday 8am-8pm, Sunday 8am-10pm. Chelsea Manor Street, SW3 5PL T: Chelsea Sports Centre
41 41 THINGS TO DO Sport facilities Cremorne Riverside This outdoor activity centre provides canoeing and kayaking on the tidal Thames for young people aged nine to 19. They also offer introductions to white-water, surf and sea kayaking. There are sessions for adults too. Adult beginner courses run from March to October and fitness sessions can be booked on Wednesdays (6.45am- 8.45am) and Saturdays (by arrangement). To take part in the fitness sessions, you must have completed the adult beginner course or arrange a two-hour induction paddle. Hours vary depending on the time of year. Cremorne Gardens, Lots Road, SW10 0QH. T: Royal Hospital South Grounds As well as being the staging area for the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the Royal Hospital South Grounds offers two football pitches, two tennis courts, one netball court (which is overlaid on the tennis courts) and a sports pavilion equipped with public toilets. Duke of York s Square Athletics Track In 1953, Roger Bannister, the first man to run a mile in under four minutes, moved his training to the athletics track at the Duke of York s Square Headquarters, which now houses the Saatchi Gallery. He successfully achieved the record on May 6, The track is now mainly used by local school children and is not open to the public. Cremorne Riverside offers kayaking sessions on the Thames The tennis courts are available to everyone for casual booking, with no membership required. Open from 7.30am until dusk. For more information on any of the facilities, call the sports booking line below. Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4SR T: St Luke s Gardens In the shadow of the early 19th-century Neo-Gothic church, St Luke s Gardens has two Multi-Use Games Areas, or Astroturf pitches. For more information, call the sports booking line at Chelsea Sports Centre: Sydney Street, SW3 Fitness centres Chelsea Sports Centre The gym at the Chelsea Sports Centre offers a range of cardiovascular and resistance training equipment as well as free weights and a stretching area. Monthly memberships are available, as well as a pay-as-you-go service. Monday-Friday 6.30am-10pm, Saturday 8am-7.30pm, Sunday 8am- 10pm. Chelsea Manor Street, SW3 5PL T: KX KX Gym (pronounced kicks ) is beautifully designed, with a well-equipped gym on the ground floor, four studios and three private studios for pilates, yoga and private general training. It is strictly members-only and there are no published fees (a membership consultant will guide you through the options). The only part of KX that is open to non-members is the spa (see Spas panel). 151 Draycott Avenue, SW3 3AL. T: LA Fitness The LA Fitness chain describes its South Kensington gym as the jewel in its crown. Facilities include a sauna, steam room, swimming pool, cardiovascular and Technogym equipment, as well as group classes. It offers short-term deals as well as long-term memberships. Monday-Thursday 6.30am-10pm, Friday 6.30am-9pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am-8pm. 63/81 Pelham Street, SW7 2NJ T: Peak Health Club & Spa at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower The really impressive thing about the Peak is the view. The club is located on the ninth and 10th floors of the five-star Carlton Tower hotel, with views to the north and south across London. Launched in 1982, The Peak s membership gives you access to a 20-metre stainless steel indoor swimming pool, The Peak Health Club jacuzzi and spa (see Spas) as well as a club restaurant and lounge. There s a 2,335 sq ft gym, an aerobics studio, a spinning studio and a golf simulator that allows players to tackle some of the world s best-known courses without ever leaving Chelsea. The Peak is open to guests and members, who also have access to tennis courts in private gardens in Cadogan Square. Monday-Friday 6.15am-10pm, Saturday-Sunday 7.30am-9pm. Jumeirah Carlton Tower, on Cadogan Place, SW1X 9PY. T: Resorts/Destinations/London/Jumeirah- Carlton-Tower/Health-Spa/
42 42 THINGS TO DO Sport fitness centres Powertone Studios Powertone Studios specialise in Power Plate workouts which use vibration technology to improve your muscular endurance and core stability. They also provide a variety of Powertone equipment to complement your workout. There are many different membership options, including monthly memberships, annual memberships and pay-as-you-go options. Monday-Thursday 7.30am-8pm, Friday 7.30am 5pm, Saturday 9am- 1pm. 1st Floor, Kings Walk Mall, 122 King s Road, SW3 4TR. T: SP & Co Often described as the world s most exclusive gym, Stephen Price & Co is limited to only 30 members. Stephen Price himself was once a professional cricketer and his vision is to make the kind of integrated healthcare previously only available to elite athletes available to others. Each member receives one-onone attention from a group of experts in strength and fitness, yoga, pilates, physiotherapy, nutrition and aromatherapy there is even a Neuro Muscular Dentist. All of the equipment and facilities are state-of-the-art. The altitude chamber is described as Europe s most advanced and the rooms are designed by awardwinning interior designer Kelly Hoppen. But this luxury comes at a cost membership for a year will set you back 5,000, and on top of that your time with the experts will be charged at an hourly rate of between 75 and 150. The team also operates beyond the gym at establishments including the Dorchester Hotel Spa and the Berkely Health Club & Spa. 3 Jubilee Place, SW3 3TD T: The Chelsea Club Based at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea Football Club s stadium, the Chelsea Club s facilities include a spa, swimming pool, sauna, steam room, lounge, restaurant and crèche. Workouts can be performed in the gym or in studio classes and there is also a full concierge service. Monday-Friday 6am-10pm, Saturday- Sunday 9am-8pm. Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, SW6 1HS. T: Reach for the spas If sport isn t your thing or you just fancy a bit of pampering, Chelsea has plenty of soothing spas where you can recharge. Here are just a few some salons also provide spa facilities and treatments (see Shopping) Amanda Lacey London Independent skincare therapist Amanda Lacey developed her own range of products and treatments based on natural oils and gentle, effective solutions nearly ten years ago. Based in Chelsea, she has become famous for her facials. PO Box 63725, SW3 9BB T: Antara Spa at the Chelsea Club A new holistic spa at the Chelsea Club, bringing together Ayurvedic, Oriental and European wellness therapies. Monday-Friday 6am-10pm, Saturday- Sunday 9am-8pm. The Chelsea Club, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, SW6 1HS. T: welcome/ Balance the Clinic A clinic offering a wide range of health, beauty and body treatments, from acupuncture and colon hydrotherapy to body wraps, massages and semi-permanent make-up. Monday-Thursday 9am-8pm, Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 10am-5.30pm. The Courtyard, 250 King s Road, SW3 5UE. T: facials, waxing, laser services, nail care and body treatments, including the triple oxygen treatment and IPL hair removal. Monday-Wednesday 9.30am-8pm, Thursday-Friday 9.30am-9pm, Saturday 9.30am-8pm, Sunday 11am-7pm. 60 Sloane Avenue, SW3 3DD T: locations/bliss-london.aspx The Chelsea Day Spa The Chelsea Day Spa opened in 2009 and offers massage therapy, body treatments, waxing, nail therapy, spray tanning and facials. The express New York Manicure is a good deal if you want a quick spruce-up ( for up to 30 minutes). The spa also provides specific treatments and grooming for men. Monday-Thursday 9am-8pm, Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm. Second and third floor, 69a King s Road, SW3 4NX. T: SP & Co Bliss London The London site of international spa chain Bliss, this has eight multi-purpose treatment rooms and offers massages, The Chelsea Day Spa
43 43 THINGS TO DO Spas Gina Conway Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa Gina Conway moved from San Francisco to London in 2001 and opened a series of award-winning combined salon and spas that provide hair treatments, design and colour as well as spa services such as facials, massages, body, hand and foot treatments, tinting, waxing and threading and eyelash extensions. Monday 9am-7pm, Tuesday-Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday 9am-7pm, Sunday 10am-6pm. 199 King s Road, SW3 5ED T: Liz Earle Skincare and Treatments Founded in 1995 by Liz Earle and Kim Buckland, Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare has a flagship store with treatment rooms in Duke of York Square. Services include the Liz Earle Signature Facial (90 minutes, 85), skincare tutorial (45 mins, 45) and back and body massages. The team at the store can also give advice about your personal skincare. Monday 10am-7pm, Tuesday 10.30am-7pm, Wednesday-Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday and bank holidays 11am-5pm Duke of York Square, SW3 4LY T: uk.lizearle.com Lush Spa Pitched as a traditional English country spa and set in a country kitchen before you enter the treatment room, the Lush Spa is a bit different and has a range of quirky treatments which are a bit like a spa equivalent of a Heston Blumenthal dish. Try the Lush Sound Bath an hour of relaxation and sound therapy ( 70), including a hot and cold stone facial and a scalp massage. 123 King s Road, SW3 4PL T: NYR Organic Beauty Spa Neal s Yard Remedies is famous for its organic, natural health and beauty products, and its spa at the King s Road follows this ethos. It offers facials, body treatments, waxing, manicures and pedicures and men s treatments, as well as a sauna and CACI treatments using microcurrents. Monday 11am-7pm, Tuesday 10am- 6pm, Wednesday 10am-7pm, Thursday- Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday 11.30am-6pm. 124b King s Road, SW3 4TR T: beauty-spa The Peak Health Spa Day spa and beauty treatments on the ninth floor of the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel, including Pevonia Facials, men s treatments and the Voya Tangle Me Up signature experience a body wrap in organic seaweed, head massage, and Liz Earle Skincare and Treatments hour-long facial (105 minutes, 130). Monday-Friday 6.15am-10pm, weekends 7.30am-9pm. Jumeirah Carlton Tower, on Cadogan Place, SW1X 9PY. T: Resorts/Destinations/London/Jumeirah- Carlton-Tower/Health-Spa/ QMS Medicosmetics Skincare and facial treatments created by Dr Erich Schulte. The skincare spa offers facials and body treatments. Monday-Saturday 9.30am-6pm. Late appointments on request. 43 Cadogan Gardens, SW3 2TB T: Sen Chelsea A centre offering traditional Chinese medicine treatments, including Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology and other techniques. There is also a Sen on the fourth floor of Harvey Nichols (T: ). Monday-Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm. 149 King s Road, SW3 5TX T: The Spa at Bluebird The Spa at Bluebird tailors treatments to each client and works with Micheline Arcier Aromatherapie for essential oil blends and techniques. Most therapies are suitable for men and women, and include facials, massage, body treatments, manicures and pedicures and waxing. New clients for treatments need to have an initial consultation. Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm. 350 King s Road, SW3 5UU T: spa-and-beauty/treatments/ It s all going on Chelsea boasts a busy year-round schedule of events, including the Flower Show, one of London's biggest antiques events, and the ever-popular Affordable Art Fair. The dates given in our guide are for 2012 Affordable Art Fair March 14-18, October The Affordable Art Fair is based just south of the river in Battersea and displays contemporary works of art by a wide range of artists, each with a price ceiling of 4,000. A free shuttle bus service runs from Sloane Square to the fair. home Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair November 2-3 The Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair is a Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair
44 44 THINGS TO DO Events book-lovers haven. It has been held in Chelsea for more than 20 years and runs at the Chelsea Old Town Hall each November. More than 75 exhibitors present a wide range of items, from 16th to 21th-century works, priced between 10 and 10,000. Chelsea Antiques Fair March 21-25, September The Chelsea Antiques Fair is now the oldest fair of its kind in Britain. It has been operating since 1950 and is based in the Chelsea Old Town Hall. The fair has 38 stands of specialists offering a wide variety of quality wares, including furniture, jewellery, porcelain, Oriental pieces and fine art. Entry costs 5 and prices range between 200 and 20,000. Chelsea Art Fair April The 38 exhibitors at the Chelsea Art Fair are all respected British galleries and many represent international artists. The fair shows contemporary art in a range of different media, including paintings, drawings and sculpture. Prices range between 500 and 20,000. Chelsea Autolegends September 2 A celebration of Britain s passion for automobiles and motor sport, Chelsea Autolegends takes place in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The 2012 events includes Stars Cars, 70s Cool, Formula One RHS Chelsea Flower Show, RHS Images Celebration Tributes and Supercar Park. RHS Chelsea Flower Show May The RHS Chelsea Flower Show began as the Great Spring Show in the mid- 19th century and has been based at the Royal Hospital nearly every year since Over the five days, a variety of exhibits falling under five different award categories Flora (garden and floral exhibits), Hogg (exhibits of trees), Knightian (exhibits of vegetables, including herbs), Lindley (exhibits of special educational or scientific interest) and Grenfell (exhibits of pictures, photographs, floral arrangements and floristry) are put on display. There are also special awards, including Tips for visiting the RHS Chelsea Flower Show If you re in London when the Flower Show is on, it makes a wonderful day out, whether you re a keen gardener or not. The sea of colours is spectacular and there are lots of unusual plants and stylish garden designs. Here are a few tips for attendees. Wear comfortable shoes. You ll be on your feet for a long time and it s surprising how far you can end up walking when you re looking around. Take a bottle of water and check the weather forecast. If it s forecast to be sunny, make sure you take sunscreen and a hat. If you re not so lucky and rain is forecast, make sure you take a waterproof jacket you often see very damp and miserable-looking ladies walking around Chelsea who chose fashion rather than practicality at a rainy show. Best Show Garden, Best City Garden, RHS Floral arrangement trophies and the RHS President s Award. The show gardens are often spectacular and gain the most publicity, with media coverage including television broadcasts. There is a big sell-off of plants at the end of the show (from 4pm on May 26). The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a world-famous, extremely popular event, so visitor numbers are capped at 157,000. It is essential to book in advance either by telephone or online if you would like to attend. Children under five are not admitted to the show and no animals except guide or assistance dogs are allowed. There is no re-entry to the showground once you have left. Work out which gardens or exhibits you want to see the most and visit them first. It s easy to get caught up in the crowds and there s lots to see, so you ll miss things if you re just ambling through. Take a digital camera so you can document any plants you want to track down later. And, of course, so you can capture your day. It sounds obvious, but take antihistamines and any other medication you might need if you suffer from hayfever, allergies or asthma. That s a lot of pollen in one place. If the crowds get too much or you re getting tired, take a break at one of the picnic/seating areas. You ll enjoy it more if you take a ten-minute breather and then continue with the show. rhs-chelsea-flower-show/2011 Chelsea Fringe May 19-June 10 This ambitious event is opening for the first time in 2012 and is hoping to build on the popularity of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show by catering for a wider audience of potential gardeners as well as existing ones. Events planned for the Fringe include secret gardens in the backs of lorries which will park on street corners before revealing gardens, floral boats floating down the Thames and pop-up gardens which will appear in unexpected locations.
45 45 THINGS TO DO Events Chelsea Gifts for Christmas Fair Ran December in 2011, dates for 2012 TBA If you have some last-minute Christmas shopping to do, the Chelsea Gifts for Christmas Fair at the Chelsea Old Town Hall could offer an exotic and quirky gift from one of its 50 stalls. Paule Ka taking part in Chelsea in Bloom Chelsea in Bloom May Another event which coincides with the Chelsea Flower Show, Chelsea in Bloom sees local retailers transform their shops and shop windows into ambitious, stunning floral exhibits. Guided tours offer visitors an insight into the themes and ideas behind each display. Christmas Fair at Chelsea Physic Garden December 1-2 Large heated marquees offer shelter from the winter weather in the grounds of the Chelsea Physic Garden for the Christmas Fair. It is not only a chance to browse the wide range of gifts offered by stallholders, but also a rare chance to see the garden in winter when it is usually closed to the public. Frock Me! Vintage Fashion April 29, June 10, September 9, October 28, December 2 Frock Me! has been based at Chelsea Old Town Hall since 2004 and claims to be London s hottest vintage fashion event. Kate Moss, Laura Bailey and Kylie Minogue have all shopped at the show and there is something on offer from every era. Prices range from one pound up to several hundred. Little Chelsea Antiques Fair March 5-6, June The Affordable Antiques Fair, as the Little Chelsea Antiques Fair is known, is renowned for offering something for everyone, with items costing from ten pounds to more than 30,000. It has been based at Chelsea Old Town Hall since 1980 and the UK-based dealers offer a diverse range of antique and decorative items such as furniture, jewellery, glass and porcelain, textiles and scientific instruments, as well as other novelty items. Frock Me! Vintage Fashion Handmade in Britain November Handmade in Britain was set up to support and promote UK-based designermakers. It organises a contemporary craft and design fair at Chelsea Old Town Hall, where designer-makers Handmade in Britain exhibit a wide variety of wares including glass, jewellery, furniture, greeting cards, stationery, metalwork, ceramics, sculpture, woodwork, prints and etchings. Il Circolo Italian Christmas Bazaar: 12th 13th November 2012 November Il Circolo is a registered charity that promotes Italian culture in the UK through scholarships and events. One such event is the Italian Christmas Bazaar, which is held each year at Chelsea Old Town Hall and 10% of all sales and entrance fees go towards scholarships for talented students. Open House London September Open House London is an architectural celebration of London s buildings, places and neighbourhoods. It is a free event with a huge catalogue of buildings to view in 2011 more than 780 buildings were available for viewing, one of which was Holy Trinity Church, just off Sloane Square. The printed programme becomes available in August each year, as does the search facility on the website. Open Garden Squares Weekend (see Green Spaces) Untitled Artists Fair June 1-3 Untitled is the biggest artists' fair in the UK. There are no agents and no galleries involved, and 100 per cent of all sales income goes directly to the artists themselves. It is based in Chelsea Old Town Hall and each year as many as 170 artists display and sell their wares.
46 46 INSIDER Open spaces Chelsea Physic Garden, Royal Hospital Road Walk past Wren s glorious Royal Hospital (the finest brick building in London?) towards the river, past Gordon Ramsay s flagship restaurant and arrive at an unpretentious brick wall. Hiding behind that long, low wall is the ultimate secret garden the Chelsea Physic Garden. It has been there since 1673, when the river was its southern boundary and ships moored there with plants discovered from all around the world. Explore and enjoy the greatest variety of trees and rare plants in London: the magical miniature world of the Victorian fernery, a special land of natural medicine and perfumed flowers. Where better, ever, anywhere, to take tea and cake on a summer s afternoon? Albert Bridge I m so glad the bridge is back in action and reborn out of its scaffold shroud of the past two years. I missed it like an old friend. My favourite gateway into Chelsea (I grew up south of the river), it is always The Insider s Guide to open spaces By Paul Davis, local architect and lover of London past and present. Once upon a time he raced cars but now, for relaxation, he gardens and plants trees the prettiest of London bridges. At night it sparkles in the Thames, like the threshold into a magic kingdom. Go and stand on it at dawn, see the sun rise over Battersea Park and the grand old Power Station, the seabirds wading at low tide, stillness and space in the middle of London. At sunset, sometimes the water seems to catch fire, all the reds of a paint box colouring in the water around the houseboats. Even the chimneys of Lots Road Power Station appear romantic in the evening light. No wonder Turner and Whistler loved to paint this panorama, available to us all. Chelsea Arts Club, Old Church Street Another treat only found in Chelsea. Beyond the snooker table, the piano, the random bucket leather chairs in the big bow window, you will find the garden. The crumpled flagstones characterfully shabby, the rose arbour glorious in white blooming all summer long. Explore the garden s corners, the romantic secret nook hidden behind the statue of Diana. Reinvented (in part) only recently, the quirky thatched arcade under the cleverly cropped cupressus trees, a columnar colonnade, provides shelter from the rain while supping wine, smoking cigars and debating the vagaries of artistic directions. Ranelagh Gardens, Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road This shady retreat is a place of absurd extremes. In June, it is one of the most densely populated places during the Chelsea Flower Show. That is a wonderful event and part of what makes Chelsea world-class. But for 11 months of the year, it is almost forgotten. Walk through the London Gate of the Royal Hospital, past Light Horse Court and into Ranelagh Gardens and don t be surprised if you find yourself in your own private park, alone. The idea I most love, as you walk towards the river in leafy solitude, is that 270 years ago this was the site of London s most fashionable pleasure ground. Designed by William Jones and painted by Canaletto, the Rotunda, a magnificent 120ft diameter domed pavilion, was part of the riverside setting with Wren s masterpiece. This is where the masquerade was introduced to the English public, when oysters were common fare, where princes and dukes mingled with people from all walks of life. Mozart played there as a nine-year-old while living in Ebury Street just around the corner. Nell Gwyn was there and courtship was in the air. The entrance fee was two shillings and sixpence then now it is free. Chelsea Green The heart of an urban village in the middle of a world city. A tiny triangle of open space, dissected by a path lined with benches and adorned with two cherry trees (best at springtime in pink blossom). Most remarkable is the atmosphere and character created by useful, everyday and still elegant (it is Chelsea, after all) shops. A real fishmonger, open-fronted with traditional grey Carrara marble slabs; the pie (Man) shop; a local butcher; Finn s fine food delicatessen; Jane Asher s cake shop and an excellent wine merchant. Especially essential, there is a good pharmacy, newsagent, dry cleaner and shoe repairs, a picture framer and, most importantly (this little boy never grew up), a wonderful toy shop. The few clothes boutiques here are not to be found on every high street or miserable mall. Tom Aikens and others provide variety in restaurants and not a Starbucks in sight hooray!
47 47 INSIDER Places for children The Insider s Guide to places for children When I m not working or undertaking charity work, one of my top Chelsea hangouts is KX, a private members gym and spa. My favourite restaurants in the area are Ilia (96 Draycott Avenue) for its incredible selection of antipasti, Eight Over Eight (392 King s Road) for its lively bar and pan-asian menu (the chilli salt squid and duck salad are two of my favourite dishes anywhere) and my friend Richard Caring s place Daphne s (112 Draycott Avenue) for its seasonal Italian food and atmosphere. Igloo, 227 King s Road As a mother to two little girls nearing the age of three, I find myself in children s shops all the time and Chelsea has a really good range of stores for everything the little ones need. Igloo on the King s Road is fantastic for great shoes and boots and it s also a brilliant place to buy gifts for all my friends kids. The range of clothes is great as they stock two of my favourites Petit Bateau and I Love Gorgeous. The staff are all super-helpful and friendly, which always makes shopping with little ones all the more By Jenny Halpern Prince, who has lived in Chelsea and had her office on the King s Road for more than 15 years. She started Halpern, one of London s leading consumer PR agencies, in her kitchen and it has grown into an agency that looks after some of the world s leading brands. Jenny sits on the boards of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children s Charity, Tate, Women s Aid and The Legacy List. She is also the governor of the London Academy and a mentor for creative start-ups The Little White Company pleasant. At the moment my two are budding ballerinas and Igloo has a beautiful range of tutus by Angel s Face. Trotters, 34 King s Road Trotters, also on the King s Road, has nailed what kids shops should be. While parents stock up on clothes and more, the children can have their hair cut and are kept entertained seated in front of a giant aquarium. It s a good place to stock up on books as well as hair clips and other accessories too, like hats, scarves and gloves. The Little White Company, 4 Symons Street The Little White Company is perfect for bedding and the basics, and everything is so fresh-looking. My two would never have been able to sleep as little ones without their Little White Company grow bags and even now still love the pyjamas from there. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road Away from the shops, when the kids and I are after some entertainment, my first port of call is the Natural History Museum. I am addicted to this place probably even more so than my children due to my fascination with animals. Nothing beats walking round the impressive building and ending up in the room with the blue whale replica in it. It amazes me every time. Science Museum, Exhibition Road The Science Museum is also a must-see as there are endless installations and Natural History Museum Wildlife Garden displays for the kids to interact with. Like me and the Natural History Museum, the kids never get bored of the Science Museum and spend days chatting about everything they have seen there each time we go. Kensington Gardens I love to get out the house and into the fresh air with the girls and Kensington Gardens is hands-down the best park in central London for me, especially for skating/scooting, feeding swans and ducks and the unique pirate ship and playground. Many a happy day has been spent here with the children and my dog. I always bump into other friends while strolling around, especially when the sun is out. Regardless of whether it s flip-flop or welly boots weather, it s hard to drag the children away.
48 48 HOTELS AND APARTMENTS Staying power Hotels and apartments The main bar at The Capital There is no shortage of places to stay in Chelsea, from self-catering apartments to luxury hotels where champagne is served at six. Here, we check out some of the places to check-in Basil Street Apartments **** Luxury serviced apartments close to Harrods. There are eight apartments, ranging from studios to three-bedrooms, featuring kitchens, washer/dryers, and a relaxation area. There is a minimum stay of three nights. 15 Basil Street, SW3 1AX T: The Beaufort **** A privately-owned, four-star boutique hotel, close to Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Set in a tree-lined cul-de-sac, it has 29 individually decorated rooms. Room rates include a complimentary afternoon cream tea and a drink at the residents bar. 33 Beaufort Gardens, SW3 1PP T: The Capital ***** Opened by Scottish proprietor David Levin in 1969, this five-star boutique hotel is still family-run. Its Capital Restaurant was voted one of the five best hotel restaurants in London by Zagat in 2011 (see Restaurants). Special events and masterclasses are run at the hotel throughout the year. The Capital Apartments in Basil Street are available for longer stays, from short to long lets, and have kitchens and washing machines as well as housekeeping Basil Street, SW3 1AT T: Room rates Due to the changeable nature of room rates - which depend on availability, dates required and any special deals - we have not included a price guide for hotels. Please contact the hotels directly or search online for the current rates. Drinks at The Capital
49 49 HOTELS AND APARTMENTS The Cadogan ***** A thump and a murmur of voices ( Oh why must they make such a din? ) As the door of the bedroom swung open And two plain-clothes policemen came in: Mr Woilde we ave come for tew take yew Where felons and criminals dwell. We must ask yew tew leave with us quoietly For this is the Cadogan Hotel. ' John Betjeman s 1937 poem sums up both the Cadogan s prestigious reputation and one of its most famous moments the arrest of Oscar Wilde in The writer, poet and notable wit was staying in room 118 and, ignoring the Afternoon tea at The Cadogan pleas of his friends to flee, remained drinking at the hotel until his arrest for homosexual activities. He was sent to Reading Gaol, the beginning of the end for one of Victorian society s most colourful characters. He died in Paris, destitute, in 1900, aged 46 (for more on Oscar Wilde, see Tite Street in Streets and Sights). The hotel also includes what was once the home of Lillie Langtry, actress and lover of the future king of England, Edward VII. She lived at 21 Pont Street from 1892 to 1897 even after she sold the house and it was absorbed into the hotel in 1895, she would stay in her old bedroom. In fact, she was so attached to the rooms that her ghost is said to haunt her old living quarters. The Cadogan s restaurant, Great Taste at the Cadogan, is in her former home (see Restaurants). These days the Cadogan is a calm, luxurious place to stay close to Gucci, Tiffany, Harrods and Harvey Nichols, and its Edwardian grandeur is a reminder of its past stories. It has private gardens, tennis courts and a fitness studio. 75 Sloane Street, SW1X 9SG T: Chelsea Cloisters *** A three-star property with more than 200 studio, one-bed and two-bed serviced apartments. Guests can book for stays of one night up to many weeks. Each apartment has its own kitchen and en-suite bathroom. Sloane Avenue, SW3 3DW T: Draycott Hotel ***** Named England s Leading Boutique Hotel in the 2010 World Travel Awards and a runner-up for Europe s Leading Boutique Hotel in 2011, the Draycott aims to be a luxurious home from home. It has 35 large rooms and suites, all individually decorated and filled with antiques, and each is named after a theatrical figure such as Sheridan, Coward and Grenfell. Every suite has a fully fitted-out kitchen, and many have working gas fireplaces. Modern touches include air conditioning, satellite television, CD systems and complimentary wi-fi. The five-star townhouse hotel occupies three red-brick Edwardian homes and has its own garden square and a private dining room. The 'English country retreat' feel is summed up by the complimentary drinks served every day at set times in the Drawing Room tea and biscuits at 4pm, champagne at 6pm and hot chocolate from 10pm. If only all homes could be like that. 26 Cadogan Gardens, SW3 2RP T: Durley House ***** Boutique hotel Durley House has 11 suites furnished in a classic period style, all 45 sq m or more, some with kitchens. It has the air of a private house, with Lord Durley s portrait looking on as guests enter the hotel. Reservations include complimentary use of the Peak Health Club and Spa at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower, a fiveminute walk away, for one guest. Durley House does not have a restaurant but offers 24-hour room service with dishes prepared by its own chef, delivered to suites by a traditional dumbwaiter service lift. Champagne afternoon tea is served in the lounge ( per person). 115 Sloane Street, SW1X 9PJ T: Jumeirah Carlton Tower ***** The five-star Jumeirah Carlton Tower, a landmark on the Knightsbridge skyline, celebrated its 50th anniversary in Designed by Michael Rosenauer, who also created the Time Life Building on New Bond Street, it was the tallest hotel in London when it opened in Its modern design and spectacular views made it the backdrop to photoshoots by fashion designer Mary Quant and Twiggy s Mini campaign, and celebrities including Princess Diana, Michael Jackson and Madonna have stayed there. It also made the headlines in 1975 when the IRA shot at the hotel luckily, the bullets passed between The Draycott Hotel
50 50 HOTELS AND APARTMENTS diners in the Rib Room restaurant and no one was hurt. The hotel has three restaurants, two bars and the Peak Health Club and Spa, which has a gym and a 20-metre indoor rooftop swimming pool (see Sports Centres and Facilities and Spas). It was nominated for Europe s Leading Business Hotel in the World Travel Awards in For more on the Rib Room Restaurant and Bar, see Restaurants. Cadogan Place, SW1X 9PY T: Resorts/Reiseziele/London/Jumeirah- Carlton-Tower The Levin ***** The Levin is a five-star boutique hotel with just 12 rooms, a stone s throw away from Harrods. It is owned and operated by David Levin, who also created the Capital next door. The rooms are individually designed with luxury in mind, and Le Metro Bar & Brasserie serves afternoon tea as part of its all-day menu. 28 Basil Street, SW3 1AS T: Millennium & Copthorne Hotels at Chelsea Football Club **** This four-star deluxe hotel is based at Chelsea Football Club and offers football packages, including match tickets and programmes, accommodation, dinner and breakfast. Of course, you don t have to be going to a match to stay there it s also close to the Fulham Broadway end of the King s Road. See also Marco Restaurant in Restaurants. Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, SW6 1HS. T: Jumeirah Carlton Tower Millennium Hotel London Knightsbridge **** A large, four-star deluxe hotel at the top of Sloane Street, close to Harvey Nichols, Harrods and designer stores. It has 222 guest rooms. Its MU Restaurant & Cocktail Bar serves Asian fusion cuisine. 17 Sloane Street, SW1X 9NU T: knightsbridge No.11 Cadogan Gardens No.11 Cadogan Gardens is a luxury, couture hotel set in a quiet area close to Sloane Square, making it a perfect urban hideaway. Set in grand buildings, it has 54 rooms and four self-contained suites. It also has a gym, spa and restaurant. The decor is quirky and the unusual layout makes you want to explore check out the romantic courtyard dining area, lit with candles. It relaunched in April Cadogan Gardens, SW3 2RJ T: San Domenico House ***** A five-star boutique hotel with 16 bedrooms and suites and an extensive room service menu, a three-minute walk from Sloane Square Tube Station Draycott Place, SW3 2SH T: Searcy s 30 Pavilion Road ***1/2 30 Pavilion Road has 11 roof garden bedrooms in a country-style Georgian townhouse. The whole house is also available for exclusive use for dinners, receptions and other events. 30 Pavilion Road, SW1X 0HJ T: (bedrooms) T: (events). Sloane Club ****/***** The exclusive Sloane Club has its origins in the Service Women s Club, which was founded for serving and former lady officers of the Armed Forces in the Second World War. It became the Helena Club for ladies in the early 1960s, established by a ladyin-waiting to Princess Marie Louise. Gentlemen were admitted in the 1970s and it became the Sloane Club in It is designed as a home from home. Although you need to be a member to book into a room or dine at the club (members can bring a guest), nonmembers can book an apartment and are granted membership for the duration of their stay, allowing them to use the restaurant, private dining room, bar and roof terrace. The 20 apartments are four or five-star, ranging from studios to four bedrooms, and can be found in Lower Sloane Street and Sloane Gardens. They are available from one week to three months (shorter periods on request). 52 Lower Sloane Street, SW1W 8BS T: Millennium Hotel London Knightsbridge The Sloane Square Hotel **** Overlooking Sloane Square, this four-star hotel is a convenient base to explore the area from. The bedrooms include some interesting extra features, including free local and national calls, a Toshiba laptop, a DVD player and library of 250 films, iphone and ipod docking stations and free Sky Sports TV channels. See also Chelsea Brasserie in Restaurants. Sloane Square, SW1W 8EG T: Sydney House Chelsea **** A four-star deluxe hotel with 21 bedrooms set in a Grade II-listed, Georgian townhouse. It has a drawing room, bar and a boardroom, and the top-floor double room (known at the Room at the Top) has its own private roof garden. An organic, cooked English breakfast is available until 6.30pm Sydney Street, SW3 6PU T:
51 51 INSIDER Chelsea, past and present The Insider s Guide to Chelsea, past and present National Army Museum As a long-time Chelsea resident, I think it must be one of the best places if not the best place to live in London, which itself is the most vibrant and cosmopolitan city in the world. My chief joy is walking round the streets, squares and places that make Chelsea a village within a city. The most special places are the Royal Hospital Chelsea, which is still doing what it has been doing for more than 300 years; the Chelsea Physic Garden; the National Army Museum, which is brilliant for children (and, in my case, grandchildren); and Duke of York Square, which thanks to an inspired redevelopment as London s newest public square is a meeting place for all ages. Then there are the wonderful churches, such as Chelsea Old Church, where my wife and I were married, as was my widowed mother on her second marriage. Her mother s funeral took place there, which is appropriate as she did so much to raise funds for its rebuilding after bomb damage. Also, there is the chapel at the Royal Hospital Chelsea where my ex-soldier By Sir Michael Craig-Cooper CBE TD DL, who has lived most of his life in Chelsea and has held several important posts in the area. Following National Service in Combined Operations, he was articled to a solicitor and undertook many unpaid voluntary roles in the service of Chelsea, the Royal Borough and Greater London. He served as a councillor for the Hans Town Ward, during which time he was chairman of the Council's Finance Committee for two years, and then served as one of the last of the aldermen. Having served in the Territorial Army for many years, he was a deputy lieutenant for Greater London and the representative deputy lieutenant for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea until his promotion to Vice Lord-Lieutenant in 2005 a role he completed in He is currently president of the Friends of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and is a trustee of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant Foundation, as well as serving as vice president of the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association of Greater London son was married and his two children christened Holy Trinity Sloane Street, St Luke s in Sydney Street, and many others I have connections to. It is a great privilege to live in Hans Town which, until the reorganisation of London local government in the late 1800s, was the oldest secular unit of local government under its commissioners outside the City of London. It was an additional privilege to represent it on the council for six years and as an alderman for a further four. The Wren Chapel at the Royal Hospital Chelsea
52 52 FOOD AND DRINK Restaurants Food and drink The Lounge at Zuma Whether you re looking forward to a special dinner, you re meeting friends for drinks or you re just feeling a bit peckish, there s a myriad of restaurants, cafés, pubs and nightlife spots in the area Top tables Chelsea is peppered with some of the world s finest restaurants, including the legendary Michelin-magnet Restaurant Gordon Ramsay but if you don t fancy breaking the bank, there are plenty of alternatives on the menu Awana A fine-dining Malaysian restaurant and satay bar, Awana offers an à la carte menu, specials, vegetarian and vegan food and a couple of set menus ( Taste of Malaysia and Malaysian Banquet ). The satay bar serves up Malaysian street food, particularly dishes from the island of Penang, while the substantial cocktail list features plenty of exotic fruits and flavours. Lunch: 12pm-3pm. Dinner: Monday- Wednesday 6pm-11pm, Thursday- Saturday 6pm-11.30pm, Sunday 6pm pm. 85 Sloane Avenue, SW3 3DX T: Baity Kitchen Baity Kitchen serves an interesting mix of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine the result of a partnership between Palestinian-born food blogger and chef Joudie Kalla-Anagnou and her Greek friend Christina Mouratoglou. It s an all-day dining venture that has opened relatively recently (December 2010), with an emphasis on home-cooking. Baity means my home in Arabic, and the restaurant aims to serve up the sort of home-cooking that isn t normally found on menus in Arabic restaurants. Joudie has worked in Restaurant Price guide: The following key shows a general price guide for the restaurants, based on an average three-course meal from the à la carte menu (including VAT but not including drinks or service charges). Please note that this is just a guide to prices and should be treated as such. : Under 25 : : : : 55 and over Baity Kitchen Cake Pops
53 53 FOOD AND DRINK Restaurants Gordon Ramsay, Daphne s and Papillon, so she has the skills to back up her home-cooking. Best-sellers include the Greek dish gemista (stuffed vegetables with rice) and the Palestinian sayyadiyeh (seared cod with cumin). There is also a catering service. Monday-Saturday 8am-9pm, Sunday 9am-8pm. 172 Walton Street, SW3 2JL T: Baku A new Azerbaijani restuarant named after the country s capital. Run by Philippe Moreau, who launched the Cheyne Walk Brasserie and Eight Over Eight on the King s Road, it serves dishes from Caspian sturgeon caviar to meat and fsh kebabs and black cod pomegranate. Monday-Sunday, 11am-2am Sloane Street, SW1X 9QB T: bakulondon.com Beaufort House Cocktail Bar and Brasserie Beaufort House The brasserie and cocktail bar on the ground floor are open to the public, while the rest of Beaufort House is a private members club. The brasserie has an all-day brunch menu and a dinner menu made up of British and European dishes. It welcomes families with young children in the day and becomes more of a bar in the evening. For the cocktail bar, see Pubs, Bars and Nightlife. Brasserie and cocktail bar open Sunday-Wednesday 10am-12.30pm, Thursday-Saturday 10am-1.30pm. 354 King s Road, SW3 5UZ T: Benihana Benihana Chelsea is part of an international chain of Japanese restaurants founded in 1964 with a theatrical flair, where food is prepared and cooked at your table on a Hibachi Grill. The Chelsea branch opened in The menu features mostly steak and fish/shellfish dishes often a combination of the two. If you feel in the mood to splash out, there s even Wagyu beef. There s also a selection of hot and cold appetisers, sushi and bento boxes. The lunchtime dishes are generally cheaper. Lunch: Monday-Saturday 12pm-3pm. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 5.30pm pm, Sunday and bank holidays 5pm-10pm. 77 King s Road, SW3 4NX T: Big Easy Bar.B.Q & Crabshack A restaurant inspired by Gulf Coast crabshacks in the US of A, Big Easy brings American barbeque food to Chelsea. The theme idea might put some people off, but it s not just a gimmick the food has won fans and it s buzzy, with live music in the evenings. The menu features steaks, fajitas, lobster, ribs, burgers and crab, of course. Prices for mains are around the mark, unless you re going for the top steaks or a steak/lobster combo. There are some good deals, too, depending on the day of the week. It s happy hour at the bar at 12pm and 4pm daily, Tuesday-Friday 4pm-7.30pm and all day on Monday until 11pm, and the drinks list is cocktail-heavy. Sunday to Thursday 12pm-11pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm-12am King s Road, SW3 5UR T: Black & Blue Black & Blue, a restaurant group that specialises in steak and hamburgers, has taken over the site of the famous Picasso café on the King s Road. Bluebird Restaurant Picasso was much-loved by locals and was a hangout for rock stars and celebs, including the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton in the 1960s, and Bob Geldof and Gordon Ramsay in later years. The recession took its toll and it closed in The Black & Blue menu includes a selection of light lunches and more substantial meals, primarily steaks, burgers and fish. There is an extensive wine list. Sunday-Thursday 8am-11pm, Friday and Saturday 8am-11.30pm. 127 King s Road, SW3 4PW T: Bluebird Chelsea Set in a striking 1920s Grade II-listed former garage, this foodie hub has a restaurant, a bar, a café (see Cafés), an al fresco dining area, a food store and a wine shop (see Shopping). Terence Conran developed the building in the 1990s as the Bluebird Gastrodome, and it has since been taken over by restaurant group D&D London. There s also a shop selling clothes, accessories, gifts and furniture and a spa in the same complex (see Shopping and Spas). The restaurant is on the the first-floor cut between the café and the al fresco courtyard and up the stairs on the lefthand side as you face the main building. The à la carte menu is made up of modern British dishes and classics with a twist, and the desserts include grownup takes on childhood favourites. There s also a lunch menu, a set lunch menu and a Sunday lunch menu, as well as bar snacks. Lunch: Monday-Friday 12pm-2.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-3.30pm. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6pm pm, Sunday 6pm-9.30pm. Bluebird Chelsea, 350 King s Road, SW3
54 54 FOOD AND DRINK Restaurants 5UU. T: (restaurant, bar and café) Byron King s Road Tom Byng founded restaurant chain Byron in 2007 to serve proper hamburgers the way they should be. There are a few salads as well, but it s all about the burgers here and there s a substantial list of toppings and dips so you can customise them. The desserts are American in theme and there are milkshakes too. The wine list is minimal but there s a good selection of craft beers. Monday-Thursday 12pm-11pm, Friday 12pm-11.30pm, Saturday 11am pm, Sunday 11am-10.30pm. 300 King s Road, SW3 5UH T: Great Taste at the Cadogan This luxurious restaurant, adjacent to the Cadogan, is set in the former home of actress Lillie Langtry, famous for her affair with the future king of England, Edward VII. The restaurant was launched in 2012 and serves modern British cuisine. It showcases Great Taste award-winning ingredients, celebrating the best of British produce. The food changes regularly, with prominent experts such as famous food critics Faye Maschler and Charles Campion creating new menus every six to eight weeks. It s 18 for one course, 23 for two courses and 28 for three courses. Lunch: Tuesday-Sunday 12pm- 2.30pm. Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday 6pm- 10pm. 21 Pont Street, SW1W 9SG T: Cheyne Walk Brasserie The Capital Under executive head chef Jérôme Ponchelle, the award-winning restaurant in the Capital Hotel serves up contemporary and classic French and British cuisine and celebrated its 40th birthday in The à la carte menu changes according to the season and there are also degustation menus for the whole table. A set menu is available for lunch (Monday- Friday) and there is a Sunday lunch menu, including a carvery. The wine list is huge and reached the final round of the AA Wine Award in 2011/12. Events including special wine and champagne dinners and masterclasses are held throughout the year. Ponchelle also oversees menus for the private dining rooms. Lunch: Monday-Sunday 12pm-2.30pm. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6.30pm pm. The Capital Hotel, Basil Street, SW3 1AT. T: Caraffini Close to Sloane Square, Paolo Caraffini s long-established Italian restaurant serves traditional food at relatively affordable prices. There are daily specials in addition to the à la carte menu, and the wine list focuses mostly on Italian wines. Table reservations are only available by telephone. Lunch: Monday-Saturday 12.15pm- 2.30pm. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6.30pm-11.30pm Lower Sloane Street, SW1W 8DH. T: Chelsea Brasserie and Bar Chelsea Brasserie and Bar Simon Henbery, former head chef at Jamie Oliver s Fifteen, runs the kitchen at the Chelsea Brasserie and Bar on Sloane Square. Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, the European menu has a modern, seasonal twist. Breakfast: Monday-Friday 7am am, Saturday-Sunday 7am-10am. Lunch: Monday-Saturday 12pm-3pm. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6pm-10.30pm. Sunday brunch: 11.30am-3.30pm Sloane Square, SW1W 8EG T: Cheyne Walk Brasserie Set in a former Victorian pub, this longrunning, riverside French brasserie and salon has a Provençal-inspired menu. Seasonal produce is prepared on an open grill in the heart of the brasserie. There s a good-value weekday set lunch (Tuesday-Friday, 19 for two courses, 25 for three) and a weekend set lunch ( 28 for two courses, 34 for three), and you can choose your dessert from the à la carte menu for both. There s also a weekend children s menu ( 9.50 for two courses). The wine list is extensive. The upstairs Salon has a river view and serves drinks and cocktails, with a menu of tartines, baguettes and the traditional Croque Monsieur. The Salon sometimes hosts jazz nights - check the website for event details. Lunch: Tuesday-Saturday 12pm-3pm, Sunday 12pm-3.30pm. Dinner: Monday- Saturday 7pm-10.30pm. 50 Cheyne Walk, SW3 5LR T: Eight Over Eight Part of restaurateur Will Ricker s group of trendy pan-asian restaurants, the sleek Eight Over Eight has recovered from the fire it suffered in 2009 and is back to its glamorous best. The bar serves interesting cocktails ( 8-10) including the Black Orchard (Johnnie Walker Black shaken with fresh ginger, chilli, lemon juice and sugar, served short over ice) and the Lychee Bellini (lychee liquor and sake topped with champagne). The menu features dim sum, sushi
55 55 FOOD AND DRINK Restaurants and sashimi, tempura, curries, BBQ/roasts, specials and salads. There s also a bento box lunch special ( ), which brings together sushi, salads and hot dishes in set menus. It s worth checking out the special offers on the website too, which can give a hefty discount on selected days. Lunch: Monday-Friday 12pm-3pm, Saturday and Sunday 12pm-4pm. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6pm-11pm, Sunday 6pm-10.30pm. Bar (dim sum served all day): Monday-Saturday 12pm- 12am, Sunday 6pm-11.30pm. 392 King s Road, SW3 5UZ T: El Blason El Blason is a Spanish restaurant which featured in the film Blow-Up (1966) see Film. At the time of writing, it was closed for refurbishment. 8-9 Blacklands Terrace, SW3 2SP T: Foxtrot Oscar Elistano Head chef William Pinfold, who has worked with Tom Aikens and Gordon Ramsay, recently joined Elistano, so the traditionally Italian restaurant is broadening out to offer modern European-style food as well as the old favourites. There is some pavement seating if you want to eat al fresco. Lunch: Monday-Friday 12pm-3.30pm, Saturday 12pm-4pm. Dinner: Monday- Saturday 6pm-10.30pm. Sunday all day 10am-4pm Elystan Street, SW3 3NT T: Fifth Floor Restaurant at Harvey Nichols Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Restaurant has European seasonal menus designed by executive chef Jonas Karlsson, drawing inspiration from his Swedish heritage. The daily-changing market menu showcases produce from the Harvey Nichols Foodmarket, also on the fifth floor. The neutral, sophisticated décor makes it a calming place to take a break from shopping, and the award-winning wine list offers more than 750 wines from all over the world. Wi-fi is available. Lunch: Monday-Thursday 12pm- 3.30pm, Friday-Sunday 12pm-4pm. Afternoon tea: Monday-Thursday 2.30pm-5.30pm, Friday-Saturday 3.30pm-5.30pm, Sunday 3pm-5pm. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6pm-11pm. Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ. T: Foxtrot Oscar Part of Gordon Ramsay s stable of restaurants, Foxtrot Oscar is a modern bistro with a relaxed atmosphere. Head chef Cary Doherty puts his experience from working at restaurants including Maze, Zuma and Gordon Ramsay s flagship restaurant down the road to good use in a simpler style of food, and he s particularly proud of Foxtrot s burger and chips. His experience with Asian cuisine lends an interesting twist to dishes such as braised caramelised pork belly, which comes with jasmine rice and Asian salad. À la carte prices range from 7 upwards for starters, for mains and 5-6 for desserts. There s a two-course set menu for 18, three courses for 22 (lunch Monday-Saturday and early supper Monday-Thursday), and the Sunday set menu is 20 for two courses and 25 for three. A Sunday roast menu is also available. You can bring your own wine on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at lunch and dinner (corkage fee of 10 per bottle). Lunch: Monday-Saturday 12pm-3pm, Sunday 12pm-3.45pm. Dinner: Monday- Saturday 6pm-10.30pm, Sunday 6pm- 9pm. 79 Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HN T: Gallery Mess at the Saatchi Gallery It s not somewhere that you might think of immediately when you re looking for a place to eat, but the Saatchi Gallery s restaurant is definitely worth a look. The setting is lovely, with large windows looking over the Duke of York Square lawns, exposed brickwork and vaulted ceilings, and there s an al fresco terrace. Naturally, it s decorated with contemporary art, and the food is much better than you might expect from a gallery restaurant. The building was once part of the barracks mess, hence the name, and the restaurant is operated by Rhubarb Food Design, which also runs restaurants at the Royal Albert Hall. The Gallery Mess has daily, seasonal specials and an ever-evolving menu, mostly made up of British and European dishes. There s also a children s menu (two courses 9.95) and afternoon tea ( 9.50/ 17). There s a sizeable drinks list, including cocktails. Monday-Saturday 10am-11.30pm, Sunday 10am-7pm. Pastries served 10am-11.30am. Starters and salads 11.30am-close. Mains 12pm-close. Puddings 11.30am-close. Children s menu 11.30am-close. Afternoon tea 2.30pm-6pm. Saatchi Gallery, King s Road, SW3 4SQ T: Geales Seafood restaurant Geales in Chelsea Green sister restaurant to Geales in Notting Hill serves posh fish and chips, oysters, sharing platters and classics like Gallery Mess at the Saatchi Gallery
56 56 FOOD AND DRINK Restaurants fish soup, fish pie and Morecombe Bay potted prawns. There are also some beef dishes for people not so keen on fish, but honestly, it s rather missing the point if you order steak. The desserts are comforting favourites such as apple and blackberry crumble. The fixed lunch menu offers good value ( for two courses, available Tuesday-Friday, 12pm-2.30pm). Lunch: Tuesday-Friday 12pm-3.30pm. Dinner: Monday-Friday 6pm-10.30pm. Weekends: Saturday 12pm-10.30pm, Sunday 12pm-9.30pm. 1 Cale Street, SW3 3QT. T: Gaucho Sloane Argentine steak restaurant chain Gaucho has sites all over London). The black and white décor (complete with cow hide) is striking and it s a haven for carnivores, although probably terrifying for vegetarians. The cuts are explained to you by a waiter holding a board covered with meat, which is helpful if you don t know what bife de chorizo, bife de ancho and bife de lomo are. Sides are ordered separately. Starters include ceviche, empanadas and grilled provoleta. If you have room, the desserts and the fantastic cheese board also explained by the waiter are worth a look. The wine list is extensive, with an impressive offering of Malbecs. Gaucho runs masterclasses if you want to find out more about cocktails, wine, beef or ceviche. Monday-Thursday 12pm-11pm, Friday-Saturday 12pm-11.30pm, Sunday 10am-10.30pm. 89 Sloane Avenue, SW3 3DX T: Le Cercle Lounge Restaurant King s Road Steakhouse & Grill Serving classic steak cuts, roasts and fish, this steakhouse is under the Marco Pierre White banner, part of his partnership, the London Steakhouse Company. It has a set menu and a set menu, as well as the a la carte menu. Lunch: Monday-Saturday 12pm-3pm, Sunday 12pm-4pm. Dinner: Monday- Saturday 5.30pm-11pm, Sunday 6pm- 10pm. Dress code: Smart casual. 386 King s Road, SW3 5UZ T: La Famiglia A Tuscan restaurant founded in 1966 by Alvaro Maccioni, La Famiglia is tucked among the galleries in Langton Street, World s End. Family photos hang on the walls, and the blue and white décor gives it a Mediterranean feel. The menus are authentic and include a section devoted to seasonal dishes. There s a huge amount of choice, with the pasta and meat sections alone featuring around 15 dishes each, not counting the seasonal list. There s a heated outside terrace if you want to eat al fresco. Lunch: 12pm-2.45pm. Dinner: 7pm pm. 7 Langton Street, SW10 0JL T: Le Colombier A French restaurant with an emphasis on Parisian brasserie dishes, Le Colombier was established in 1998 by Didier Garnier. The á la carte menu features plenty of classics and there is a daily set menu of two courses for 19.50, including coffee. Le Colombier has a pretty terrace. Lunch: Monday-Saturday 12pm-3pm, Sunday 12pm-3.30pm. Dinner: Monday- Saturday 6.30pm-10.30pm, Sunday 6.30pm-10pm. 145 Dovehouse Street, SW3 6LB T: le-colombier-restaurant.co.uk Made in Italy The first restaurant in Made in Italy s chain, this opened in A real selling point is the pizzametro literally pizza metre - a pizza up to a metre-long for a table to share, covered with strips of different ingredients to satisfy everyone. Monday 6pm-11.30pm, Tuesday- Saturday 12pm-11.30pm, Sunday 12pm-10.30pm. 249 King s Road, SW3 5EL T: Manicomio Manicomio This newly-refurbished Italian restaurant in Duke of York Square is handy for a bite to eat while shopping and has an al fresco, heated dining area to survey the comings and goings in the square from while you eat. The building was the former military asylum of the Duke of York s barracks, hence the name Manicomio, which means asylum or mad house. There s a café and deli (see Cafés) and a restaurant. The restaurant serves contemporary Italian cuisine that s unfussy and elegant. Lunch: Monday-Friday 12pm-3pm, Saturday 12pm-5pm, Sunday 12pm- 5pm. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6.30pm pm, Sunday 6.30pm-10pm. 85 Duke of York Square, SW3 4LY T: Marco Restaurant One of three restaurants at the Chelsea Football Club hotel, this is a collaborative effort between Marco Pierre White and
57 57 FOOD AND DRINK Restaurants the Chelsea FC owner. There are set menus and special deals, such as Marco Steak Night on Thursdays. There are also matchday special offers. Serving fish, roasts and grills, and steaks, the menu is a mix of French and English dishes. There s a good showing of English and Irish stouts, ales and ciders in addition to the wine list and cocktail list. Tuesday-Saturday 6pm-22.30pm. Millennium & Copthorne Hotels at Chelsea Football Club, Stamford Bridge, Fulham Road, SW6 1HS T: Palm Restaurant The London outpost of this USA-based restaurant group, the Palm Restaurant is famous for its prime-aged American steaks and jumbo Nova Scotia lobsters. Lunch: Friday-Sunday 12pm-5pm. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 5pm-11pm, Sunday 6pm-10pm. 1 Pont Street, SW1X 9EJ T: The Painted Heron Head chef Yogesh Datta serves up modern Indian cuisine in this smart restaurant, one of Zagat 2011 s top food in Chelsea picks. The à la carte menu changes regularly, the décor is elegant and the food shows European ingredients in a new light. The set price menu (six courses for 45, for the whole table, minimum two people) and weekend brunch menu ( 20 per person) are excellent value. Brunch: Saturday and Sunday, 11am- 5pm. Dinner: 6pm-11pm daily. 112 Cheyne Walk, SW10 0DJ T: Pellicano Pellicano Serving Italian cuisine with a Sardinian accent, this Chelsea Green restaurant s à la carte menu changes seasonally. There are also weekly specials and fixed price set menus that change every week (set lunch menu for two courses, for three). Lunch: Monday-Friday 12.30pm-3pm, Saturday 12.30pm-15.30pm, Sunday 12.30pm-9.30pm. Dinner: Monday- Friday 6.30pm-11pm, Saturday 12.30pm-11pm Elystan Street, SW3 3NT T: Peter Jones Brasserie Easy to overlook because of its posh department store location, the Brasserie in Peter Jones is a proper restaurant, with waiter service and reservations. It serves surprisingly good contemporary dishes, sometimes with a little complimentary amuse-bouche from the chef. It seats 58 and has a relaxed atmosphere a great place to have a meal and people-watch while you re exploring Chelsea, especially if you can get a window seat. It also serves afternoon tea, including set menus (afternoon tea for two 22.50, champagne afternoon tea for two 38.50). Monday-Saturday 9.30am-6.30pm (Wednesday until 7.30pm), Sunday 11am-4.30pm. Peter Jones, Sloane Square, SW1W 8EL T: Pizza Express the Pheasantry The Pizza Express chain might be ubiquitous, but this restaurant is on a historic site (see Streets and Sights) and it s a cheap place to grab a bite to eat on the King s Road. It s over three floors and there s a heated garden area for al fresco dining. It serves pizza, pasta and salads, and is also a live music venue (see Music). Daily 11.30am-11pm. The Pheasantry, King s Road, SW3 4UT T: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay Rasoi Vineet Bhatia In the restaurant guides to Chelsea, Michelin-starred Rasoi, helmed by Vineet Bhatia, is usually somewhere near the top of the list. The innovative Indian cuisine is impressive, but the prices can be pretty steep the gourmand menu is 85 for seven courses (there is a separate vegetarian version too). The prestige menu is 87 (vegetarian 78) and the set price for à la carte is 49 for two courses or 59 for three. The lunch menu is great value two courses for 22, three for 27 and four for 32. Lunch: Monday-Friday 2pm-2.30pm, Sunday 12pm-2.30pm. Dinner: Monday- Friday 6pm-10.45pm, Saturday 6pm- 11pm, Sunday 6pm-10pm. 10 Lincoln Street, SW3 2TS T: Restaurant Gordon Ramsay Gordon Ramsay s flagship restaurant has held three Michelin stars the highest rating awarded by the guide for ten years, and is now London s longestrunning three-starred restaurant. It s very popular in the food guides too, scoring near the top of the best UK restaurant lists. Menus include a set lunch (three courses 45), à la carte (three courses 95), menu prestige (seven courses 125) and seasonal inspiration (dinner only, seven courses 185). The food is sophisticated and refined, the ingredients are top-line and the service is impeccable but be prepared to open your wallet wide. Launched in 1998, this was Ramsay s first wholly-owned restaurant. By 2001, it had been awarded three Michelin stars. Clare Smyth has been the head chef since The restaurant seats 45 and
58 58 FOOD AND DRINK Restaurants was designed by David Collins. Book well in advance to get a table it has a long waiting list. It also offers masterclasses to teach you how to prepare Gordon Ramsay signature dishes ( 600 for one person to attend the class and then enjoy a threecourse lunch with a guest, with wines paired to each course). Lunch: Monday-Friday 12pm-2.30pm. Dinner: 6.30pm-11pm. Dress code smart no trainers, shorts or sportswear. 68 Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HP T: The Rib Room Bar and Restaurant The Rib Room at the Carlton Tower is something of an institution. It has been serving up beef since the hotel opened in 1961 and regulars at the restaurant include Nigella Lawson, Charles Saatchi and Sir David Frost. It recently underwent a major redesign front of house and has a new team behind the scenes general manager Michele Caggianese, head chef Ian Rudge (who has worked at Michelin-starred restaurants Northcote Manor, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Whatley Manor) and head sommelier Louise Gordon. Rudge aims to serve up British cuisine that s good, honest food with some interesting twists to surprise diners. The much-loved roast rib of beef with Yorkshire pudding is still present, but there s also less traditional dishes like caper-crusted rack of Cornish lamb, lightly-curried neck, shallot compote and Jerusalem artichoke purée. The wine list includes around 500 wines and is presented on ipads. The set lunch menu is good value, with two courses for 19 and three for 25, and there s a children s menu too. The Rib Room The restaurant redesign was by Martin Brudnizki (the man behind the look of Scott s and Corrigan s Mayfair), who has given it a New York clubby feel. The walls are hung with originals by expressionist artist Feliks Topolski, including portraits of Churchill, a Chelsea pensioner, and the Chelsea Girls series, featuring Vanessa Redgrave and Lady Astor. The restaurant made the headlines in 1975 when the hotel was attacked by the IRA. Luckily, the window table s position in the Rib Room meant that the bullets passed between diners and no one was hurt. Breakfast: Monday-Friday 7am am, Sunday and bank holidays 7am-11am. Lunch: Monday-Friday 12.00pm-3pm, Saturday-Sunday and bank holidays 12.30pm-3pm. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6.30pm-11pm, Sunday and bank holidays 6.30pm pm. Dress code: smart casual. Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Cadogan Place, SW1X 9PY. T: Scalini A welcoming Italian restaurant with a dedicated following, Scalini serves traditional food and has a chef s speciality every day. A private room has recently been added. Lunch: Monday-Sunday 12pm-3pm. Dinner: 7pm-12pm. 1-3 Walton Street, SW3 2JD T: /02 Sushinho This restaurant and cocktail bar serving Japanese/Brazilian food takes inspiration from the popularity of Japanese food in Brazil. Sushinho has a sushi bar which works in conjunction with the restaurant you can order sushi, warm dishes or both and operates a family-style service where all the dishes are meant for sharing and are brought to the table as the kitchen serves them up. It s an interesting combination, with Japanese sushi, sashimi, tempura and noodles on the menu alongside Brazilian ceviche and beef with chimichurri sauce. It no longer serves tuna, as it has a sustainable sources policy. The bar serves interesting cocktails including popular in Sao Paolo and Nipo-Brazilian sections and there is a decent wine list. Lunch: Wednesday-Saturday 12.30pm-2.30pm. Dinner: Sunday- Tuesday 6pm-10pm, Wednesday- Saturday 6pm-10.30pm King s Road, SW3 5UH T: Tom s Kitchen Tom Aikens s Chelsea Green brasserie is just round the corner from his Elystan Tom s Kitchen Street flagship, but the tone is entirely different. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, and brunch on weekends, it offers comforting classics with a few quirky twists. There is a first-floor bar and private dining. Breakfast: Monday-Friday 8am am. Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 10am-1pm. Lunch: Monday-Friday 12pm-3pm, Saturday-Sunday 1pm-4pm. Dinner: Monday-Friday 6pm-11pm, Saturday-Sunday 6pm-10.30pm. 27 Cale Street, SW3 3QP T: Tom Aikens Tom Aikens s flagship restaurant reopened in January 2012 after an extensive refurbishment. Aiken s sophisticated dishes are imaginative and feature interesting flavours and techniques. The new menus include a three-course à la carte menu ( 50), a six-course taster menu ( 55), an eight-course taster menu ( 75) and a
59 59 FOOD AND DRINK Restaurants ten-course taster menu ( 95). Lunch: Monday-Friday 12pm-3pm. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6.45pm- 11pm. The restaurant is also available for exclusive hire on weekends. 43 Elystan Street, SW3 3NT T: The World s End Brother and sister team Mitch and Meredith Tillman have recently launched this three-level redevelopment on the site of the World s End Distillery. It s made up of the Scene on the ground floor, the Summerhouse upstairs and the Cellar in the basement. The duo behind the First Restaurant Group its other venues include the Notting Hill Brasserie and Mayfair gastropub the Running Horse are the son and daughter of Harold Tillman, chairman of the British Fashion Council and owner of Jaegar and Aquascutum. Harold also opened what is regarded as the UK s first cocktail bar, Rumours, in Covent Garden in Mitch started by opening a small deli and eventually built up a restaurant portfolio, and Meredith, who had a background in advertising and an eye for design, joined him in the business. The three levels in their new project in World s End have very different identities. The Scene Bar and Kitchen is an American diner with a cinematic theme, with movies from classics like Breakfast at Tiffany s to 1980s favourites like Ferris Bueller s Day Off playing in the background. The menu is full of American favourites and an all-day breakfast is served at weekends. There are nightly special deals. Soft drinks include milkshakes and smoothies and it s big on cocktails, with alcoholic shakes and slushies in addition to the mojitos and mules. The World s End The Summerhouse is a seafood restaurant decked out like a Hamptons beach house. It s a sister restaurant to the Summerhouse on the Union Canal in Maida Vale. It closes for the winter, although it can be hired during that time, and reopens for the summer in April The Cellar is a candle-lit basement bar, which can be hired for private events and can be catered with a bespoke menu created from either the Scene or the Summerhouse. The Scene: Tuesday-Friday 6pm pm. Saturday breakfast: 10am- 4pm. Full menu: 12pm-10.30pm, Sunday 10am-6pm. Bar open until 12am. The Cellar: Licensing hours 11ammidnight (later licences can be obtained for private parties). 459 King s Road, SW10 0LR T: Ziani s An established Italian restaurant that welcomes children, Ziani serves Venetian specialities and is tucked away in a quiet street off the King s Road. The wine list focuses on Italian regional varieties. Lunch: Monday-Saturday 12.15pm- 2.45pm, Sunday 12.15pm-3.15pm. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 7pm pm, Sunday 7pm-10.30pm Radnor Walk, SW3 4BP T: Zuma This contemporary Japanese restaurant offers a sophisticated take on the informal, 'izakaya' style of eating and drinking. You can eat in the main dining area or at the sushi counter and robata grill, where you can watch the chefs in action, and the sake bar offers more than 40 different varieties of sake, as well as cocktails. The beautifully-designed interior and bold flavours are popular with foodies and celebs alike, with good reason but it s not a cheap night out, especially if Zuma s sushi counter you get carried away sampling the sake. There s no set protocol on ordering from the menu dishes are designed to be shared or eaten individually. There s also a tasting menu. You don t need a reservation to sit at the counters, and the full menu is still available. Lunch: Monday-Thursday 12pm- 2.30pm, Friday 12pm-3pm, Saturday- Sunday and bank holidays 12.30pm- 3.30pm. Dinner: Monday-Saturday 6pm- 11pm, Sunday and bank holidays 6pm pm. 5 Raphael Street, SW7 1DL T:
60 60 FOOD AND DRINK Cafés Café culture If you fancy a more simple meal, there are dozens of high-end cafes in the area, serving up all-day breakfasts, pastries, strong coffee, and some seriously good sandwiches Its pavement seating area always seems to be very popular, which is not surprising given its prime location on the King s Road. It hosts live music from 7pm, ranging from jazz to classical, pop, soul and swing. Daily 9am-11pm. 52 King s Road, SW3 4UD T: Patisserie Valerie Gelateria Bluebird Café and Courtyard The café has an all-day menu, serving everything from a classic English breakfast or healthy options like granola if you are so inclined to sandwiches, smoothies, eggs, pasta, salads and fish and chips. There are also dishes from the grill and rotisserie. The drinks menu includes an interesting mix of wine, champagne cocktails, beer and hot drinks, which reflects the al fresco courtyard s role as a place to relax. Turfed with artificial grass, bright with large sun umbrellas and warmed by heaters in the evening, this is designed for people to sit and talk from the afternoon into the evening, rather than just somewhere to grab a quick bite to eat. Opening hours: Monday-Friday 8am- 11pm, Saturday 9am-11pm, Sunday 9am-10pm. Bluebird doesn t take reservations for the courtyard except for members. 350 King s Road, SW3 5UU T: (restaurant, bar and café) Caffé Concerto This branch of Caffe Concerto opened in February 2011 there are others in Knightsbridge and South Kensington. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu mostly focuses on sandwiches for the daytime and Italian favourites for the evening. Bluebird Café Caffè Fratelli An Italian café in Duke of York Square. It serves a selection of pasta, sandwiches and salads from the counter display, and the coffee is excellent. The customers include plenty of Italians always a good sign. There s a pleasant al fresco seating area with lots of tables right on the square. Monday-Friday 7.30am-7.30pm, Saturday-Sunday 8.30am-7.30pm Duke of York Square, SW3 4LY T: Ca puccino Italy-based Ca puccino opened its King s Road branch in July 2011, its third site in the UK. It serves coffee, pastries, paninis, Italian regional dishes and ice creams. Ca puccino also has a café in Harrods (T: , café open Monday- Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 11.30am- 6pm). Daily 8am-8pm. 138A King s Road, SW3 4XB T: Chelsea Quarter Café Doron and Valeria Zilkha, owners of Brompton Quarter Brasserie, Quarter Grocer and Health Quarter in Knightsbridge, opened Chelsea Quarter Café in October They aim to reflect the area s identity at each site and Chelsea Quarter Café was designed by Mathilde Allibe, who lives locally. It serves quirky sandwiches and fresh fruit juices. Monday-Friday 7.30am-7pm, Saturday-Sunday 8am-7pm. 219 King s Road, SW3 5EJ T: Chelsea Gelateria Valerie Close to its sister café in Duke of York Square, this Patisserie Valerie gelateria offers handmade ice cream in both traditional and unusual flavours. It also serves up continental breakfasts, cakes, patisseries, tea and coffee and light lunches such as sandwiches and grilled croissants. A takeaway menu is available. Monday-Friday 7.30am-6pm, Saturday 8am-7pm, Sunday 9am-6pm. Duke of York Square, SW3 4LY T: Cuisine de Bar by Poilâne French artisan bakery Poilâne has
61 61 FOOD AND DRINK Cafés recently opened an all-day restaurant in Chelsea. You can sit at the eating bar where chefs make fresh tartines to order at one of the individual or communal tables, or relax in the lounge. There s complimentary wi-fi throughout the restaurant during the morning. Breakfast includes classic French dishes and pastries, while lunch features healthy options and savoury tartines. Last orders for supper are at 9.30pm. Bread, pastries and related accessories such as baskets, knives and books are available to buy. Monday-Friday 8am-8.30pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am-6.30pm. 39 Cadogan Gardens, SW3 2TB T: Dri Dri An Italian gelato in Chelsea Farmers Market, with flavours ranging from biscotto (cookies and cream) to cioccolato (chocolate) and caffè expresso (espresso coffee). It also offers workshops where children can learn how to make sorbets and create their own tub to take away, and has a catering service. Daily 11am-8pm. Unit 16, Chelsea Farmers Market, 125 Sydney Street, SW3 6NR T: Jak s Close to the galleries and boutique shops on Walton Street, Jak s serves up Mediterranean food. It's a popular brunch stop on weekends and offers dishes from pasta to moussaka. Jak s Bar is a few doors down on the same street. Monday-Sunday 7.30am-11pm. 77 Walton Street, SW3 2HT T: Patisserie Valerie on Duke of York Square Manicomio Café and Deli (see Restaurants for the restaurant) The café serves breakfast, paninis, bruschettas and an informal dinner, while the delicatessen has a counter display so you can choose what to take away or eat in the café and conservatory. Monday-Saturday 8am-7pm, Sunday 10am-6pm. 85 Duke of York Square, SW3 4LY T: Patisserie Valerie Chelsea Left Wing Café The original Patisserie Valerie opened in Frith Street in 1926, when Belgian-born Madam Valerie decided to bring continental treats to England. As well as patisserie treats such as éclair au chocolate and tarte au citron, there s continental breakfasts, all-day breakfast and brunch (up to 8.50), grilled snacks and lunch, through to evening dishes including salads, lasagne and soup of the day ( ). Drinks include fruit smoothies ( 4.05), ice-cream milkshakes ( 3.35) and a good selection of tea and coffee. There is also a takeaway menu. Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 8am-9pm, Sunday 9am-7pm. Duke of York Square, SW3 4LY T: Peter Jones Espresso Bar Grab a freshly-made coffee (and a cake or pastry, if you re like us) and get a bird s eye view over Chelsea at Peter Jones s top-floor expresso bar. There s also a self-service restaurant on the same floor, should you want a more substantial bite to eat. Monday-Saturday 9.30am-7pm, Sunday 11am-5pm, bank holidays 10am-6pm. Peter Jones, Sloane Square, SW1W 8EL T: Ramelli s Sandwich Bar Close to Sloane Square Tube station (turn left as you come out), this sandwich bar serves snacks, hot and cold food and drinks. Daily 6am-5pm. 6 Holbein Place, SW1W 8NP T: Royal Court Theatre Café Bar (see Pubs, Bars and Nightlife) Snog Chelsea Serving up pure frozen yogurt treats, Snog offers a healthier alternative to ice cream. Choose a yogurt and add toppings, which are updated with the seasons. Daily 11am-12am. 155 King s Road, SW3 5TX T: Treats to take home Chelsea is lucky enough to have lots of wonderful food and wine stores here are just a few of them Artisan du Chocolat Luxury chocolate company Artisan du Chocolat was founded by Irish chef and chocolatier Gerard Coleman in 2000 and the Chelsea shop opened in The chocolates are beautiful as well as delicious perfect for a gift or a treat. Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm. 89 Lower Sloane Street, SW1W 8DA T: , option 2. The Bluebird Food Store and Wine Cellar The food store sells bakery breads, cured meats, chutneys and British cheeses, and there s also a takeaway menu. There are prepared meals to take home, takeaway coffees and a selfservice salad bar, and you can have a Pack a picnic When the weather s nice, a great alternative to dining at one of the many restaurants with gardens and al fresco areas is to visit some of the food shops in Chelsea and put a picnic together. Sitting by the fountains in Duke of York Square or in Ranelagh Gardens is a lovely way to spend a lunchtime.
62 62 FOOD AND DRINK Food stores bespoke hamper made up for you. The breads are baked on the premises and the Bluebird food store also supplies bread to other restaurants and shops. The wine cellar below supplies more than 750 unique wines, liqueurs, spirits and cigars from all over the world. It also runs special wine tasting events and classes. Food store: Monday-Friday 7.30am- 7.30pm, Saturday 9am-7pm, Sunday 9am-5pm. Wine cellar: Monday-Friday 10am-7.30pm, Saturday 11am-7pm, Sunday 11am-5pm. 350 King s Road, SW3 5UU. T: (food store), (wine cellar) The Chelsea Cake Shop A cake shop specialising in individually crafted cakes, from wedding cakes to cup cakes. All the cakes are made to order in the open-plan kitchen. Tuesday-Friday 10am-5.30pm, Saturday 10am-4.30pm. 66 Lower Sloane Street, SW1W 8BP T: The Bluebird Food Store and Wine Cellar Jane Asher Party Cakes and Sugarcraft Actress Jane Asher s Chelsea Green cake shop, with everything you need to create a baking masterpiece. If baking is not your thing, they can make you a show-shopping cake to order. Monday-Saturday 9.30am-5.30pm Cale Street, SW3 3QU T: Jeroboams Peter Rich opened the first Jereboams shop in 1985, taking inspiration from France s traditional fromageries. It originally focused mainly on cheeses, but also stocked speciality foods, fine wines and champagnes. The Pont Street store has a range of wines from Bordeaux, Burgandy and Tuscany, as well as from around the world. It is managed by New Zealander Xavier Hornblow. Monday-Friday 10am-8pm, Saturday 10am-7pm, closed Sundays. 6 Pont Street, SW1X 9EL T: Here A specialist organic supermarket in Chelsea Farmers Market, off Sydney Street. Monday-Saturday 9.30am-8pm, Sunday 10am-6.30pm. T: La Bottega An Italian delicatessen that also serves food and coffee and offers a catering service and hampers. Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 9am-5pm. 65 Lower Sloane Street, SW1W 8HD T: Partridges Partridges Partridges is the holder of the Royal Warrant, By Appointment Grocers to HM the Queen, and celebrates its 40th anniversary of trading in Chelsea in The family-run food shop originally opened at 132 Sloane Street by Richard Shepherd in May 1972, and he was joined by his brother John in The store expanded and eventually relocated to Duke of York Square in There s a food market with around 150 small speciality food producers on Saturdays. Partridges has a range of more than 5,000 foods and wines from Britain and around the globe, and also has a wine bar and café with a private terrace. It offers local delivery and bespoke hampers. Market: Saturday 10am-4pm. Store: Daily, 8am-10pm. 2-5 Duke of York Square, SW3 4LY T: Thirst class You d be hard-pressed to find anywhere in London with better pubs, clubs and bars than Chelsea. Whether you fancy a cider on Sydney Street or shots in Sloane Square, there will be a venue for you in our guide The Admiral Codrington This pub has a restaurant and a private dining room as well as the traditional bar area, and that sets the tone for the Codrington. It has a reputation for good food and a buzzy atmosphere, and it does a good job of mixing the traditional and the modern. The restaurant even has a retractable glass roof that can be pulled back on sunny days to allow al fresco dining. Well-prepared for the changeable English weather, there s also a heated beer garden with all-weather awning. The food ranges from fish and chips to more exotic fare. The lunch menu is also available in the bar. Sunday s menu includes brunch and roasts. Open Monday-Thursday 11.30am- 12am, Friday and Saturday 11.30am- 1am, Sunday 12pm-10.30pm. Restaurant service: Monday-Friday lunch 12pm-2.30pm, dinner 6.30pm-11pm, Saturday lunch 12pm-3.30pm, dinner 6.30pm-11pm, Sunday 12pm-9pm. Bar menu: Monday-Friday 12pm-2.30pm, Saturday 12pm-3.30pm, Sunday 12pm- 4pm. The evening bar snacks menu is available daily, 6pm-10.30pm. 17 Mossop Street, SW3 2LY T: Barts Barts is a secret speakeasy-style bar on Sloane Avenue. To find it, you have to
63 63 FOOD AND DRINK Pubs, bars and nightlife walk through a large 1930s apartment building until you come to a black door with a lantern and an inconspicuous sign. Inside, the bar is decorated with quirky and antique ornaments, and there s a fancy dress box packed with wigs, costumes and hats. Barts plays Prohibition era music and has a Cuban-themed garden. Cocktails, snacks and canapés are served, including sharing cocktails served in teapots or top hats. Monday-Thursday 6pm-12.30am, Friday-Saturday 6pm-1.30am, Sunday 6pm-11pm. Sloane Avenue, SW3 3DW T: Beaufort House (see Restaurants for brasserie) The ground floor cocktail bar and brasserie are open to the public, while the upper floors are part of a private members club. In the evening it s much more of a bar, with mixologists creating signature and classic cocktails. Members have access to the members lounge/bar/restaurant, the club The Botanist room and the Penthouse Champagne Bar. Contact the venue regarding membership queries. Brasserie and cocktail bar open Sunday-Wednesday 10am-12.30pm, Thursday-Saturday 10am-1.30pm. 354 King s Road, SW3 5UZ T: The Botanist The Botanist, sister site to Tom and Ed Martin s The Cadogan Arms, nods towards Sir Hans Sloane in both its name and the backlit drawings of flora and fauna on the restaurant wall. It s a popular drinking spot for locals and has a great selection of signature cocktails. On the breakfast menu, The Botanist pays special attention to hot chocolate in honour of Sir Hans Sloane s invention, here made with chocolate flakes and served with a chocolate stirring stick from Rococo Chocolates. The choice of tea for breakfast is also impressive. The lunch and dinner menus feature British/modern European dishes with a seasonal angle, including a good showing of fish, steak and oysters. There are also menus for Saturday brunch/lunch, Sunday lunch, afternoon tea and pretheatre/post-theatre, and a substantial bar menu. Monday-Friday 8am-11.30pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am-11.30pm. Breakfast Monday-Friday 8am-11.30am, Saturday-Sunday 9am-11.30am. Lunch Monday-Friday 12pm-3.30pm, Saturday- Sunday 12pm-4pm. Afternoon tea 3.30pm-6pm daily. Dinner 5.30pm-11pm daily. Pre and post-theatre menu 5.30pm-6.30pm, 10pm-11pm. The bar menu is available 12pm-10.30pm daily, and bar customers are also able to order from the restaurant menus during lunch and dinner service times. 7 Sloane Square, SW1W 8EE T: The Builders Arms A gastropub serving predominately British cuisine, the Builders Arms is in a Georgian building with a main bar and a dining area. It has a trendy, relaxed ambience similar to the other Geronimo pubs in the area, the Phoenix and the Surprise. There are roasts on Sundays and the wine list has been put together by Master of Wine John Clevely. Lunch: Monday-Friday 12pm-3pm, Saturday-Sunday 12pm-4pm. Dinner: Monday-Wednesday 7pm-10pm, Thursday-Saturday 7pm-11pm, Sunday 7pm-9pm. 13 Britten Street, SW3 3TY T: arms/ The Cadogan Arms You can play pool upstairs on the first floor there are three American eight-ball tables available to play by the hour and the room can be hired out. A 10 deal includes an hour of pool, a glass of wine or a bottled beer and mini cheeseburgers, fish and chips and sausage rolls. There s a pub quiz on Mondays at 7.30pm (teams of up to six people, 2 each to play, 100 bar tab for the winning team). The pool and quizzes might be traditional pub activities, but the food is definitely more of a brasserie style and ranges from about for mains. There s a lunch and dinner menu and a Sunday lunch menu too. The selection of beers on tap is quite small, but there are some interesting bottled beers, including Dark Brewery Sunburst and Samuel Smith s Organic Lager, and there s also a cocktail list. Monday-Saturday 11am-11pm, Sunday 11am-10.30pm. Food: Monday-Friday 12pm-3.30pm and 6pm-10.30pm, Saturday 12pm-10.30pm, Sunday 12pm-9pm. 298 King s Road, SW3 5UG. T: thecadoganarmschelsea.com The Cadogan Arms The other Chelsea gastropub owned by brothers Tom and Ed Martin (along with the Botanist), the Cadogan Arms mixes the feel of a proper English pub with the style of a brasserie restaurant.
64 64 FOOD AND DRINK Pubs, bars and nightlife The Cellar at the World s End (see Restaurants) The Cross Keys The Cross Keys closed in May Lawrence Street, SW3 5NB JuJu Chelsea Potter The Chelsea Potter was originally called the Commercial Tavern and was built by entrepreneur Richard Smith, who acquired the former grounds of a manor house in the 1830s and tried all sorts of business ideas there, including a pleasure garden, a wash baths for working men, a theatre and finally a dance hall and a tavern. The Commercial Tavern and the dance and entertainment venue the Commercial Rooms or Commercial Hall now the Founders Hall that houses classrooms at Hill House International Junior School were both built around The tavern and the hall were connected by an internal door, and it is thought that the buildings were linked even when the hall was being used as a place of worship later in the 19th century. Architects found the door opening when they were recently restoring the Founders Hall for the school. The tavern was renamed the Chelsea Potter in the 1950s, and was a hangout for King s Road icons in the 1960s, including Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones. Today the Chelsea Potter is a popular traditional English pub that serves cask ales and British pub food. It has a few tables outside for the lucky few who get there early enough, and there s usually a crowd balancing drinks on the outside windowsills in the evenings once the tables have been filled. 119 King s Road, SW3 4PL T: Coopers Arms A pub on the corner of Redburn Street and Flood Street, the Coopers Arms is dedicated to real ales and home-cooked food, from sandwiches to bangers and mash, fish pie and curry. There s also a Sunday menu (available 12pm-9pm) which includes a Sunday roast. Open daily 12pm-11pm. Food served Monday-Friday 12pm-3pm and 5pm- 10pm, Saturday-Sunday 12pm-10pm. 87 Flood Street, SW3 5TB T: The Cross Keys Founded in 1708, the Cross Keys has counted Dante Gabriel Rossetti, JMW Turner, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent and Agatha Christie among its patrons. It s a striking sight with the reliefs of St Peter, an angel and a heron on the building s front the cross keys symbol is a reference to the keys of heaven. Henry J Beans Bar and Grill Once the famous Six Bells pub frequented by artists including Whistler, Henry J Bean s is now an American bar and grill. The food is classic American burgers, steaks and hotdogs, and there s an extensive spirits and cocktails list. It might not have the historic atmosphere of some of the other local pubs, but it makes up for it with its garden it is huge by the standards of Chelsea, where outside drinking spots get very busy. If you re finding it tough to get a space to drink outside or accommodate smokers in your party, this is probably a good bet although it too gets crowded in the summer. Monday-Wednesday 11am-11pm, Thursday-Saturday 11am-12am, Sunday 11am-12am. Children are not allowed in the venue after 7pm King s Road, SW3 5ED T: The Henry Root This bistro/wine bar/tea shop is named after the pseudonym used by William Donaldson, who wrote letters lampooning the wealthy, famous and influential from this street. It aims to be a place to relax with a slice of cake and a cup of tea or glass of wine, or grab a bite to eat from the seasonal menu. Brunch is served at weekends. 9 Park Walk, SW10 0AJ T: Monday-Friday 11am-11pm, Saturday and Sunday 9.30am-11pm. The Jam Tree The Jam Tree is an open-plan gastropub with a decked garden complete with its own bar and a barbeque. The wine list is substantial and there are speciality beers and a decent cocktail list, including the signature Jam Mojito (white Cuban rum stirred with fresh mint, lime and raspberry jam). It hosts special events, such as a steak out evening and resident DJs, and the menus have a modern British and colonial flavour. The Sunday menu includes roasts. There s also a special menu for when the barbeque is fired up on Thursday and Friday nights and all-day Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, including jerked chicken leg, rib-eye steak and giant barbeque prawns. Open Sunday-Thursday 12pm-11pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-2am. Lunch: 12pm-3pm. Dinner: 6pm-10pm. 541 King s Road, SW6 2EB T:
65 65 FOOD AND DRINK Pubs, bars and nightlife JuJu Winner of Best Bar at the London Club and Bar Awards 2011, JuJu is a cocktail and champagne bar on the King s Road, owned by ex-footballer Lee Chapman and his actress wife Lesley Ash. Sharing plates of mostly pan-asian dishes are served tapas-style, as well as party menus (pre-order only). The cocktail list is long, including nonalcoholic ones, shared cocktails and pitchers. Look on the website for deals, such as after-work drinks at a reduced price. Cocktail classes are available if you want to learn to mix your own at home (from 3pm every day, pre-booking required, 50 per person including pan- Asian tapas and up to four cocktails, minimum four people per booking). Monday 9pm-1.30am, Tuesday 8pm- 1.30am, Wednesday 7pm-1.30am, Thursday 6pm-1.30am, Friday-Saturday 5pm-2.30am, Sunday closed for private bookings King s Road, SW3 5UH T: Kings Club King s Road private members club King s Club features the sumptuous Persian Room on the top level and a heated Roof Terrace, where you can enjoy shishas. A Middle Eastern menu is served up in the Lounge. The Main Room hosts club nights at the weekend and private events during the week. Kings Club has recently launched Jajouka, a live music and entertainment night held on Tuesdays. Tuesday-Thursday 6pm-10pm (upstairs cocktail lounge), Friday-Saturday 6pm-3am. 107 King s Road, SW3 4PA T: Kitts Kitts A boutique private members club, with a name inspired by the travels of Sir Hans Sloane, who conducted botanical research on the Caribbean island of St Kitts Sloane Square, SW1W 8EG T: The Markham Inn The duo behind Mahiki and Whisky Mist, Nick House and Piers Adam, recently opened this bar/brasserie in Chelsea Green. It has an all-day modern European menu, with an emphasis on British, seasonal ingredients, and also serves breakfast daily, brunch on weekends and roasts on Sundays. The wine list focuses on the old world, and the beverage menu includes homemade cream soda, cloudy original lemonade and ginger beer. There are also thick homemade shakes. Cocktails are served with a jar of freshly salted or smoked popcorn. Monday-Friday 8am-11pm, Saturday- Sunday 9am-11pm. Breakfast: Daily until 11am. Brunch: Weekends 11am-4pm. Roasts: Sunday 11am-4pm. 2 Elystan Street, SW3 3NS T: themarkhaminn.com The Phoenix A popular spot for a drink and a bite to eat, the Phoenix is a relaxed pub that serves a mix of modern and traditional British food, including Sunday roasts and daily specials. There s an extensive wine list, plus guest wines and some real ales. A few outside tables are available for al fresco dining or drinking. Check the website for details of events, including food-themed nights. Kitchen: Monday-Saturday 12pm- 3pm, 7pm-10pm, Sunday 12pm-8pm. 23 Smith Street, SW3 4EE T: The Pig s Ear With past lives in the 19th century as the Black Lion and the 20th century as the Front Page, today the Pig s Ear is a gastropub and restaurant serving British/French brasserie food with an emphasis on seasonal produce. The menu is changed daily and food is served in the bar and the adjoining Blue Room, which has an open fire in the winter and takes reservations. The oak-panelled dining room on the first floor opens during busier evening and weekend lunches and feels more like a restaurant reservations are essential. Drinks include British cask ales from Sambrooks Brewery a local microbrewery in Battersea as well as the signature Pig s Ear from the Uley Brewery in Gloustershire. There are also bottled European cider and lagers and the wine list has a predominately French influence. Royal Borough of Kensingon & Chelsea, Family & Children s Service Kitchen: Monday-Friday 12pm-3pm, 6pm-10pm, Saturday 12.30pm pm, Sunday 12.30pm-9pm. 35 Old Church Street, SW3 5BS T: The Queen s Head A gay pub just off the King s Road, the Queen s Head is traditional and unpretentious. It has some outside tables, tucked away from the bustle of the main roads, and the pub itself is larger than it first appears because it is split into several rooms Tryon Street, SW3 3LG T: Raffles A famous private members club, named after the colonial mogul Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. Membership is available by invitation only and you must first be put forward by a current member, but once gained gets you privileges including ski trips, summer parties abroad and away days. There is a dress code see the website for The Black Lion (now The Pig s Ear) in the 1860s
66 66 FOOD AND DRINK Pubs, bars and nightlife details. Wednesday-Saturday 10pm-5.30am. 297 King s Road, SW3 5EW T: Royal Court Café Bar The Royal Court Café Bar is a really good option for a central meeting place even if you re not going to see a show, because it s right next to Sloane Square Tube station. Set in the 19th-century auditorium pit, it s a surprisingly big space. It serves seasonal British food and uses cured meats, oils and olives from the Spanish food emporium Brindisa, meat from Smithfield Market and cheese from Neal s Yard Dairy. Sausage rolls, tortillas and cakes are on offer if you re just a bit peckish, as well as a more substantial menu if you re hungry. Book in advance if you want a preshow dinner. The bar is stocked with seasonal wines chosen by Bibendum. Monday-Saturday 12pm until late. Lunch and dinner served 12pm-8pm, bar snacks served throughout the evening. Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square, SW1W 8AS. T: cafe-bar/ The Sporting Page The Sporting Page is a gastropub that shows sporting events (you can even book a private booth to watch the game) and has four screens. The food is generally pub classics, with the menu changing to take advantage of what is in season and what the weather is like. Check the website for events and offers. The drinks menu is extensive and has a good range of beers and wines, as well as some cocktails. The pavement terrace is heated in winter. Monday-Saturday 11am-11pm, Sunday 11am-10.30pm. Lunch and dinner every day. Brunch: From 11am Saturday and Sunday. 6 Camera Place, SW10 0BH Royal Court Café Bar T: The Surprise A sister pub to the Phoenix and the Builders Arms, the Surprise is a gastropub that serves up small plates of British food, with the idea being that you order a few dishes rather than picking one. It has real ales on tap and serves Sunday roasts. The wines are chosen by Master of Wine John Clevely. Lunch: Monday-Friday 12pm-3pm, Saturday 12pm-4pm. Dinner: Monday- Saturday 6.30pm-10pm. Food served all day Sunday, 12pm-9pm. 6 Christchurch Terrace, SW3 4AJ T: The Surprise Sushinho (see Restaurants) Sydney Arms The Sydney Arms is traditional in style and serves pub and brasserie food. The cocktail list includes the memorably named Basil Fawlty (Smirnoff No.21 vodka blended with apple juice, passionfruit and homemade basil syrup) and Sydney James. The bar snacks are a posh twist on standard pub favourites. It also serves breakfast. The Sydney Arms shows live sports on five screens inside and outside the pub, and you can book a table in advance to guarantee your spot. Monday-Wednesday 12pm-11pm, Thursday-Friday 12pm-12am, Saturday 10am-12am, Sunday 10am-10pm. 70 Sydney Street, SW3 6NJ. T: The Trafalgar Don t be too put off by the bright purple exterior the Trafalgar is nicer inside than it looks from the outside, and it s pretty spacious. It even has a small garden with heating and a sheltered area. The venue has a good selection of speciality beers too, from regularly changing cask ales to bottled beers from around the world. The spirits are good quality and there are homemade soft drinks in summer. The food is seasonal and there s also a brunch menu. Sunday s menu includes roasts. Check the website for more details and offers. Monday-Tuesday 11.30am-11pm, Wednesday-Saturday 11.30am-12am, Sunday 11.30am-10.30pm. 200 King s Road, SW3 5XP T:
67 67 INSIDER Design inspiration The Insider s Guide to design inspiration Anya Hindmarch Bespoke By Cassandra Goad, who started her business in 1985 and now has a shop on Sloane Street. Her unique jewellery combines traditional methods with modern designs to create individual, wearable pieces. Cassandra s passion for gemology is reflected in the diverse, colourful and rare gemstones she uses, including prasiolites, kyanites, tourmalines and fire opals. She travels the world sourcing stones and gleaning inspiration. In addition to her own designs and collections, Cassandra offers a bespoke service creating custom-made jewellery in her own in-house workshop the ski slopes in Italy, I went straight to see Anya and asked her to write a message in a wallet for him so he would never forget that trip. Pronto soccorso Rio Negro was the message, after the slope he fell on. St Mary s Bourne Street I walk past this beautiful, hidden church every day. It is an oasis of calm and holiness amid the bustle of London life. Some of my most successful designs came about after I had stopped by here. John Sandoe Books, 10 Blacklands Terrace Whenever I think about a new country to travel to, I always walk across to John Sandoe and ask them to suggest books of all sorts to start me off on my journey. Their advice is unfailingly excellent, diverse and provocative. Anya Hindmarch Bespoke, Pont Street When my husband had an accident on Cuisine de Bar by Poilâne, 39 Cadogan Gardens The Poilâne café always reminds me of the day my five-year-old daughter stood over the Metro air vent in Paris and her skirt flew up. Her little face was full of delight at the unexpected magic. We were walking to buy our bread at Poilâne in the days when there was no Poilâne in London. To my great joy, they have opened a café just off the King s Road. All the best creative days start with a big slice of their bread. Hunan, 51 Pimlico Road In 2004, I set off to China, climbed the Great Wall, stared at the Terracotta Warriors, walked the streets of the Forbidden City and marvelled at the beautiful gardens of Suzhou. And everywhere my sketchbook came with me. When I got back, I took my team to Hunan and with their delicious food they 'transported' us all to China for an evening.
68 68 SHOPPING Spotlight on shops Shop and awe Peter Jones Spotlight on shops As well as being home to some of the world s most famous stores (Harrods and Harvey Nicks being just two), the area also boasts small but brilliant boutiques. We ve picked out just a few in our Spotlight on Shops for more, see the Shopping directory, page 73 Department stores Harrods A five-minute walk from its rival Harvey Nichols, Harrods is a famously upmarket department store. It is enormous, covering 4.5 acres, with seven floors. Its history is as rich as its décor. Charles Henry Harrod opened a wholesale grocers with a special interest in tea in 1834 in the East End of London, and moved to a single room in Knightsbridge in 1849 to capitalise on the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in The business expanded under the leadership of Harrod s son, Charles Digby Harrod, and it took over adjacent buildings, becoming a thriving department store. Disaster struck in December 1883 when the entire store burned to the ground but, incredibly, Charles still fulfilled all of his customers Christmas deliveries, making record profits. The store was rebuilt with the help of architect Charles William Stephens, who gave it a grand style. By the 1890s, Harrods had become a public company and, in 1898, it installed one of the world s first escalators with a brandy for nervous customers at the top. In the Second World War, Harrods turned its focus from luxury goods to producing uniforms, parachutes and parts for Lancaster bombers. The House of Fraser Group bought Harrods in 1959 and the young fashion boutique Way In opened there in The store returned to private ownership in 1985 when it was bought by Mohamed Al Fayed and his brother Ali. They implemented a 300 million refurbishment plan. In 2010, Qatar Holding Harrods bought Harrods for 1.5 billion. The store has suffered two IRA attacks in its history one in 1983, when a car bomb exploded in an adjacent street, and one in 1993, when a bomb was put in a bin outside. In addition to its reputation for luxury goods, Harrods is known for its lavish style and famous food halls, which are a joy to wander around. It also has a huge range of restaurants and cafés and even has a tasting room for wine sampling and dining. The store has a dress code which asks that all clothing is clean and presentable, not too revealing and that appropriate footwear is worn. Small bags and rucksacks are allowed, but large
69 69 SHOPPING Spotlight on shops bags and rucksacks must be checked into the left luggage service. The closest tube station is Knightsbridge, on the Piccadilly line. Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 11.30am-6pm (browsing only between 11.30am and 12pm on Sundays). Harrods, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7XL (enter SW3 1BB for sat-navs). T: Peter Jones Peter Jones is a huge, eight-floor department store opposite the Royal Court Theatre on Sloane Square. It is named after its founder, Peter Rees Jones, a Welsh draper who moved to London and started a shop in Hackney, then moved to Bloomsbury, then to Draycott Avenue and eventually to 4-6 King s Road in The business expanded until it took over 28 houses and a new building was developed in the 1880s. He is thought to Peter Jones be the first person to light his store with electric lighting. When Jones died in 1905, John Lewis, who owned a shop in Oxford Street, bought Peter Jones. Legend has it that Lewis put 22,500 in cash in his pocket, caught a bus to Sloane Square and bought Peter Jones in his lunch break. John Lewis s son, John Spedan Lewis, ran the Peter Jones store from 1914 and came up with the idea of making the entire business a partnership, with all the permanent staff becoming partners and sharing in the profits, giving them a voice in a business they co-owned. The John Lewis Partnership was founded in 1920 and has a written constitution setting out its principles, governance and rules. The idea is that whenever you go into a John Lewis shop, you are served by an owner. The present Peter Jones building, now Grade II-listed, was built in The modernist design by Slater, Crabtree and Moberly, with its glass curtain wall, caused quite a stir. A five-year, 107 million refurbishment of the store was completed in It has a brasserie, an espresso bar and a top-floor restaurant. Monday-Saturday 9.30am-7pm (Wednesdays until 8pm, bank holidays 10am-6pm), Sundays 10.30am-5pm (browsing only between 10.30am and 11am on Sundays). Peter Jones, Sloane Square, SW1 8EL T: Designer destinations Cassandra Goad Jewellery designer Cassandra Goad launched her business more than 25 years ago and soon moved to Sloane Harvey Nichols Harvey Nichols, affectionately known as Harvey Nicks, is an eight-floor luxury department store specialising in fashion, beauty and lifestyle products, with the fifth floor dedicated to food, wine and restaurants. It started as a linen shop in a terraced house on the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street in 1813, opened by Benjamin Harvey. It passed onto his daughter in 1920, on the understanding that she go into partnership with Colonel Nichols, selling Oriental carpets, silks and luxury goods alongside the linens. In 1880, the present building was built. Harvey Nichols was bought by Debenhams in 1919 and became part of the Burton Group in 1985, but was acquired by Dickson Concepts (International) Ltd in In 1996, it was listed on the London Stock Exchange, but was de-listed in 2003 when it returned to private ownership. Today, Harvey Nichols has six UK stores, including the flagship at Knightsbridge, and one in Dublin, as well as five stores in Saudia Arabia, Hong Kong, Dubai and Turkey. Future stores include one in Kuwait and a second store in Hong Kong. The group also launched restaurants in the OXO Tower and Prism Restaurant and Bar. The fifth floor of the Knightsbridge store houses a restaurant, a café and Street, where she can be found next to Holy Trinity Church. The store, which takes up four floors, features two showrooms, a private room for special commissions, a design studio and an in-house workshop. Cassandra often uses unusual stones and her designs are classical with a quirky touch. Monday-Friday 10am-5.30pm, open on some Saturdays (closed on Saturdays terrace, a bar, a food market and a wine shop, while the fourth floor features beauty services including a Beyond MediSpa, SEN treatment rooms and the Daniel Hersheson Salon. The Fifth Floor Café recently had a major makeover, featuring an open plan kitchen and a golden, horseshoe-shaped espresso bar. The closest tube station is Knightsbridge, on the Piccadilly line. Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 11.30am-6pm (browsing only between 11.30am and 12pm on Sundays). Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ. T: in July and August). 147 Sloane Street, SW1X 9BZ T: Chloé Known for its elegant, feminine and romantic collections, Chloé celebrates its 60th anniversary in While there are Chloé ranges in luxury department stores
70 70 SHOPPING Spotlight on shops including Harrods and Harvey Nichols, this is London s only standalone Chloé boutique. It offers ready-to-wear, accessories and fragrance lines. Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm (Wednesday until 7pm) Sloane Street, SW1X 9BX T: Lulu Guinness British accessories designer Lulu Guinness is famous for her witty handbags and some of her designs are in the permanent fashion collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Fashion fans should make time to pop into her Ellis Street store even if you don t end up buying anything, it s a wonderful showcase of her quirky style. Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 10am-6pm. 3 Ellis Street, SW1X 9AL T: Manolo Blahnik Shoe icon Manolo Blahnik s flagship store is in Old Church Street. His dramatic designs are spectacular worth a look for any fashion (or Sex and the City) fan. Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm Old Church Street, SW3 5BS T: Maria Grachvogel Designer Maria Grachvogel recently moved into Culford Gardens from Sloane Street. The three-storey townhouse, designed by Russell Sage, features an atelier, a couture and bridal Lulu Guinness space and the ready-to-wear collection. She says her aim is to create pieces that when worn make you look and feel amazing and her mission is to design for all women rather than use a fit model, she uses real women. It makes for flattering, beautiful clothes, and her designs are often seen on the red carpet. Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm (Wednesday until 7pm). 18 Culford Gardens, Blacklands Terrace, SW3 2ST. T: Mary Quant Mary Quant, the designer that kickstarted the King s Road s reputation for fashion with Bazaar in 1955 (see History and King s Road in Streets and Sights), has her self-titled London shop in Duke of York Square. It sells fashion and cosmetics and there is a makeover service. Monday-Saturday 10am-6.30pm (Wednesday until 7pm), Sunday 11am- 5pm. 37 Duke of York Square, SW3 4LY. T: Rigby & Peller Rigby & Peller, famous for its luxurious lingerie, has held the Royal Warrant of Appointment as Corsetieres to the Queen since It s a family-run business and its flagship store is on the King s Road. Monday-Saturday 10am- 7pm (Wednesday until 8pm), Sunday 12pm-6pm. 13 King s Road, SW3 4RP T: Selina Blow Selina Blow launched her first collection in 1992 and is known for her sharp, clean tailoring and bold colours. Her ready-to-wear range is available in her retail store just off Sloane Street. Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 11am-6pm. 1 Ellis Street, SW1X 9AL. T: Worlds End Vivienne Westwood has played an important role in Chelsea s history (see History and King s Road in Streets and Sights) and her presence is still felt on the King s Road with her wonderfully eccentric shop. Its design is a fusion of The Old Curiousity Shop and a galleon, with a huge clock on its front that spins backwards and deliberately sloping floors. It is, in fact, the same shop that used to be called SEX where Johnny Rotten auditioned for the Sex Pistols and was later rebranded Seditionaries. It was renamed and remodelled as Worlds End in With its unusual, outlandish and edgy fashion, it is still pushing boundaries and challenging the mainstream today. 430 King s Road, SW10 0LR T: Manolo Blahnik Alexandre de Paris Something different Alexandre de Paris Alexandre de Paris, hairdresser to Elizabeth Taylor for the blockbuster film Cleopatra and creator of the chignon bun, asked a French company to make him some chignon pins, added his name to the collection and now the luxury brand is sold in around 180 concessions around the world. This is its new flagship store, its first standalone boutique in London. Dress up your tresses with its sparkling hair jewellery, which ranges from 20 to 1,200. 3a Sloane Street, SW1X 9LA T:
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