Whistles neighbourhood: Chelsea
This affluent pocket of South West London is home to some of the city’s most treasured boutiques. In the 1960s, Chelsea was known as London’s bohemian quarter. Much like the adjacent neighbourhood of Kensington, Chelsea circa 2013 is more readily recognised as a boutique-shopping mecca with sky-high rents. Read on to discover our dining, shopping and cultural recommendations for this idyllic district.
The Cadogan Arms
A favourite haunt of the Made in Chelsea crowd, The Cadogan Arms is one of Chelsea’s most popular pubs. Situated on the King’s Road, the carefully restored interior of the pub evokes a little nostalgia for Chelsea’s glory days, when any number of Rolling Stones members or artists may have considered The Cadogan their watering hole. The Sunday Roast is an absolute must.
298 King's Road, SW3 5UG
Founded by longstanding art veteran Charles Saatchi, this vast white-walled space houses a rotating timetable of new and unknown contemporary artists on the verge of great things. Located in the magnificent Duke of York HQ building amidst luscious green grounds, the gallery is responsible for kick-strarting the trajectories of prolific artists including Tracey Emin and Jake and Dinos Chapman. The in-house restaurant comes highly recommended, serving lunch and dinner dishes created from fresh seasonal ingredients.
Duke Of York's HQ, King's Road, SW3 4RY
For those who are fastidious about their sock and hosiery collection, Tabio is an absolute paradise. The Japanese company specialize in creating luxurious trend-conscious socks from the finest yarn. Styles and colours are endless- if you have been seeking that perfect pair of dark navy tabi socks or the ideal pair of super thick 210 denier tights for winter, you will undoubtedly get lucky here.
178 King’s Road, SW3 5XP
Victoria & Albert Museum
The V&A museum may well be London’s best -loved art and design gallery. Since opening in 1900, the museum has set the bar sky-high with its invigorating, large-scale exhibitions that span all corners of culture, from the far-reaching to the wildly popular, from masterpieces of Chinese painting to David Bowie. Exhibitions currently on show include Club to Catwalk, an upbeat review of London fashion in the 1980s and Pearls, a look at the history and culture of the lustrous entity. Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
The Bakery at Bluebird
The café and courtyard at Bluebird is one of Chelsea’s most buzzing lunchtime hangouts. Classic dishes are given a wholesome overhaul with fresh ingredients sourced from local farmers and sustainable producers. We highly recommend committing carbocide with the infamous Bluebird cheeseburger washed down with a glass of something fizzy. Don’t forget to stock up on delicious deli treats at the in-house food store (and wine cellar).
350 King's Road, SW3 5UU
The Chelsea Gardener
Chelsea’s green-fingered residents adore this long-standing gardening centre. Opened in 1984 by the Fenwick family, who owned several other nurseries in Essex, this dignified oasis has since become something of an institution. The Sydney Street plot houses a cavernous nursery as well as an outdoor furniture store and an extensive collection of exotic houseplant species. The space has also lent itself to many high-profile events and exhibitions.
125 Sydney Street, SW3 6NR
The Shop at Bluebird
This independent cinema is always bustling with native film buffs. Located on the Kings Road, the Chelsea outpost is the largest of the Curzon branches and offers a scintillating schedule of new independent releases and old arthouse favourites. The building itself was originally built as a music hall, which is echoed within its tall ceilings and Art Deco panels.
206 King’s Road, SW3 5XP
The traditional Bejing-style cuisine and elegant European service offered at this Knightsbridge-based restaurant have ensured hotspot status since its opening on Valentines day in 1968. In its early years, Mick Jagger and Marlene Dietrich were regulars, now it’s a favourite spot for illustrious suarees hosted by the likes of Acne Paper. And the menu is great too – Whistles highly recommend the Peking duck pancakes.
151 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7PA
We recommend you never enter this store hungry- the temptation to spend an entire month’s rent money on all manner of edible delights is far too strong. Opened in 1972 by Richard Shepherd and his family, Partridge’s quickly established a first-class reputation for the quality of its groceries. The store is also the go-to supplier of American goods and sweet treats.
2-5 Duke Of York Square, King's Road, SW3 4LY
The World's End
A relic of old Chelsea, The World’s End was opened in 1970 by then married couple Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm MacLaren. Originally named ‘Let it Rock’, the store moved away from selling Teddy boy and 50s style clothing in 1981 when Westwood presented her first pirate collection dubbed ‘World’s End’. Today the boutique stocks women’s and men’s ready to wear pieces, accessories, footwear and a small selection of couture.
430 King’s Road, SW10 0LJ