Difference between revisions of "London/Chelsea"
Revision as of 16:12, 11 July 2008
Chelsea is an affluent and enduringly fashionable area of West London noted for its shopping (Sloane Square and the King's Road), restaurants and historical associations. It is also the location each spring of the renowned Chelsea Flower Show .
Chelsea is a extensive riverside area of London that extends broadly from Sloane Square in the east to the World's End public house in the west and down to the River Thames Embankment. The King's Road marks the main thoroughfare of Chelsea.
Chelsea's modern reputation as a centre of innovation and influence originated in a period during the 19th century when the area became a veritable Victorian artists' colony: artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, J.M.W. Turner, James McNeill Whistler, William Holman Hunt and John Singer Sargent, as well as writers such as George Meredith, Algernon Swinburne, Leigh Hunt and Thomas Carlyle all lived and worked here. A particularly large concentration of artists existed in the area around Cheyne Walk (pronounced Chey-nee) and Cheyne Row, where the pre-Raphaelite movement had its heart.
Following the Second World War Chelsea, like many other formerly prosperous areas became rather run down and poor. It became prominent once again as an artistic centre, Bohemian district and hotspots for young professionals in the 1960s. The Americans called this period "Swinging London" and the King's Road became the definition of style and fashion and both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones lived in the neighbourhood. In the 1970s, the "World's End" area of the King's Road was home to Vivienne Westwood's shop ("Sex"), and witnessed the genesis of Punk music and style with many Mohawks to be seen on the road against the background of the closed down shops. Thereafter, working class youth culture was priced out towards the fringes of Camden, Islington, Ladbroke Grove, Brixton and Brick Lane. The 1980s saw the rise of the Sloane (archetypally Princess Diana) and the Mohawks gave was to twin set pearls, pink Polo shirts and what a Yank would call a preppry. Chelsea seems to have settled into stylish affluence and aspiration and although the 'Hooray Henries' do not try to stand out, their loud braying voices, youth and wealth are quite exceptional. They can be seen here in their natural habitat particularly on school holidays when they return from their boarding schools and all stay at a friends house, on the "King's Road, mate".
The King's Road is one of London's smartest fashion streets, having evolved from the cutting-edge of bohemia and innovative fashion in the 60s to a more genteel place to indulge in retail therapy, albeit with a notable presence of trendy young Londoners (including many Sloane Rangers). It is a very attractive street that retains the atmosphere of a small town whilst being in the heart of a huge city. There is a huge range of fashion stores from upmarket chains to one-off boutiques, as well as variety of other shops, complimented by cafés, restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs. There is an obvious affluence to the road without any of the bling or snobbiness of nearby Sloane Street. The two converge at Sloane Square which is a busy, traffic-bound interchange (Chelsea's tube station is here), but a sit under the trees in warmer months remains pleasant. King's Road stretches south-west from here for miles, though the best of the shopping is in the first mile. The Duke of York Square shopping complex has a range of spacious branches of popular fashion chains, but lacks some of the road's character, however the small adjoining public space of Duke of York square is a welcome place for a rest between shopping, and a popular place to hang out.
Gastropubs in Chelsea. All these pubs charge about the same and the quality is more or less the same too.
Pigs Ear (Old Church Street) Phoenix (Smith Street) Builders Arms (Britten Street) Coopers Arms (Flood Street) Admiral Codrington (Mossop Street)
Tom's Kitchen - Populist spot for Tom Aikens's aptly named restaurant, albeit certainly in the "Splurge" category, the fish and chips make it certainly worth the difficulty getting reservations and the rather high cost.
Henry J Beans- 195 - 197 Kings Road, Chelsea London SW3 5ED tel:0207 352 9255. The biggest and best beer garden in London. Burger and Rib shack menu, showing American sports.
Chelsea Potter - 119 Kings Road, Chelsea London SW3 4PL. First pub when walking away from Sloane Square tube stop. Traditional Pub fare, but when warm outside, best people watching spot around. Also, Aussie and Kiwi barmen solidify the awesome environment here.
Coopers Arms - 87 Flood Street, Chelsea London SW3 5TB. Great pints, including Peroni on tap. Best Sunday Roast around, and more of a gastropub than a traditional pub.
The Phoenix - 23 Smith St, Chelsea London SW3 4EE. Great pints, tremendous place for a pint on a sunny day - be sure to grab one of the outdoor tables and enjoy a cool pint on a hot day here (when not raining in London).
City Butterflies, - Legal incall escort services in Chelsea. If you are looking for a lady to escort you at a business meeting or a corporate party - you can always choose from over a hundred female profiles. For further information please visit Chelsea escorts page or email to [email protected] for inquiries