After my jaunt through Hyde Park last weekend, I realised the selfie exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery wasn’t far away, so I kept going until I found it. Also realising I was in the heart of Chelsea, I made a mental note that after I’d explored the world of selfies, I’d take a stroll along King’s Road too. King’s Road was named as it was once only used by Royals, until the early 1800’s, and the expensive flair has never left. If you ever find yourself in this upmarket area of London either by chance or on purpose, here’s what not to miss.
The Saatchi Gallery
A free museum to enter, and set in impressive gardens the Saatchi Gallery is a great way to add some culture into your day. It’s not too big, and the rooms feel like part of a house, so it’s easily navigated and not too overwhelming like some of the other museums in London. The selfie exhibition was on when I was there, and they’re known for displaying quirky and alternative contemporary exhibitions. From the website it looks like a super yacht gallery is coming next. How fabulous darlings.
The square is the central point from which Kings Road, the Duke of York Square and Sloane Street come together. The Sloane Square Hotel can be found here, offering a luxurious stay smack in the middle of Chelsea, surrounded by bars and boutiques. Sloane Square tube station gives access to the London underground, but in this part of London I would honestly just walk and enjoy the view.
Duke of York Square
‘Food, fashion, beauty and culture’ – that’s what the Duke of York promises and it really is what you get. Eat al fresco in one of the charming little eateries, enjoy a shop in the likes of L.K Bennett, Monica Vinader, Liz Earle, Michael Kors and such like, or give yourself some TLC in one of the beauty establishments. You can even join in with Sunday morning yoga throughout the summer if you’re into that sort of thing. (I’m not, I’d be watching while tucking into a bowl of carbs from one of the Italians…mmmm garlic!).
The Local Life
The residential streets, mews and squares that lead off from King’s Road are completely adorable, and worth a wander along, if only to see the colourful doorways and pretty florals. My trips to London aren’t complete without finding some, and this trip didn’t disappoint. Then of course there’s also the traditional London pubs, pints and pies!
The queue for this fine Italian coffee flavoured gelato was around the whole shop and out onto the street. They sell more than just the coffee flavour though, but they boast of all natural ingredients without the need for colour additives. Your strawberry may be pale, but it’s beyond delicious. There was a full range of authentic Italian chocolate on offer too, rich and fine tuned since 1878.
Joe & The Juice
There are lots of coffee or juice bars along King’s Road, but Joe & The Juice was the most memorable for me because of it’s spot on the corner. There were more outdoor tables and seats than any other, and with an extensive menu of freshly pressed juices, smoothies, milkshakes and coffees it was a big hit for people of all ages.
One of my favourite things about London are the pop up flower stalls that crop up everywhere, and this one on King’s Road gave it a burst of colour. People were plucking their favourites from all the varieties on offer, and handed them wrapped in traditional brown paper to take home.
Another explosion of colour came from The Ivy, at the far end of King’s Road. With a handful of tiny golden tables out the front, they pretty much spilled out from the thick Ivy and creeping vines up the front of the building. It was so busy inside, you definitely need to plan a visit in advance and book a reservation. If The Ivy in LA is anything to go by it will absolutely be worth a visit, even just for a cocktail.
If the shops of the Duke of York Square aren’t enough, the whole of King’s Road, Sloane Street and all of the little side streets are littered with tiny boutiques to big named designers. The walk through Knightsbridge was basically my ideal Sunday, past designer displays and lavish window displays. A girl can dream on a sunny Sunday afternoon right?
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