Originally a bohemian neighbourhood back in the 60s, Chelsea is now one of the swankiest and most expensive neighbourhoods in London.
- Central location
- Thames river
- Local amenities
Part of the Borough carrying the same name, Chelsea is often less known than its neighbour, the French area of South Kensington.
Although undeniably a “chic” and “bourgeois” neighbourhood, it has kept a bohemian and artistic side that gives it a lot more charm than other world-famous neighbourhoods such as Mayfair or Knightsbridge.
Located on the edge of the Thames river, it was, in the 19th century, the favourite district of the captains of marine who had their residence along the river, as well as painters such as Rossetti who had his studio.
Turner and Whistler also resided on Cheyne Walk. It must be admitted that the light at sunrise and sunset is exceptional here, and that the landscape of the Thames banks was undoubtedly a major source of inspiration for these two painters.
In the sixties, Chelsea became the symbol of youth & rock’n roll. Young Mick Jagger wrote his first hits in his Edith Grove bohemian apartment, and record stores and fashion stores burgeoned on the sidewalks of King’s Road.
The 70s saw the arrival of the punk movement, Malcom Mc Laren, manager of the Sex Pistols, installed his headquarters, and girlfriend Vivienne Westwood opened her historic and controversial shop at the SEX era at 430 Kings Road. This shop still exists and has become a pilgrimage for fashion addicts around the world.
In the 1980s, Chelsea became the favourite district of London’s aristocracy and middle-class children, such as the future Princess of Wales, Diana Spencer. They often have their first apartment there, and Chelsea becomes their playground.
Sloane Square (SW3) is historically the most bourgeois part of the neighbourhood and the most desirable. The western part (SW10) on the border of Fulham was historically more popular, because of its proximity to the Worlds End Council Estate complex, and the surrounding area of Lots Road power station.
Today, the difference between these two “Chelsea’s” is less important than in the past because overall the area showcases an exceptional environment and way of life.
Its residents move there mainly for its international but still British traditional environment, and also for the excellent state and private school offer.
What you will find in Chelsea:
- The Saatchi Gallery is perfect for contemporary art amateurs
- The Royal Court Theatre on Sloane Square offers an excellent program
- Beautiful residential street with Georgian style houses in red bricks