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Blue front door on Chelsea property

The DJD Guide to: Chelsea

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Where is Chelsea?

Chelsea is west-of-centre but very close to the capital for commuting. To the south there is the natural boundary of the river Thames, which has stylish apartment blocks all along the embankment, and the fashionable area of Battersea just across the water. To the west there’s Brompton, Kensington forms the northern boundary, while to the north-east, Belgravia is on the other side of Sloane Square. Westminster is very close by, so the area is popular with politicians and ex-patriate workers staffing the various embassies.

Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea

Living in Chelsea

Chelsea might be one of the most expensive places to live in England, but it’s not as snooty as you might think and there are some lovely areas which have more of a village feel than an inner-city vibe – think the Chelsea Green area. There are some amazing, modern purpose-built apartment blocks along the river embankment with cracking views of the Thames: Chelsea Waterfront has two impressive glass towers of 25 and 37 storeys. The Boltons is situated in a conservation area and has elegant white ‘wedding cake’ style houses – Tregunter Road is one of the best roads in the area. Cheyne Walk is also a popular road, though the style is more red brick mansion block. Some other names to look out for include the red bricks of Tite Street (which has a blue plaque for Oscar Wilde), 100 Sydney Street’s contemporary flats, and the Chelsea Barracks development which covers 12.8 acres of prime real estate. If you’re shopping by post code, look for SW3 or SW10 in the west.

Shopping in Chelsea

One of the most popular shopping roads in London bisects Chelsea: the King’s Road has all the big name High Street stores you’d expect plus both international and homegrown talent like The Kooples, Lululemon and the new Rixo flagship store. There’s also the perennially reliable Peter Jones – a swish outpost of John Lewis on Sloane Square, which has been providing everyday staples to the local community (plus its hordes of visitors) since 1877. For more homewares, head to Designers Guild on the King’s Road, where the great and the good of SW10 deck their homes out with designer fixtures and fittings. They fill their shelves with books from John Sandoe Books in Blacklands Terrace, and stock the kitchen cupboards and fridge with goodies bought at Chelsea Farmer’s Market. There’s also the village-like area of Chelsea Green which is home to Paxton & Whitfield for cheese, Jago’s Butchers for quality meat, the Chelsea Fishmonger for fresh fish from Cornwall and Haynes Hanson & Clark wine merchants for premium tipples.

Red London bus driving down high street in Chelsea

Going out in Chelsea

Unsurprisingly, Chelsea has a huge array of restaurants to cater to the diverse population. Some of London’s best Indian food can be found at Kutir, while Chicama serves bold Peruvian-style seafood. Bluebird is where the young, fashionable crowd gather, and other notable establishments include Restaurant Gordon Ramsey in Royal Hospital Road, stylish gastropub The Goat, French-style cafe Colbert on Sloane Square and modern British cuisine at the Five Fields. After dinner attractions include the 606 Club for live jazz, seeing a show at either the Ham Yard Theatre or the Royal Court Theatre, watching London’s iconic Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at its permanent residence, Cadogan Hall, or catching an exhibition at the world-famous Saatchi Gallery.

Once a year the borough is taken over by the Chelsea Flower Show – visitors flock to see the beautiful garden installations and the various shops and restaurants all put on their own shows with stunning floral displays. The King’s Road is where you’ll see the best displays, even if you aren’t venturing to the show itself.

Green spaces in Chelsea

Despite being close to the city centre, Chelsea has good access to many of London’s green spaces. As well as the ‘lung of London’ – Hyde Park – there are green spaces at Chelsea Royal Hospital, even when the annual flower show isn’t on. The Grade II-listed gardens are beautifully manicured, often host public events and can be walked for free at any time of the year. For keen tennis fans, there are courts at Burton Court, a private member’s club which also has a cricket ground and leafy parks for dog walking – there’s a waiting list for access, but it’s recommended by all local residents. There are a number of apartment blocks that have communal gardens, such as Chelsea Square Garden and Carlyle Square. There’s also the Chelsea Embankment Gardens along the river and, just over the river, there’s the magnificent green space of Battersea Park, which has a boating lake and a zoo.

Shops on high street in Chelsea

Chelsea schools and nurseries

The area has a number of state primary schools, all of which are ranked either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted; these include St Joseph’s Catholic Primary on Cadogan Street, Christ Church CofE Primary School in Robinson Street, St Peter’s Eaton Square, Our Lady of Victories on Clareville Street and the very popular Bousfield in South Bolton Gardens. There are a handful of state secondaries too: Chelsea Academy, Saint Thomas More and Pimlico Academy are co-ed, while The Grey Coat Hospital is a girls’ school and London Oratory caters to boys.

Private schools are more popular in Chelsea and there’s an impressive choice: Sussex House in Cadogan Square, Garden House in Turks Row and girls’ schools Glendower and Queen’s Gate in Queen’s Gate. For boys, there’s Westminster Cathedral Choir and Westminster Abbey Choir schools. There are plenty more not mentioned, so independent research is recommended.

Transport in Chelsea

The King’s Road – as well as being the epicentre of shopping and dining – is also a hotspot for travel, with many of London’s iconic red buses leaving from the road to elsewhere and with services up and down the three-kilometre-long avenue. There are tube services from Sloane Square, which is on the District and Circle lines. The northern boundary to Chelsea also has the option of South Kensington (also District and Circle), Gloucester Road (District, Circle and Piccadilly) and Earl’s Court (District and Piccadilly). Chelsea also has the benefit of Overground services leaving from Imperial Wharf, which has a speedy link to Clapham Junction. For an altogether more relaxing commute, there are river boat services from Chelsea Harbour Pier into the City.

To book an appointment with your local property marketing agency in Chelsea, contact us today.

Chelsea river Thames
If you would like to explore the area to visit some of the places mentioned above, we have prepared an area guide flyer to guide you through Chelsea. Click on the button below to download the map.

To book an appointment with your local property marketing agency in Chelsea, contact us today.

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