The playground for London’s wealthier residents, Chelsea was the home of the Sloane Ranger and is now, thanks to ‘Made in Chelsea’, known for a whole host of reality TV stars. High-end fashion boutiques are scattered all down the King’s Road, which is unrecognisable from its 1960s swinging London roots and punk heyday, and there are numerous top-class eateries to try. Tucked down the immaculately kept residential streets are a number of gastropubs, the Chelsea equivalent of the local boozer, while those searching for cocktails and nightlife will be pleased by the swanky bars on offer. There’s much to please those with an artistic streak, too. The Saatchi Gallery and the Royal Court Theatre have both made this fancy area their home.
RECOMMENDED: London by area
Things to do in Chelsea
Restaurants in Chelsea
Pubs in Chelsea
Bars in Chelsea
A speakeasy themed cocktail bar in Sloane Avenue that's hidden behind an inconspicuous black door. Inside the venue is decorated like a quirky living room cum bar, with trinkets scattered around, mismatched furniture and a helping of taxidermy. The bar staff are dressed accordingly to suit the prohibition era soundtrack and there's a fancy dress box to help visitors fit in.
Once a magnificent art deco garage complex with links to speed racer Sir Malcolm Campbell (hence the name), this is now a multipurpose eating and drinking venue, part of the D&D London stable. At street level is a lively café (and front courtyard) and food store. The restaurant is on the first floor; bag a table by the window for a diverting view of the King’s Road. There's a Mediterranean slant to the menus, with dishes ranging from steak tartare and queen scallops with chorizo and apple to baked black cod with butter beans and pancetta, daube of beef with young carrots and celery, grilled calf's liver with sweet peppers, olives and sage, and rump of Norfolk lamb with merguez sausage and bulgar. Weekend brunches, afternoon tea and seasonal menus also feature.
Hotels in Chelsea
Cafés in Chelsea
Tangerine Dream Café
Yes, you'll have to pay entrance to the Chelsea Physic Garden to enjoy this café, but then a wander within the garden's walls is a delight in itself – and the perfect prelude to some alfresco dining. Tangerine Dream pride themselves on simple presentation and the freshness of their produce, so don't be surprised if the zucchini (and flower) served as salad with your and sun-dried tomato and Gruyère tart is uncooked – but do be surprised if it's anything less than crunchily delicious. There are terrific cakes too, from lavender scones to orange polenta cake. The café is licensed and has a proper wine list (including fizz), but the own-made Amalfi lemonade is surely the tipple of choice as you sit looking out across the parterres.
This Sydney Street spot is the fourth branch from Bumpkin - a chain that kicked things off with a venue in Notting Hill. It's all about classic British cooking here, with an emphasis on locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients - so expect regularly changing menus that keep the culinary focus on Old Blighty. Dishes range from full English breakfasts and Sunday brunches to slow-cooked pork bellies served with poached Granny Smith apples, dressed Cornish crab with English caviar and toast, and line-caught sea bass with a caper and anchovy nut butter and samphire. The butcher's meat board - a popular choice - features cured meats from West Dorset. The wine list offers further homage to Britain, with Chapel Down, Hush Heath, Bolney and Nyetimber just some of the home-county wineries showcasing their wares. Bumpkin brew their own ale, too.