South Kensington is one of the most visited parts of London, and for good reason: it’s home to the Natural History, Science and V&A museums. The main thoroughfare, Exhibition Road, is a lively and fitting route past the iconic institutions, up to Hyde Park and the Albert Memorial. There’s architectural splendour at nearly every turn, from the florid Italianate Brompton Oratory Catholic church to the iconic Royal Albert Hall. This distinctly elegant part of the capital also has a strong French accent thanks to the nearby Lycée Français and Institut Français, plus a sizeable student population (the Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music, Imperial College and numerous language schools are all here) and lots of embassies. There are restaurants and hotels galore too, plus a self-styled 'design quarter' with a cluster of high-end furniture shops. Here’s our pick of the best things to eat, drink, see and do in South Kensington.
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Things to do in South Kensington
Restaurants in South Kensington
Hotels in South Kensington
Bars and pubs in South Kensington
The perfect weekend in South Kensington
More things to do near South Kensington
Mad World Fancy Dress and Costume Hire
This vast dungeon (well, it's in a basement) of a fancy dress store offers a stellar personal service. Staff will help you navigate some 35,000 costumes, from a sleek ant to a fuzzy Orvill duck, and then assist in piecing together a unique outfit for sale or hire. Mad World is a great stop for period costumes, character fancy dress (they have everyone from Ron Burgandy to Rainbow's Bungle) and seasonal events such as halloween. Their get-ups are so on point that TV and movie production companies use them, too. They also stock balloons and costume accessories, such as wigs, swords and more, and there's another Mad World store in Charing Cross.
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