South Kensington is best known for its Museum Mile, one of the most visited parts of London and home to the triumvirate of the Natural History, Science and V&A museums. Where the trek from tube to entrance used to be fairly grim, the experimental landscaping of Exhibition Road – now shared equally between cars and pedestrians – has brought life out on to the streets and created a fitting processional route up to Hyde Park and the Albert Memorial. This distinctly elegant part of the capital has a strong French accent thanks to the nearby Lycée Français and Institut Français. There’s architectural splendour at nearly every turn in this neighbourhood, from the florid Italianate Brompton Oratory Catholic church to the iconic Royal Albert Hall. Besides tourists, French expats and diplomats, South Kensington is home to 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's also a self-styled 'design quarter' around Brompton Road/Fulham Road with a cluster of high-end furniture shops.
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Restaurants in South Kensington
Things to do in South Kensington
‘I would rather not be made the prominent feature of such a monument,’ was Prince Albert’s reported response when the subject of his commemoration arose. Hard, then, to imagine what Queen Victoria's husband would have made of this extraordinary thing, unveiled 15 years after his death. Created by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the memorial centres around a gilded Albert holding a catalogue of the 1851 Great Exhibition, guarded on four corners by the continents of Africa, America, Asia and Europe. The pillars are crowned with bronze statues of the sciences, and the frieze at the base depicts major artists, architects and musicians. Officially called the 'Prince Consort National Memorial', it is one of London’s most dramatic monuments. Tours take place on the first Sunday of every month.
Bars and pubs in South Kensington
Costa Azul Mexican Bar & Grill
An Old Kent Road Mexican restaurant and bar, Costa Azul offers a mix of Mexican classics and Tex-Mex staples, with burgers and children's meals available, too. That means a menu including enchiladas, nachos, jalapeno poppers, tacos filled with beef, slow-roasted pork, or shredded chicken, quesadillas, fajitas, chimichangas, burritos and platters of meat and seafood. Desserts include flan de leche and a fried burrito – filled with vanilla ice cream and banana, and served with chocolate sauce.
Venue says: “WKEND DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY! LIVE MUSIC every Sundays from 6PM. Happy hour 7-10pm on Fridays on all our cocktails, plus four Coronas for £10.”