Chelsea’s modern reputation as a centre of innovation and influence originated in a period during the 19th century, when the area became a Victorian artists colony. It became prominent once again as one of the centres of the “Swinging London” of the 1960s and has historically been referred to as a ‘village of palaces’.
From studio apartments and bijou mews houses to detached villas and grand townhouses, Chelsea encapsulates the finest of the London property market. The core of the original village, by the Thames, retains some impressive Georgian properties; mostly, though, Chelsea is handsomely 19th-century, with plenty of red-brick terraces and mansion blocks in a network of pretty streets dotted with gracious garden squares.
Today, the King’s Road boasts a wide range of major retailers, including some of the leading names in fashion. Other smart shopping locations include Park Walk, with its enticing selection of galleries and antique shops, and the area of Fulham Road known as The Beach, where the 24-hour restaurant and brasserie Vingt-Quatre is a major draw. South Kensington has plenty of patisseries and boulangeries, and there is a farmers market in Bute Street every Saturday.
Chelsea has two stations close to the area, which are Sloane Square and South Kensington, both connecting residents to the heart of London and all other transport links.