Area guide: Check out Chelsea, from the flower show to football

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Chelsea is one of London’s most sought-after areas and a long-time favourite with international aristocracy and wealthy elite. While property prices in prime central London grew 212% between 1997 and 2007, a period that coincided with a strong UK economy, Chelsea outperformed the market with 223% growth. Subsequently, Chelsea prices rose 69% between 2009 and 2015 as the area cemented its global reputation as a safe haven following the financial crash. Chelsea continues to attract the attention of investors, particularly from the Gulf States, who seek a safe home and a good return on investment.

London social season

Chelsea plays host to a number of important cultural and social events, particularly during the summer months when the London “social season” is in full swing. The Chelsea Flower Show, arguably the most famous flower show in the world, is held for five days in May in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. A tranquil natural haven can be found year round at the historic Chelsea Physic Garden which dates back to 1673.

The London Heliport is directly opposite Chelsea Waterfront and from the heliport it is a 15 minute flight to Ascot Racecourse, the home of Royal Ascot. This major event in the British social calendar is attended by the Queen every year and other members of the British Royal Family such as The Prince of Wales, who arrive each day in a horse-drawn carriage. Nearby Wimbledon in south west London is home to the oldest tennis tournament in the world and can be reached from Chelsea Waterfront in less than 20 minutes by car. Chelsea F.C., the world-famous football club, is located in nearby Fulham. The Royal Borough is also home to major museums, universities, embassies and luxury department stores.

Artistic and cultural heritage

In the 19th century the area gained a reputation as a bohemian quarter attracting a colony of painters and writers including Rossetti, Singer Sargent, Holman Hunt, Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde. Turner and Whistler, who both lived in the area, painted numerous scenes of Chelsea from both the north and south banks of the River Thames.

The King’s Road, a short walk from Chelsea Waterfront, defined 1960s swinging London. Attracting the biggest celebrities of the day, the area was home to the Beatles and Rolling Stones – Brian Jones, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger all lived here. And in the 1970s Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, sparked the British punk movement from their boutique on the King’s Road, creating a fashion and music wave that spread worldwide.

Transport

Imperial Wharf Station is close by with the London Overground line providing fast routes to Clapham Junction in the south to Willesden Junction via South Kensington in the north. A river bus service from close by Chelsea Harbour Pier provides a peak hour service between Putney and Blackfriars Millennium Pier. Or try Sloane Square station (on the District and Circle lines), which is opposite the Peter Jones department store.

Luxury shopping, fine dining and evening entertainment

Today Chelsea is one of the most affluent areas in the capital. Historic squares and white stucco buildings sit side by side with world class designer shops, restaurants, bars and art galleries. The Design Centre at Chelsea Harbour is the largest of its kind in Europe and home to some of the country’s leading interior designers, while Lots Road Auction House is a stone’s throw away. Chic stores, luxury brands and unique boutiques include, among others:

• Anya Hindmarch
• Bulgari
• Cartier
• Chanel
• Dior
• Dolce & Gabbana
• Ermenegilda Zegna
• Fendi
• Gucci
• Hermes
• Hugo Boss
• Jimmy Choo
• Louis Vuitton
• Marni
• Michael Kors
• Missoni
• Prada
• Roberto Cavalli
• Salvatore Ferragamo
• Smythson
• Tiffany & Co
• Tom Ford
• Valentino
• Versace
• Vivienne Westwood

Chelsea is also a home to The Ivy Garden Club, celebrity nightclubs Boujis and Raffles, and restaurants from Gordon Ramsay and Tom Aikens.

This guide was prepared by Chelsea Waterfront. Check out details of the development here.

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