Barnes London are real estate specialists in super prime property sales and lettings in Chelsea.

Since the days of Thomas More, Chelsea has been synonymous with wealth, privilege and exclusivity. This pocket of South West London became known as the ‘Village of Palaces’ during the 16th century as More, the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Shrewsbury and even King Henry VIII all built grand houses here.

While the beautiful properties of Beaufort House and the Royal manor house at Cheyne Walk no longer exist, members of the aristocracy and London society are still drawn to this upmarket urban village. Diana, Princess of Wales was a former resident, and inspired the ‘Sloane Ranger’ archetype and the stylishly well-heeled, who can be found enjoying the shops, restaurants and cafes surrounding Sloane Square today.

Bordered by Knightsbridge and Fulham, Chelsea offers proximity to the West End and the centre of London, while also benefitting from a wide range of amenities and attractions including premium fashion boutiques, leafy parks and the annual Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Chelsea Hospital.

Architecture in Chelsea

Arguably the most iconic piece of architecture in Chelsea is the Royal Chelsea Hospital, which was modelled on the Hotel de Invalides in Paris and designed by Sir Christopher Wren during the 1680s.

In keeping with the building styles in Belgravia, Knightsbridge, Kensington and Mayfair, the residential properties in Chelsea are largely historic 19th century detached houses and stucco-fronted terraces. However, a number of more contemporary developments have been built in the last few decades due to the great demand for housing in this area, the most coveted of which are the residential properties at Chelsea Harbour.

What makes Chelsea so special?

Chelsea boasts outstanding amenities, beautiful properties and exclusive shops of a prestigious London area, while retaining the atmosphere of a small town, with a close sense of community and welcoming locals. Unlike some areas of South West London, Chelsea residents tend to use the area as their primary base despite owning other homes, so it’s possible to get to know your neighbours. As a result, this pocket of London is particularly popular with families seeking to grow roots, and those who move in tend not to leave!

Chelsea property types

Properties in Chelsea are amongst the finest in London, with detached mansions, terraced townhouses, mews houses, and modern penthouses all available to purchase. The terraced houses of Onslow Square and Onslow Gardens, built by Charles James Freake during the 19th century, were influenced by the Basevi designs with stuccoed fronts, four stories, garretts and Ionic columns. Egerton Crescent, once named Britain’s most expensive street, offers similar properties in keeping with the typical Chelsea style.

Things to do

While the annual Chelsea Flower Show at the Royal Hospital is the attraction most associated with this area, Chelsea has plenty to offer during every season with many cultural attractions including the Saatchi Gallery, the Royal Court Theatre, the Tate Britain, Chelsea Arts Club and the Serpentine Gallery all in close proximity.

A sunny day sees many Chelsea inhabitants visiting the world-famous Chelsea Physic Garden followed by the weekly Farmer’s Market on the King’s Road, while football fans are well catered for by world famous Chelsea Football Club. The area is very well served by high-quality restaurants and bars, with The Botanist and Colbert on Sloane Square, Gaucho on Sloane Avenue, Bluebird on the King’s Road and Randall and Aubin on the Fulham Road. Evenings in Chelsea are particularly lively, with many young residents flocking to exclusive bars such as the members-only Raffles, Barts, and the popular Amuse Bouche champagne bar.

Shopping in Chelsea

With the designer stores of Sloane Street, boutiques of the King’s Road and furniture and homeware shops of Chelsea Design Quarter, Chelsea is a veritable oasis for shopping. Department stores Peter Jones, Harrods and Harvey Nichols are all nearby, while individual designers such as Bulgari, Chanel, Fendi and Moncler can be found on Sloane Street. Vintage couture can be found at Orsini Vintage, jewellery at Cartier and Tiffany & Co, and unique home furnishings at Brissi and Anthropologie.

For interior design, the Design Centre Chelsea Harbour has become the world’s premier interior design centre with 500 respected international brands and 102 showrooms. A mecca for all things interior and well-established as a leading design destination.

In addition, the Queen’s favourite grocer, Partridges, has an expertly curated range of food and wine, and for an even larger selection try the flagship Whole Foods on Kensington High Street.