On & Around the Street

Sloane Street Portrait: Kar-Hin Li, Sloane Street Ambassador

Sloane Street Ambassador Kar-Hin Li
Sloane Street Ambassador Kar-Hin Li

Describe your perfect day on Sloane Street…

Nice weather, blue, cloudless skies, with lots of tourists on street, because they bring a lot of atmosphere to the area.

What is the best thing about your job?

I really like helping people. Whenever I see someone smile after I’ve helped them I feel like I’ve made their trip to London.

It’s not a frantically busy area, so people aren’t usually in a rush to find something. They tend to ask for things they can do in the area rather than specific areas. When they visit, they tend to know about Chelsea as an area from images on television or on the internet, but perhaps they don’t know the neighbourhood that well, so when they get here they tend to want to explore.

What’s the best thing about working on Sloane Street?

It’s a very friendly and warm neighbourhood. I know a few of the local residents and people who work in the Street’s stores, so it’s very enjoyable to talk to these friendly people every day.

Best kept secret on Sloane Street?

The Holy Trinity church. It was built on a grand scale to a design by John Dando Sedding and features an important collection of stained glass, with windows by Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris. From the outside, it looks like a bit of a nondescript church but when you go inside, it’s really airy and light, there’s a very peaceful and serene atmosphere.

Tell us your favourite Sloane Street Memory…

I was once helping a man who took a picture of me on the Street. Three months later he came up to me and said, “You helped me so much that I decided to bring my family here.” He came back especially to Sloane Street to tell me my help had made him want to bring his family to London.

The best place for lunch on Sloane Street?

I like going to the Côte Brasserie on Sloane Square. The menu changes often and what’s nice is that you can sit outside and enjoy people-watching.

The best place for a drink on Sloane Street?

The Gloucester is the only pub on Sloane Street and is nice because it’s quite small and intimate and it attracts a slightly different crowd to the type of people you would usually expect to find on Sloane Street. Just between Roger Vivier and Miu Miu, it’s a little bit of proper Britain in the middle of all these international designer boutiques.

Describe Sloane Street in three words…

Luxury. Welcoming. Tranquil.

What Christmas gift do you buy for the person who has everything?

Many of the boutiques offer a personalisation service, so you can have something customised just for your recipient. A personalised travel case, wallet or purse would be a good idea, from Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Anya Hindmarch or, of course, Smythson.

What is the biggest gift-giving faux pas?

A bland pair of socks.

What’s the best fail-safe ‘one-size-fits-all’ present that everyone will love?

A nice wallet from somewhere like Ermenegildo Zegna or Berlutti in a very classic style. Or, for a woman, a beautiful purse.

Three of the best festive things to do on Sloane Street?

The turning on of the Christmas lights (December 19) is always has a lovely jovial atmosphere, many of the hotels do festive events in their restaurants and bars, like the festive afternoon tea at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower, and the Christmas Shopping Weekend (December 2-3) is a great time to get all your Christmas shopping done, with gourmet festive food markets on Duke of York Square and lots of exclusive offers at many of the boutiques.