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Five Sloane Streeters on their favourite thing about Christmas in Chelsea

From baked treats to bookshops, here are the most-loved festive things from Sloane Street and its surrounds

12 December 2023

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and there is a wealth of brilliant things to see and do in Chelsea – Santa’s grotto, twinkling lights and culinary treats are just some of the highlights in the area this season. Sometimes, though, the most savoured Christmas traditions are the smaller, more personal ones, and so we asked six Sloane Streeters what they love about Chelsea during the festive season. 

Read on to discover the things they simply cannot miss in the neighbourhood, no matter where in the world they are on the Big Day itself.

Anya Hindmarch, fashion designer

One of the traditions I love the most is the Household Cavalry breakfast. Every morning, we are lucky that the Household Cavalry come down our street as they exercise the horses. And so, once a year, we invite them to stop for a breakfast of bacon sandwiches and port (their request). The whole street comes out to greet them in support of the Household Cavalry Foundation. It is still dark when they arrive, and dawn as they leave. We sing two carols, give them three cheers and off they go. A magical Christmas tradition. 

157-158 Sloane Street, SW1X 9AB;

Anabela Chan, jewellery designer

I love Christmas and all the festivities. A visit to Santa at Anya’s Grotto on Pont Street has become a family tradition with our children. The festive food markets at Duke of York Square are always magical, as was ice skating at the Natural History Museum when it had a rink there. The horse and carriage ride through Chelsea is a must, followed by a cocktail at the newly opened At Sloane or Beaverbrook Town House.

35B Sloane Street, SW1X 9LP;

Alicia Rountree, founder of Alicia Swim

I spend most Christmases in Mauritius with my family – it’s the time of the year when we all get together from various places around the world. I have always been used to a ‘hot’ Christmas – our lunch is usually a BBQ in a bikini, which is quite fun! 

I do adore the run-up to Christmas in London though: I enjoy buying decorations from Peter Jones on Sloane Square because you just don’t get the nice special ones on the island! Now that I have a daughter, I’m excited to bring her to see the lights in Chelsea and decorations around the neighbourhood.

Sarah Deniz Coleman, influencer

I always love being in Chelsea, but especially at Christmas. The sparkling trees in Sloane Square are magical, especially as the evenings draw in. The switching-on of the annual light display is not to be missed. 

For festive food, there are great places in Pavilion Road, but my favourite place is The LaLee at The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel, where you will find me with my husband and my two pugs (it is 100 per cent dog friendly). 

There are special Christmas concerts at the Cadogan Hall, which provide us with a seasonal musical treat. 

I mustn’t forget to add that I love shopping at Harvey Nichols and, of course, the other boutiques on Sloane Street. I never miss the marvellous John Sandoe bookshop, stacked high with books, ideal for Christmas presents for family and friends.

Luna de Casanova, digital creator

You can get awfully wet listening for sleigh bells in the snow anywhere around SW3, whatever Bing Crosby told you. So, if you’re looking for a traditional Chelsea Christmas and trying to avoid ever hearing Walking in a Winter Wonderland again, then better to wait for dark, put a coat on your faithful canine and head to Blacklands Terrace to the wonderful and idiosyncratic John Sandoe bookshop, to enjoy the cosy interior and stock up on your favourite Christmas books. 

From there, head to Chelsea Green and Birley Bakery for delicious bread, pastries, cakes and chocolate. Once your purchases equal your body weight, it’s only a short yomp across the King’s Road to gaze at the wonder that is the Royal Hospital lit up at night. Finally, if you want to see London’s best-decorated shop, head to West Halkin Street. Don’t be afraid: it may look like quite the hubbub, but it’s only a stream of influencers posing in front of Neill Strain Floral Couture.

Christmas in Chelsea

From gift wrapping to festive cooking, Sloane Street’s guides have you covered