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The perfect staycation in Chelsea

Make Chelsea, London’s most beautiful neighbourhood, the destination for your next staycation

2 August 2023

The Cadogan, a Belmond hotel
Chelsea Physic Garden
11 Cadogan Gardens
Colbert
The bar at The LaLee
Beaverbrook Town House

In need of a brief reset? Or are you craving complete relaxation? A staycation on or around Sloane Street can be the perfect remedy when you need to re-energise, reframe and restore before re-engaging with the world, with the added bonus that there are no planes required, doing away with the need to bookend your trip with the stress of flying. 

With spectacular architecture, destination restaurants and landmark hotels, as well as world-class options for pampering and beauty treatments and the flagship boutiques of some of the world’s most iconic luxury brands, Chelsea is the ideal destination for those seeking sanctuary for a week, a weekend, or even just a night.

Culturally, Chelsea is home to beloved art, music and theatrical venues including the Royal Court Theatre and Cadogan Hall, and is within walking distance of the treasures within the Victoria & Albert Museum, the wonders of the Natural History Museum and the Serpentine Gallery.

From explorations of contemporary art at the Saatchi Gallery and a voyage through the fascinating Chelsea Physic Garden, to al fresco bars, unforgettable experiences and the best places for brunch, cocktails and dinner, here’s our guide to having the perfect Chelsea staycation.

 

WHERE TO STAY
Beaverbrook Town House
115 Sloane Street, SW1X 9PJ

Beaverbrook, Surrey’s much-loved countryside hotel and spa, has opened the doors to its first London outpost, Beaverbrook Town House, on Sloane Street. Overlooking Cadogan Place Gardens and set across two lovingly restored Georgian townhouses, the hotel – comprising 14 bedrooms and suites – has all the charm of its older sibling, with exquisite rooms, lavish bathrooms, a seductive cocktail bar and a remarkable new Japanese restaurant that welcomes walk-ins.

Set on the ground floor of the hotel, the Fuji Grill and Omakase Sushi Bar serves an array of flawless sushi, sashimi and nigiri, alongside dishes including Kobe beef and some rare dry-aged fish. And outside, the hotel now has its very own terrace where you can watch Sloane Streeters go by and enjoy the sunshine. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night tipples.

The Cadogan, a Belmond hotel
75 Sloane Street, SW1X 9SG

The historic Cadogan Hotel was built in 1887 and played an integral role in Chelsea’s social history. This was the scene of Oscar Wilde’s notorious 1895 arrest, an incident that inspired Sir John Betjeman’s poem, The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel.

After undergoing a five-year, £39-million renovation under the scrupulous eye of luxury hotel group Belmond, it reopened in 2019 as an establishment worthy of its colourful past, with impeccably stylish rooms, a much-loved restaurant and bar that serves very notable cocktails and a remarkable collection of art.

Guests of The Cadogan also get exclusive access to the private Cadogan Gardens, where you can order a picnic basket and spend a peaceful afternoon surrounded by greenery and the hotel’s very own bee hives. And then there is its all-day dining spot, The LaLee, which is a beautiful place to stop for lunch during a day on the Street, or to relax with an evening cocktail.

11 Cadogan Gardens
11 Cadogan Gardens, SW3 2RJ

This boutique hotel is one of London’s best-kept secrets. It was built by Lord Chelsea in the late 19th century and originally comprised four separate Victorian townhouses, which explains its labyrinthine layout. Each of the 56 opulent bedrooms and suites is uniquely decorated with unexpected touches throughout. The hotel’s restaurant, Hans’ Bar & Grill (more below), is a fabulous spot for dinner and the Pavilion Road terrace is an idyllic place to enjoy an al fresco evening cocktail.

The Apartments by 11 Cadogan Gardens
11 Cadogan Gardens, SW3 2RJ

Boutique hotel 11 Cadogan Gardens has expanded into a neighbouring six-floor, red-brick Victorian townhouse, and now offers a tranquil home-away-from-home experience in six elegant apartment suites managed by Iconic Luxury Hotels, the group that owns Cliveden House and Chewton Glen.

Situated at 11 Cadogan Gardens, the apartments range from one to three bedrooms, each occupying one floor of the townhouse. Each features a contemporary minimalism with clean white marble and Art Deco accessories. All kitchens are fully equipped with Bosch appliances and fridges are stocked with essentials and home comforts prior to every guest’s arrival.

The Carlton Tower Jumeirah
1 Cadogan Place, SW1X 9PY

When the 17-storey hotel first opened in 1961, it was London’s first tower hotel and became a hub of international glamour – the place to play, stay or both. A modern classic reinvented following an 18-month refurbishment in 2021, the building has been renovated with a new foyer and reception; 186 new bedrooms and suites, reduced from 216 to offer more space to guests (hot tip: 87 of the rooms and suites have balconies overlooking Chelsea); the hotel’s famous The Peak Fitness Club and Spa features London’s largest naturally lit swimming pool; and a destination restaurant, Al Mare, which offers a sophisticated and welcoming take on Italian cuisine.

MANDARIN ORIENTAL HYDE PARK
66 KNIGHTSBRIDGE, SW1X 7LA

Nestled between the buzz of Chelsea and the natural beauty of Hyde Park, the Mandarin Oriental is one of London’s premier addresses. Redesigned by Joyce Wang, each of the hotel’s rooms and suites features Art Deco-era decadence and the essential peacefulness of the neighbouring Royal Park. As an added perk, the hotel is home to Michelin-starred restaurant Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and a Japanese izakaya. Plus, don’t miss the hotel’s beautiful garden terrace restaurant, which is open from 12pm to 9pm daily until September. Expect unusual ingredients and dishes inspired by English botanicals. 

THE BERKELEY
WILTON PLACE, SW1X 7RL

Modern luxury doesn’t get much better than The Berkeley. This five-star hotel is just moments away from the fashionable temptations of Sloane Street’s luxury boutiques and even has a selection of restaurants and bars within its walls to spark your appetite. Breathe in the skyline at the rooftop pool and enjoy a little downtime at the hotel’s very own Bamford Wellness Spa.

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
SUMMER ON SLOANE SQUARE
50-52 SLOANE SQUARE, SW1W 8AX

Sloane Square has become one of London’s most popular al fresco destinations, loved by both locals and visitors to the neighbourhood. With refreshments from The Botanist, Côte and the Royal Court Theatre, it’s perfect for a post-shopping cocktail, weekend brunch or sunset flute of champagne.

THE LALEE
75 SLOANE STREET, SW1X 9SG

With a menu inspired by socialite Lillie Langtry’s jaunts around the world, The LaLee at The Cadogan hotel has something for everyone. Its bar, too, is well stocked with popular and niche tipples with an international flavour. There’s a set menu for lunches and an afternoon tea offering, as well as roasts on Sundays and special dishes for children.

Harry's Dolce Vita
The Peak fitness club and spa at The Carlton Tower Jumeirah
Sumosan Twiga
Summer in Sloane Square
Victoria & Albert Museum
Ushvani
Cheyne Walk
Royal Court Theatre
SIR FRANK’S BAR
115 SLOANE STREET, SW1X 9PJ

Named after the Beaverbrook hotel’s creative director Sir Frank Lowe, the bar at Beaverbrook Town House is worth visiting for the décor alone – the eclectic mix of artwork, collectables and glossy lacquered walls makes it a cosy and stylish place to while away an evening. Try its seasonal cocktails, indulgent puddings or Japanese snacks.

GRANGER & CO.
237 PAVILION ROAD, SW1X 0BP

Granger & Co. is famous for its brunches, which includes stacks of fluffy ricotta hotcakes and the creamiest scrambled eggs this side of Sydney, where chef Bill Granger made his name. The restaurant is open all day and there’s a lovely palm-filled terrace if you fancy dining al fresco.

HARRY’S DOLCE VITA
27-31 BASIL STREET, SW3 1BB

Make a reservation at Harry’s Dolce Vita and be transported to Italy at its seductive and stylish best. Order a cocktail at the gorgeous bar (make it a bellini; Harry’s is famous for them), then indulge in an unapologetically Italian menu of delights like Harry’s taglioni, clad seductively with cream, black truffles and heaps of melted Parmesan, or one of the many visually arresting desserts.

HANS’ BAR & GRILL
11 CADOGAN GARDENS, SW3 2RJ

Hans’ Bar & Grill has an impressive all-day dining menu full of standout dishes that combine British fare with the spicy flavours of Southeast Asia. The terrace on Pavilion Road is sunniest in the morning, making it a perfect spot for a coffee to start your day.

THE BOTANIST
7 SLOANE SQUARE, SW1W 8EE

Located on the corner of Sloane Square, The Botanist is one of the most stylish places to see and be seen in Chelsea. Flatteringly lit and decadently fitted out in sumptuous fabrics, it’s the perfect spot for a post-shopping cocktail or weekend brunch.

COLBERT
50-52 SLOANE SQUARE, SW1W 8AX

You won’t find a better chicken liver parfait or Escargots à la Bourguignonne this side of the Bois de Boulogne than at this proper French brasserie inspired by the great boulevard cafés of Paris. Breakfasts at Colbert are a treat: traditional pâtisseries, fluffy omelettes, stacks of buttermilk pancakes topped with syrup and more. It’s a great spot to linger over a long lunch and, as it’s just a few doors down from the Royal Court, it’s ideal for pre- or post-theatre dining.

SUMOSAN TWIGA
165 SLOANE STREET, SW1X 9QB

Japanese and Italian cuisines meet to delicious effect at Sumosan Twiga, which brings together the combined passions of former F1 boss Flavio Briatore and Sumosan founder Janina Wolkow. They have realised their shared vision of creating a uniquely glamorous destination that caters for every element of a night out, from pre-dinner cocktails all the way to late-night high-jinx at The Club, a space dictated by elevated imagination with performances from international artists. It’s all under one sleek roof.

ANYA CAFÉ
9 PONT STREET, SW1X 9EJ

Looking for a snack that’ll make you smile? Anya Hindmarch’s café is probably the best place in London to find it. With smiley-faced and heart-shaped cakes alongside giant versions of classic British treats, this cosy spot is the perfect place to take children and snap Instagram-worthy photos. While you’re there, be sure to stop in at Anya’s ever-changing pop-up space across the road, the Village Hall, and her permanent World’s Smallest Department Store right next door.

THE ROASTING PARTY
253 PAVILION ROAD, SW1X 0BP

If you can’t start the day without caffeine then head straight for The Roasting Party on Pavilion Road. Expect to receive a very warm welcome at the small speciality coffee shop, which is a favourite among locals for its flat whites, New York-style bagels and enthusiasm for customised drinks.

CANTINETTA ANTINORI
4 HARRIET STREET, SW1 Z9JR

Think of Cantinetta Antinori as a little slice of Tuscany in Chelsea. Tucked behind the Gina boutique on Harriet Street, this family-run restaurant is sumptuously decorated and fully stocked with Italy’s finest wines and ingredients. We recommend the prosciutto di Wagyu and the tiramisu, which is served tableside.

WHAT TO DO
PAVILION ROAD
237-251 PAVILION ROAD, SW1X 0BP

Tucked just behind Sloane Street is Pavilion Road, a charming pedestrianised space and a gourmand’s paradise. Explore the offerings from artisan food producers and providers, including London Cheesemongers, Bread Ahead, Ice Cream Union, Natoora and Provenance Village Butcher.

SLOANE STREET
SW1X 9SG

Satiate your taste for the world’s most luxurious fashion with the likes of Dior, Chanel, Gucci, Prada and Saint Laurent, who all have boutiques on the Street. It makes for a shopping day like no other. Don’t forget to stop and refuel on the way with delicious fare at Lórian (formerly the Sloane Street Deli), at number 162B Sloane Street.

ROYAL COURT THEATRE
SLOANE SQUARE, SW1W 8AS

Founded in 1870, the Royal Court is one of the UK’s most respected theatres and supports emerging and underrepresented writers as well as world-famous ones, so seeing a production here will be such a memorable way to round off a trip to Chelsea. Enjoy dinner beforehand in one of the many neighbouring spots on Sloane Square, and a tipple afterwards in the establishment’s very own bar.

CHELSEA PHYSIC GARDEN
66 ROYAL HOSPITAL ROAD, SW3 4HS

Soak up the sunshine within the grounds of the Chelsea Physic Garden, one of the most magical places in London. The garden was established in 1673 as the Apothecaries’ Garden by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries to grow plants to be used as medicines. You’ll discover rare specimens, flowers and trees as you marvel at the healing power of plants.

SAATCHI GALLERY
DUKE OF YORK’S HQ, KING’S ROAD, SW3 4RY

Be inspired at the Saatchi Gallery, one of the most recognised names in contemporary art, renowned for its innovative exhibitions that focus on largely unseen young artists, or by international artists whose work has been rarely or never exhibited in the UK.

CHEYNE WALK
SW3 4HH

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is home to 173 blue plaques commemorating the area’s most illustrious visitors and residents. You’ll find quite a few on the way from Sloane Square down to Cheyne Walk, which has been home to the likes of George Eliot, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, and JMW Turner. It makes for a lovely summertime amble down to the River Thames.

VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM
66 ROYAL HOSPITAL ROAD, SW3 4HS

There are over 200,000 objects to discover, across six floors and seven miles of gallery space at the V&A. In June 2023, the museum unveiled the DIVA exhibition, a celebration of iconic performers across opera, stage, popular music and film. Exploring how the diva has been reclaimed and redefined through fashion, photography and live music, the exhibition is the latest to take over the imagination of visitors to the V&A.

The museum has also added four new gallery spaces to its critically acclaimed Photography Centre, restoring original architectural features in the process. It is the largest permanent gallery dedicated to photography in the UK, where visitors can discover a whole host of camera creations, including Energy: Sparks from the Collection – a display dedicated to the energy both behind and in front of the lens.

BEAUTY AND WELLNESS
MICHAELJOHN SALON & MEDISPA
4 & 6 ELLIS STREET, SW1X 9AL

A stone’s throw from Sloane Square, Michaeljohn Salon and Medispa is the ultimate pampering destination. Enjoy rejuvenating facial and skincare and pioneering anti-ageing treatments delivered by experienced skin specialists. Call to check for last-minute availability at the salon, which is much-loved by fashion gurus and celebrities including Anna Wintour, Amal Clooney and David Gandy. 

SALON SLOANE
186 PAVILION ROAD, SW3 2BF

Chelsea hosts a sparkling roster of leaders in fashion, food and beauty, and Salon Sloane’s founder, Belle Cannan is one such person. Her salon brings together some of the world’s best colourists and hair stylists under one roof, with a focus on craft and luxury.  

THE PEAK FITNESS CLUB AND SPA AT THE CARLTON TOWER JUMEIRAH
1 CADOGAN PLACE, SW1X 9PY

Like everything else at The Carlton Tower, its fitness club and spa are best-in-class. There’s a 20m swimming pool with natural lighting, 360-degree views of the London skyline, regular exercise classes and treatments that are simply divine. Plus, all of the products used are from the world’s best beauty brands, including Seed to Skin, Aromatherapy Associates, and 111Skin.

PAVILION BARBERS​​
166A PAVILION RD, SW1X 0AW

Expect a grooming experience that is second-to-none at Pavilion Barbers. The vintage-styled shop uses only the best British-made products and offers a range of services from the classic back and sides to a full luxury treatment, which includes a hot towel shave, threading and a facial cleanse.

USHVANI
1 CADOGAN GARDENS, SW3 2RJ

If you’re looking for relaxation then Ushvani ought to be top of your list – it’s been voted London’s most luxurious day spa by both Tatler and Condé Nast Traveller. This calming spot offers a range of massages and treatments that’ll help to set the tone for a chilled staycation in Chelsea (try the Malay massage). Ushvani also offers regular yoga sessions if you’re looking to practice away from home. 

NAIL’D IT
5 ELLIS STREET, SW1X 9AL

Nail’d It’s beautiful salon and range of nail art options makes having your nails done feel extra special. The pink interiors, complete with a blush telephone box and bunches of blooms, are the perfect backdrop for an afternoon with friends or family – you can even hire the whole salon out.

SARAH CHAPMAN SKINESIS
259 PAVILION ROAD, SW1X 0BP

A legend in skincare, Sarah Chapman is the expert in everything from complex skin complaints to express facials that work wonders. Treat yourself to ‘The Iconic Facial’ (from £325), or if you’re short on time, head to the clinic’s Glow Zone for a micro treatment. We recommend the 15-minute ‘Lift & Gym’ massage (£20), in which you experience Chapman’s famed facial massage technique.

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