Chelsea is one of London's most posh boroughs, known for its high-end retailers, affluent residents, and vibrant 20th-century cultural history. Famed business district stretches such as King's Road are home to historic sites connected to midcentury mod fashion designers like Mary Quant and famed writers such as Oscar Wilde. Area visitors can enjoy football games and stadium tours at Stamford Bridge, the famed home of the Chelsea Football League, or stroll through the beautiful Chelsea Physic Garden, one of the world's oldest botanical garden facilities. Delicious restaurants serve up Mediterranean and international cuisine options throughout the day and offer famed bottomless brunch deals on the weekends. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.The Chelsea Physic Garden
The Chelsea Physic Garden is one of Britain's oldest botanical garden facilities, originally established in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries as the Apothecaries' Garden, though it was not opened as a public attraction until 1983. The stunning four-acre garden, which is listed as a Grade I attraction in the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, is located at the site of the former Danvers House mansion and is known for housing some of England's most unique botanical attractions, including the nation's oldest rock garden devoted entirely to alpine plants. Britain's largest fruiting olive tree is also showcased, along with the world's northernmost grapefruit tree. More than 5,000 more plantings are also presented within areas such as the Garden of Medicinal Planets, the Garden of World Medicine, and the World Woodland Garden.
66 Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4HS, UK, Phone: 020-73-52-56-46
2.The Royal Hospital Chelsea
© Iliya Mitskavets/stock.adobe.com
The Royal Hospital Chelsea is an historic almshouse located on 66 acres in Chelsea, best known as the home of the Chelsea Pensioners retired British Army group. The hospital, which has been in operation since 1692, serves as a retirement and nursing home for British soldiers over the age of 65. It is also operated as a public attraction, housing an onsite museum detailing the history of its operations and showcasing army-related memorabilia such as uniforms, cap badges, and medals. Daily walking tours of the museum and hospital are offered by Chelsea Pensioners docents, available with advance registration. The hospital's gardens are also listed as a Grade II attraction on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, hosting annual events such as the Royal Horticultural Society's world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show.
Royal Hospital Road, London. SW3 4SR, Phone: 020-78-81-52-00
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3.The Saatchi Gallery
© The Saatchi Gallery
The Saatchi Gallery is one of London's most noted contemporary art galleries, originally opened in 1985 by its namesake curator Charles Saatchi. The gallery was housed in several locations in North London and the South Bank before moving to its current space in Chelsea. Saatchi's personal art collections are showcased, which were donated to the British public in 2010 and exhibited as part of the Museum of Contemporary Art for London. Rotating exhibits also showcase the works of emerging artists and have served as a platform for springboarding the careers of international luminaries in the art world. After viewing art pieces, guests can dine at the Gallery Mess Cafe and Bar, which features a seasonally-rotating menu and excellently-curated bar selection.
Duke of York's HQ, King's Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4RY, UK
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Stamford Bridge is the home of the Premier League's Chelsea Football Club, located in Fulham and commonly known as The Bridge. The stadium is one of the largest venues in the Premier League, accommodating more than 41,000 spectators. It was originally opened in 1877 and has hosted Chelsea since its inception as a team in 1905. In addition to attending regular season games, stadium visitors can enjoy a variety of venue tours throughout the week, including classic guided tours, audio tours in several languages, and Legends Tours hosted by well-known Chelsea players. Multimedia tours were introduced in 2019, offering recorded commentary from club historian Rick Glanvill and exclusive quizzes and games for participants. After tours or games, stadium visitors can enjoy excellent gastropub fare at the stadium-side Frankie's Sports Bar and Grill.
Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 1HS, UK, Phone: +44-20-73-86-93-73
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5.Duke of York Square
© Duke of York Square
Duke of York Square is one of Chelsea's most vibrant shopping districts, home to more than 30 unique boutique and chain retail stores. The square is located on the site of the Duke of York's army barracks, which were originally set up in 1802 on former orphanage grounds. Today, the square is home to the world-renowned Saatchi Gallery, considered to be one of the globe's foremost contemporary art and sculpture galleries. Iconic brands such as Aesop, Zara, All Saints, and Boden offer flagship retail locations at the square, along with health and beauty brands such as Dermalogica, NARS, and Space NK. High-quality dining options include favorite Italian restaurant Manicomio and the hip Gallery Mess cocktail bar.
80 Duke of York Square, Chelsea, London SW3 4LY, UK, Phone: +44-20-78-23-55-77
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6.London's Blue Plaques
London's Blue Plaques designate important sites of English heritage, linking more than 900 influential sites throughout the city. The plaque system is thought to be one of the oldest of its kind of historic designations in the world, originally founded in 1866 and operated by the organization English Heritage. Notable buildings throughout the city are showcased as part of the plaque program, including famed Chelsea sites such as the former home of Sylvia Pankhurst. Chelsea visitors can download the official Blue Plaques app for iPhone or Android and use it to craft their own walking tours of the plaques, tailored to specific historical and cultural interests.
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King’s Road is one of Chelsea's most iconic road stretches, heavily associated with midcentury mod fashion figures such as Vivienne Westwood and Mary Quant. The road, which was protected as a private royal road since 1830, is named in honor of its historical use as a travel route to Kew by King Charles II. It stretches two miles through Chelsea from Sloane Square to Fulham, extending through the Chelsea Design Quarter and landmarks such as the Stanley Bridge. During the 20th century, it was home to iconic businesses such as the Chelsea Drugstore, famed boutique Let It Rock, and the Led Zeppelin-owned record store Swan Song Records. Today, more than 40 restaurants line the street, along with attractions such as the Royal Court Theatre, the National Army Museum, and the London Sketch Club.
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Pavilion Road is one of Chelsea's main business thoroughfares, stretching between Sloane and Basil Streets and extending into the nearby Borough of Kensington. The street is known for its artisan dining options and high-end beauty, fashion, and decor retailers, including locations of prestigious international brands such as Cartier and Tiffany. Since 2015, the street has been in the midst of a significant revitalization initiative, reinventing itself as a destination for artisan and independent retail options. Visitors can explore authentic butcheries and bakeries, shop at boutique wine retailers, and peruse the shelves of environmentally-focused groceries for unique finds.
9.The Furniture and Arts Building
The Furniture and Arts Building, commonly referred to as FAB, spans three floors and more than 30,000 square feet of retail space along King's Road, known as one of Chelsea's most unique destinations for fine and decorative furniture and arts. The store, which was originally opened in the 1970s as the Furniture Cave, is home to more than 20 contemporary and antique dealers selling design items such as furniture, jewelry, paintings, silver, ceramics, and glasswares. Worldwide shipping services are available for Chelsea visitors looking to purchase larger items to take home after vacations. After shopping, guests can dine at the adjacent Jak's Restaurant, which specializes in family-friendly Mediterranean fare.
533 King's Rd, Chelsea, London SW10 0TZ, UK, Phone: +44-20-73-52-20-46
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© Muriel’s Kitchen
Muriel’s Kitchen is a delightful British-style bistro located within the heart of South Kensington, owned and operated since 2011 by married duo Charlotte and Sam Miller. The lovely bistro serves up fresh seasonal fare each day at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night service. Brunch and breakfast delicacies include health-conscious porridge and Buddha bowls, gourmet sourdough toasts, and savory banana and ricotta pancakes. Afternoon tea service is available each day for tables of two or more, serving up a selection of seasonal tea cakes, finger sandwiches, and scones. Dinner options range from flatiron steak burgers to sweet potato and chickpea curry with naan bread.
1-3 Pelham St, Kensington, London SW7 2ND, UK, Phone: +44-20-75-89-35-11
11.The Ivy Chelsea Garden
© The Ivy Chelsea Garden
The Ivy Chelsea Garden is a refined modern British restaurant located along high-end destination King's Road, originally opened for service in 2015. The sophisticated dining spot offers all-day service seven days a week, with indoor and outdoor seasonal seating overlooking a beautiful garden terrace and orangery. Menus are curated by executive chef Sean Burbidge, blending modern British comfort fare with international influences. Elegant land and sea entree options include steak tartare, miso black cod filets, monkfish and prawn curry, and signature Ivy shepherd's pies stuffed with lamb leg and cheddar potato mash. An afternoon tea menu highlights fruited scones, brioche roll sandwiches, and diners' choice of teas and coffees.
195 -197 King's Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 5EQ, UK, Phone: +44-20-33-01-03-00
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12.The Mona Lisa
© The Mona Lisa
The Mona Lisa is a charming hidden gem on King's Road, known for its unpretentious entree offerings highlighting old-school British favorites. Diners can enjoy high-quality breakfast options such as poached eggs on toast, beef burgers and chips, and full English breakfasts with eggs, sausage, beans, and toast. Deli sandwich options at lunch range from classic chicken and tuna salad to signature delicacies such as the Cosa Nostra, which stuffs ciabatta bread with mozzarella, avocado, tomato, and basil. Delectable dinner fare ranges from homestyle pastas and grilled fish platters to specialties such as calves' liver alla salvia with butter and sage.
417 King's Rd, Chelsea, London SW10 0LR, UK, Phone: +44-20-73-76-54-47
13.Chelsea Farmers' Market
© Chelsea Farmers' Market
Chelsea Farmers' Market is a scenic town square near King's Road, known for its offbeat shops and delicious al fresco dining options. The market square is known as a food paradise, home to the delectable Market Place restaurant, which was opened to the public in 1984. Today, the restaurant serves up delicious seasonal fare at lunch and dinner seven days a week, including high-quality barbecue entrees, creative tacos, clever burgers, and homemade soups. Giant umbrellas shade outdoor tables, which often draw sizeable lunchtime crowds. After dining, visitors can peruse the square's eclectic collection of boutiques and shops, which sell a variety of clothing, accessories, books, and home goods.
Sydney St, Chelsea, London SW3 6NR, UK, Phone: +44-0-20-73-52-56-00
Megan’s is a unique combination dining experience in Fulham, voted as one of London's most romantic restaurants and best brunch spots by Timeout. The restaurant, which was opened to the public in 2002, is known for its all-day brunch menus, which feature international favorites such as shakshukas and baked courgettes paired with decadent delicacies such as half-baked cookie dough plates with Nutella and pistachios. Bottomless brunch specials on the weekends offer up classic cocktails such as mimosas. During the evening hours, the restaurant transforms into a Mediterranean-style grill, serving up shareable mezze plates such as spinach borek rolls and deconstructed kebabs served with flatbread.
571 King's Rd, Fulham, London SW6 2EB, UK, Phone: +44-20-73-48-71-39
15.PJ's Bar and Grill
© PJ's Bar and Grill
PJ's Bar and Grill was originally opened in 1990 by Brian Stein and has since become a popular Chelsea haunt for polo fans and great bar food alike. The charming bar features unique decor, including a bar crafted from a 1911-era Vickers-Vimy aeroplane propellor. Seasonal British fare is served up throughout the day, prepared with locally-sourced fine ingredients. Hearty dinner entree options range from traditional favorites such as chicken kiev and beef stroganoff to vegan burgers prepared with shiitake mushrooms and Moving Mountains meatless patties. An extensive wine list highlights choices from France and the United States.
52 Fulham Rd, South Kensington, London SW3 6HH, UK, Phone: +44-20-75-81-00-25
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© L’ETO Caffe
L’ETO Caffe is a chain of delicious Mediterranean-influenced restaurants offering five locations throughout the London region, including a location on King's Road. The restaurant chain, which was founded in 2011, is known for its hearty, health-conscious oversized platters, served up at breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week. All-day breakfast options include croque monsieur, plum French toast, and homemade crepes, served up alongside poached and Benedict eggs dishes. International platters highlight Lebanese, Turkish, Italian, and Californian cuisine favorites such as shakshuka, burrata, and za'atar. At lunch and dinner, diners can choose from beautifully-presented entrees such as thyme and nutmeg sweet potato pie and quinoa and courgette fritters.
149 King’s Road, London, SW3 5TX, Phone: 020-73-51-76-56
16 Best Things to Do in Chelsea, UK
- The Chelsea Physic Garden, Photo: Prettyawesome/stock.adobe.com
- The Royal Hospital Chelsea, Photo: Iliya Mitskavets/stock.adobe.com
- The Saatchi Gallery, Photo: The Saatchi Gallery
- Stamford Bridge, Photo: morgo/stock.adobe.com
- Duke of York Square, Photo: Duke of York Square
- London's Blue Plaques, Photo: thauwald-pictures/stock.adobe.com
- King’s Road, Photo: dianamower/stock.adobe.com
- Pavilion Road, Photo: Kir Smyslov/stock.adobe.com
- The Furniture and Arts Building, Photo: /stock.adobe.com
- Muriel’s Kitchen, Photo: Muriel’s Kitchen
- The Ivy Chelsea Garden, Photo: The Ivy Chelsea Garden
- The Mona Lisa, Photo: The Mona Lisa
- Chelsea Farmers' Market, Photo: Chelsea Farmers' Market
- Megan’s, Photo: Megan’s
- PJ's Bar and Grill, Photo: PJ's Bar and Grill
- L'ETO Caffe, Photo: L’ETO Caffe
- Cover Photo: drimafilm/stock.adobe.com
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