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Area Guides   |   3/11/16 9:55 AM

Knightsbridge London Guide

Synonymous with flash cars, fancy clothes and foreign investment, Knightsbridge is the crème de la crème of wealthy South West London. With only 9,000 residents it's also uber-exclusive, largely due to the staggering property prices, which have shot up since the arrival of developments such as One Hyde Park, The Knightsbridge and 10 Lancelot Place. For the most prestigious penthouse apartments a month's rent costs the same as a one-bed flat in a less costly part of London, although you do get a concierge, private cinema and a Rolex shop on the ground floor thrown in.

However, Knightsbridge isn't just about plush penthouse apartments and Russian oligarchs - it's also a major commercial centre, with flagship stores from some of the world's most renowned designers as well as huge department stores such as Harrods and Harvey Nichols. It's got a rich history too, with beautiful Georgian and Victorian terraces, the museums of Exhibition Road a short walk away, and even London's oldest apothecary garden established in the 1600s.

Image credit: Arash Ghovanloupoor Image credit: Arash Ghovanloupoor

The area shares its borders with Chelsea, Belgravia and South Kensington so there's no chance of accidentally venturing into a less elite area either. Residents here tend to be foreign investors, successful professionals working in finance or corporate fields, with the occasional very moneyed international student too.

You're unlikely to find families or anyone not in the highest tax bracket, and due to the number of investors you might also find that your neighbours are never actually home, so no need to worry about noisy parties! These empty properties have come under plenty of criticism in recent years, particularly as London faces a property crisis, so you may find that this doesn't last for long.

On a map 

Knightsbridge is located in South West London, in the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It covers the postcodes SW3 and SW1X, and is in Zone 2.

History of Knightsbridge London

Like most of what is now London, Knightsbridge was once a small hamlet which was eventually swallowed by the sprawling pass of the city. It was situated between the villages of Chelsey (now Chelsea) and (Kenesignetun) now Kensington. There are many different stories to how it came known as Knightsbridge, with some saying it was after the bridge the knights crossed on their way to the Holy Wars - although others suggest a less glamorous beginning, being named after the place where groups of young men met when ‘knight’ was slang for ‘lad’.

Image credit: Leonard Bentley Image credit: Leonard Bentley

In the 1800s it began to develop as a residential and commercial area, as designers made use of this relatively neglected spot to build expensive housing elegantly laid out along grids and garden squares.

Transport from Knightsbridge London

Knightsbridge is well-located for travelling around London, with Knightsbridge Underground Station on the Piccadilly line and nearby Sloane Square Underground Station on the Circle and District lines. A journey to Piccadilly Circus takes only 5 minutes, while to King's Cross takes around 13 minutes. The area is also served by plenty of buses both day and night.

Cost of living in Knightsbridge London

While media attention on Knightsbridge tends to focus on the spectacular new developments commanding epic prices (including a reported £45,000 per week to rent a property in the Candy brother’s One Hyde Park towers), it’s still possible to find older properties in the area too, including the classic stucco-fronted Georgian buildings and red-brick Victorian mansions.

Image credit: Herry Lawford Image credit: Herry Lawford

As for the cost of living, the price of the aforementioned apartments should give you some idea - Knightsbridge is potentially the most expensive area in London for property, commanding prices higher than even Mayfair, Chelsea and Belgravia. While the statistics have no doubt skyrocketed due to the big-money developments, even modest properties here come with a high price tag. As of 2016 the average rental price for a two bedroom property in Knightsbridge is £5050 per month, although places can be found starting at £2400 per month.

Restaurants in Knightsbridge London

Hawksmoor

London’s favourite premium steak restaurants have done it again with this Knightsbridge venue, which is decked out in their signature style of dark wood, leather chairs and low-hanging lamps . As usual the ethically-reared steaks are unbeatable, the wine list is long, and the beef dripping chips are worth breaking even the strictest of diets for.

Address: 3 Yeoman's Row, London SW3 2AL

Phone:020 7590 9290

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

His wacky food and award-winning restaurants have made Heston Blumenthal so famous that he needs only one name, and aside from the Fat Duck in Oxfordshire, this two Michelin star restaurant is the best of Heston that you’ll find in the capital. Expect a gastronomic tour through British culinary history from the 1300s to present day, with everything from snail porridge to ‘meat fruit’ presented with panache.

Address: 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA

Phone:020 7201 3833

Image credit: Nick Webb Image credit: Nick Webb

Mr Chow

A venerable Knightsbridge institution, Mr Chow has been serving gourmet Beijing cuisine to discerning locals (and the odd celebrity) since the 1960s. Settle in to the elegant art-lined dining room and feast on dishes including satay chicken, wagyu beef and squid ink noodles.

Address: 151 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7PA

Phone:020 7589 7347

Rivea London

Tucked away inside the plush Bulgari hotel, Rivea London is one of the many jewels on French chef Alain Ducasse’s crown - he also heads up the dining room at the Ritz and the second-floor Eiffel Tower restaurant, so you can expect only the finest cuisine here. For a true showcase of their French and Italian inspired dishes try the tasting menu, or come for the set lunch to give it a try without breaking the bank.

Address: Bulgari Hotel, 171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW

Phone:020 7151 1025

Shops in Knightsbridge London

Harrods

As one of the most famous department stores in the world, Harrods needs little introduction - even if they haven’t visited, most Londoners are aware of the famous luxury food halls, the Egyptian room, and the 330 departments of luxury clothing, furniture and more. While they may not sell wild animals anymore (they were forced to stop selling alligators and tigers in the 1970s), it’s still an amazing place to browse glittering jewellery, pick up designer goods in the sales, or find an obscure cheese in the food hall.

Address: 87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1X 7XL

Phone: 020 7730 1234

Image credit: Herry Lawford Image credit: Herry Lawford

Rococo

Sweet-toothed Knightsbridge residents will love this award-winning bespoke chocolatier, founded by OBE Chantal Coady over thirty years ago. Their salted caramel chocolates have won awards, and among the vast selection there’s even sugar free chocolate, vegan bars and chocolate lobsters!

Address: 5 Motcomb St, London SW1X 8JU
Phone: 020 7245 0993

Rolex

Keep your phone in your pocket and tell the time in style with a watch from this branch of famed Swiss watchmakers Rolex. As their biggest store in Europe it has an enormous range of new and second-hand luxury watches, as well as facilities for engraving and repairs. Still got change after splashing out on a Rolex? There’s a McLaren car dealership next door.

Address: 100 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LJ

Phone: 020 7292 0345

Things to do in Knightsbridge London

The Science Museum

Founded in 1857 and situated in the museum zone near the Natural History Museum and the V&A, the Science Museum is one of London’s most major tourist attractions. It covers all aspects of scientific discoveries, from steam engines and the first typewriter to medical discoveries, and there’s even jet plane simulators for those with a strong stomach. Best of all, admission is completely free - helpful if you’ve been hitting the Knightsbridge shops!

Address: Exhibition Rd, London SW7 2DD

Phone:  0870 870 4868

Image credit: Steph Gray Image credit: Steph Gray

Brompton Oratory 

Indulge in a moment of peace and quiet in the heart of busy Knightsbridge with a visit to the majestic Brompton Oratory, a neoclassical Roman Catholic church. The stunning interior is a must-see for anyone with an interest in Italian Renaissance architecture, while the famous choir also holds regular performances.

Address: Brompton Rd, London SW7 2RP

Phone: 020 7808 0900

Chelsea Physics Garden

Where better to spend a sunny day in SW3 than at the renowned Chelsea Physic Garden? Originally founded as apothecary garden in 1673, it’s grown over the years to include highlights such as the largest fruiting olive tree in the UK, a pharmaceutical garden, and tropical glasshouses. Finish up your visit with afternoon tea at the Tangerine Dream Cafe, and you’ve got the recipe for a delightful day out.

Address: 66 Royal Hospital Rd, London SW3 4HS

Phone: 020 7352 5646

 

Main image credit: Mihnea Maftei

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