An Insider’s Guide to London’s Chelsea Neighborhood 

Whether you’re looking for fine dining, boutique shops or to unwind in the private Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea offers the perfect home base when visiting London.

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The posh neighborhood of Chelsea is known for its high-end shopping, tasteful hotels and the annual Chelsea Flower Show, held each year in May. The area, which borders the river Thames, Kensington, Knightsbridge and Belgravia, is one of West London’s most popular destinations, particularly for discerning travelers looking for more upscale options. It’s home to the Saatchi Gallery, and it’s a quick taxi ride away from Royal Albert Hall, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Harrods. The newly-renovated Battersea Power Station, which is filled with shops and restaurants, is across the river, as is Battersea Park. Although it is less accessible by public transportation, the neighborhood is a good bet for those looking for a local vibe and more intimate accommodations. 

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, held annually since 1912, takes place this year from May 21 to 25 at Royal Hospital Chelsea. It boasts expansive displays and pop-up restaurants, including a partnership with The Dorchester, which will host a floral-inspired Champagne afternoon tea for guests. It’s a huge draw for those in London and around the world, but Chelsea welcomes travelers throughout the year. Whether you’re looking for fine dining, boutique shops or to unwind in the private Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea offers the perfect home base when visiting London. Here's everything you need to know if you want to discover the best of Chelsea.  

Where to Stay

Beaverbrook Townhouse

  • 115-116 Sloane St, London SW1X 9PJ

Charm is the name of the game at Beaverbrook Townhouse, the boutique sister property to opulent country house hotel Beaverbrook. The 14 suites, set in two Georgian townhouses and themed around historic London theaters, are maximalist chic, with comfortable beds, quirky design and top amenities like Bamford toiletries and complimentary mini bars. It’s home to the Fuji Grill, which also serves a memorable breakfast, and Sir Frank’s Bar, an elegant cocktail spot with leather booths and a thoughtful drinks menu. The location, near Sloane Square and Pavilion Road, is ideal for those visiting the King’s Road and the service is top-notch. Ask for a key to Cadogan Gardens, a private square with tennis courts and a playground.

Beaverbrook Townhouse. Beaverbrook Townhouse

The Chelsea Townhouse

  • 26 Cadogan Gardens, London SW3 2RP

The recently-opened Chelsea Townhouse feels like a country getaway in the midst of the city. The hotel opens its doors into Cadogan Gardens, with several suites offering direct access into the private oasis. The light-filled rooms are expansive and tastefully decorated, with a peaceful vibe that adds to the pastoral sensibility. It has a small dining room where guests can partake in breakfast or dinner, or you can opt to grab a table at Hans’ Bar & Grill, the restaurant at Chelsea Townhouse’s sister property, 11 Cadogan Gardens. It’s a stylish property that exudes exclusivity, making it ideal for travelers who want privacy or a space to unwind.

The Chelsea Townhouse. Will Pryce

The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel

  • 75 Sloane St, London SW1X 9SG

History seeps through the walls of The Cadogan hotel, which dates back to 1887 and has hosted the likes of Oscar Wilde. The luxury hotel is all about indulgence, with comfortable, well-designed rooms and suites and a treatment room that offers facials by Teresa Tarmey. Guests can dine at The LaLee, which serves sophisticated European cuisine, or enjoy an opulent English afternoon tea by chef Benoît Blin. There’s also a fitness room, access to Cadogan Gardens and the opportunity to take advantage of privileged access to the area’s galleries and art museums. To make the most of a stay, book into one of the signature suites, which come with curated in-room bars and round-trip transfers included. 

The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel. Helen Cathcart

The Hari

  • 20 Chesham Pl, London SW1X 8HQ

The Hari, technically located in Belgravia, situates travelers close to the big-name shopping and department stores of Knightsbridge and Chelsea on a peaceful street that feels like an immediate respite from the nearby action. It boasts sleek, contemporary rooms and suites with elegant decor, the best of which have views of the adjacent Chesham Place Garden. Downstairs, guests will find high-end Italian restaurant Il Pampero, the relaxed, art-filled Hari Bar and a garden terrace with a retractable roof. There is a fitness center with a Peloton, and the hotel also has bikes to loan to guests who want to cycle to Hyde Park. It’s a good pick for those looking for a more intimate stay with easy access to Knightsbridge.


Where to Eat and Drink

The River Café

  • Thames Wharf, Rainville Rd, London W6 9HA

The River Café is a quintessential Chelsea restaurant. The upscale Italian eatery is known for its scenic outdoor dining and must-get reservations. It serves lunch and dinner, with a seasonal menu that changes daily and focuses on fresh pasta, fish and meat dishes, along with its own memorable gelato. The wine list encompasses all of Italy’s wine regions, with something for every taste, as well as Champagne. Both terrace and indoor tables can be booked in advance and it's worth planning well ahead if you have a preferred day and time to dine.

The Sea, The Sea Chelsea

  • 174 Pavilion Rd, London SW1X 0AW

Located on the chic Pavilion Road, The Sea, The Sea is part high-end fish market and part restaurant, where guests can sit at the seafood bar or on the terrace to enjoy small plates. The menu rotates based on the catch available, but you can expect creative, thoughtful dishes that best showcase the ingredients. Wine, beer and cocktails are available alongside the food, and everything is so beautifully presented you almost won’t want to eat it. The bar and terrace are available for reservations, which is recommended since the restaurant is intimate. 

The Sea, The Sea Chelsea. Brian Dandridge

The Fuji Grill

  • 115-116, Beaverbrook Town House, Sloane St, London SW16 9PJ

London has acquired a lot of top-end sushi restaurants in recent years, but The Fuji Grill impresses with its immaculately-crafted nigiri and tabletop robata-grilled Wagyu. The restaurant can be found inside Beaverbrook Townhouse on Sloane Street, and offers the option for a nine-course omakase experience or to order à la carte. There is a dedicated children’s menu, as well as non-alcoholic beverages alongside the sake and wine list. Everything is a must-order, but don’t miss the yellowtail usuzukuri, which arrives topped with truffles.

The Fuji Grill. Fuji Grill

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

  • 68 Royal Hospital Rd, London SW3 4HP

Gordon Ramsey has established himself as celebrity TV chef in the U.S., but in England he is still known as a working chef, with numerous restaurants around London. Restaurant Gordon Ramsey, opened as his flagship in 1998, is his three-Michelin-starred fine dining spot. It’s best to experience the dishes via the Menu Prestige, which features six courses (and optional cheese course), although à la carte is possible. Guests can even indulge in the Carte Blanche menu, where the head chef creates a bespoke meal. Reservations are a must and available up to three months in advance.

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay

The Cadogan Arms

  • 298 King's Rd, London SW3 5UG

London is full of corner pubs, but centuries-old The Cadogan Arms is one of the city’s best (and most well-known). Situated directly on the King’s Road, the newly-renovated pub focuses on British produce when designing its pub classics and bar snacks, and visitors can choose from a vast menu of drinks, including signature and seasonal cocktails. Sunday roast, served during lunchtime each Sunday, is a great way to experience a British tradition. Bookings can be made for the dining room and the pub’s iconic Rose Room, although the bar itself is walk-in only.

The Cadogan Arms. The Cadogan Arms


  • 6 Hollywood Rd, London SW10 9HU

Southern French cuisine is on display at Bandol, which serves Nicoise and Provencale sharing dishes created by executive chef Zsolt Ferencz. The casual-chic eatery serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, with plenty of alternatives for those who are plant-based, gluten-free and dairy-free. The drinks menu is expansive, featuring cocktails, wine and a long list of spirits, ensuring that everyone will find something they want. Reservations can be made online or by phone, and it’s worth booking advance, especially if you’re looking for one of the coveted outdoor tables. 

Bandol. Bandol

Callooh Callay Chelsea

  • 316-318 King's Rd, London SW3 5UH

Chelsea is home to beloved cocktail bar Callooh Callay’s second London location. The bar, helmed by Richard Wynne, showcases innovative craft cocktails in a lively, friendly atmosphere. There are both classics and signature drinks, along with wine and beer, and small plates are available if you get peckish. It’s possible to walk in, but a reservation is a good idea in the evening or on a weekend.

The Harwood Arms

  • Walham Grove, London SW6 1QJ

Technically located in nearby Fulham, The Harwood Arms is London’s only Michelin-starred pub. The food is as impressive as you’d expect, with the Sunday roast as a true highlight. Chef Josh Cutress highlights British produce and ingredients, with an emphasis on wild game. It’s not particularly vegetarian-friendly, but it’s a real joy for meat eaters. Don’t miss the venison Scotch egg, a mainstay of the menu. This is one you’ll want to book in advance. 

The Harwood Arms. The Harwood Arms

What to Do

  • Duke of York's HQ, King's Rd, London SW3 4RY

Opened in 1985, the prestigious Saatchi Gallery on Duke of York Square regularly hosts exhibitions that showcase modern and contemporary art, including by artists like Edward Burtynsky, Andrew Salgado and Christo. The exhibits veer between solo shows and themed group shows, as well as career-spanned retrospectives. This summer, the focus is on fashion photography with “Beyond Fashion,” which examines a vast selection of works by Juergen Teller, Peter Lindbergh and more. It’s recommended to book tickets in advance for the headline exhibitions, although the gallery also often hosts free exhibits on the ground floor as well.

Saatchi Gallery. Saatchi Gallery

The King’s Road

Fashion has a long history on the King’s Road, a famous stretch of shopping and dining that extends from Sloane Square through the center of Chelsea. Much of London’s sartorial past connects to the street, which birthed designers like Mary Quant and Vivienne Westwood. Today it’s home to galleries, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as fitness brands like Barrecore. It comes alive on the weekends, especially during nice weather, and discerning shoppers can find everything from boutiques to designer labels to high street shops. Westwood’s Worlds End Collection, established in 1971, remains and is a must-see during any trip to the King’s Road.

Royal Court Theatre

  • 50-51 Sloane Square, London SW1W 8AS

While most of London’s theaters can be found in the West End, Chelsea’s Sloane Square has been home to the Royal Court Theatre since 1956. It’s known as the “writer’s theater,” which means the productions showcase both new and established voices, often with an emphasis on diverse stories. For the past several years, it’s housed the Samuel French Bookshop, which sells theater books and plays (and has existed in some form for 200 years). This summer, visitors can book tickets to Bluets, which stars Emma D’Arcy and Ben Whishaw.

Royal Court, London, UK. Helen Murray

Chelsea F.C.

  • Fulham Rd., London SW6 1HS

England’s football (a.k.a. soccer) obsession is strong, and best understood at a live match. Premier League team Chelsea F.C. plays at Stamford Bridge stadium in Fulham, which is adjacent to Chelsea and holds more than 40,000 people. It’s extremely tricky to get a ticket if you’re not a club member, but the stadium does host guided tours throughout the year if you miss out. It’s not exactly like Ted Lasso, but American visitors can certainly live out their Richmond fantasies on the pitch.

Cadogan Hall

  • 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ

Home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Cadogan Hall is a great place to see live music away from London’s West End. It regularly hosts orchestras and symphonies, as well as contemporary musicians and tribute performances. Tickets tend to sell out quickly, although visitors can sometimes snag a last-minute seat. The auditorium is relatively small, ensuring an intimate experience with the music.

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