I wrote this post for the online magazine Story of My World.
When I think about London the first thought that comes to my mind is beautiful houses and weekend markets. While architecture varies from one area to another, markets are an essential part of almost each part of London. And when every tourist goes straight to Borough market and then wander around Southbank and Tower bridge, I recommend you spending your Saturday afternoon exploring Chelsea in the west part of the city.
Chelsea is an area famous for its expensive properties and good shopping. I like exploring new places through photography and places to have a good cup of coffee. Thanks to the location of the office where I work, I got very familiar with this area and all hidden places worth visiting. Let’s start!
Chelsea Farmers Market 10am – 4pm
2 min away from Sloane Square is Duke of York Square where on Saturday from early morning till early afternoon you can enjoy a local food market.
My best advice here is to come hungry. Market food is always delicious and healthy. Scroll down through stalls to choose what interests you the most. You can have either scotch eggs or oysters with prosecco. There are almost no tourists and it’s the best opportunity to feel like local in London. Don’t forget to bring cash, in most cases, they don’t accept card payments. Try different food and have fun.
Just behind the market, there is a Saatchi Gallery, where a lot of interesting exhibitions and events take place. Depending on the time of the year you are in Chelsea, you can end up sitting in the first row of catwalks during London Fashion Week or get inspired by Channel displaying their works and art. Just look online what is on when you go to Chelsea.
John Sandoe Books – Blacklands Terrace
At front of Duke of York square, just across the road, there is one of the best bookshops I ever been to – John Sandoe. It’s very small 2 floors shop where you feel like at your grandparents’ house. There are a lot of books to choose from and, if you are like me and love taking photos of places, it’s very photogenic to take a cute photo of.
Colorful Houses of Bywater Street
Head west on Kings Road to Bywater Street – one of the most colorful streets in London. Honestly, it’s my favorite street in London and I often go there to take a few shots for my Instagram. Photography advice: please be respectful of private property and only take photos if it doesn’t disturb people who live there. Go the pink house, sit down on the stairs and ask a friend to take a photo of you.
Get a coffee at The Market Place Restaurant
I guess by this time you would want to get caffeinated, head further down on Kings Road to Sydney street. There is a place with a restaurant, pet and plant shops called The Market Place. This place is perfect for a stop if it’s sunny in London, if not they do really good Flat White to take away.
One of the most famous doors in London is located in Chelsea. After having a drink at The Market place, cross Kings Road again and turn to Oakley street. Just before the bridge, on the right-hand side, you will see pink and blue doors. Why not take another photo? The best shot can be taken when standing at front of the door and placing it in the center of your composition. From there you can also take a photo of an amazing Albert’s Bridge. It’s definitely the most beautiful one in London.
Green and Stone Art Materials
Even if you have nothing to do with arts, I highly recommend visiting this one of the longest running stores on Kings Road. It has something in the air that makes you want to pick up brushes and start painting. You can also find an interesting postcard and other small things to buy for presents. I’m sure you won’t miss it – it’s front display stands out and looks very attractive.
Next stop on Kings Road is for chocolate lovers. There is a good selection of different flavors and I find the interior design very ‘instagrammable’. Take a chance to talk to this shop’s staff – they are very friendly and will help you finding what exactly you want to try. My personal choice is a mint chocolate.
During the day it’s a good place for lunch and another cup of coffee, in the late afternoon it’s perfect for a pre-dinner drinks. I really like a small bakery there and always take a photo of it when passing by. It’s also a good place for people watching if you sit near the window.
It’s not only my opinion but a lot of other people, but Kurobuta is the best Japanese restaurant in London. I swear it’s mouth-watering! It’s very popular among those who know about this place, therefore, I strongly recommend to book a table in advance. Why not finish exploring Chelsea by having hot aubergine rolls and a glass of prosecco?