Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Sloane Square to World's End - The Kings Road

Rise from Sloane Square Tube Station into Sloane Square, the home of the Royal Court Theatre and the Sloane Ranger. This busy square is in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and has an air of respectability about it with Tiffany, Hugo Boss and Gieves & Hawkes all having a presence.

From here we begin our walk along the Kings Road. The road is no longer the centre of the fashion world as it may once have been in the 60’s. Like most high streets it now has the same old familiar global brands, which lack the interest or appeal of individual designer boutiques or stores.

First stop is Duke of York Square the home to the Saatchi Gallery. Homage to one mans wealth and purchasing power. As a gallery it works really well. Unfortunately the art feels as though it has been hovered up into a collection rather than hand picked for quality. Despite this there is always something of interest to see and it’s free, so why not.

The Kings Road has a sense of faded glory but the streets off the busy road still remain very desirable. James Bond lived ‘off the Kings Road’ cared for by May his Scottish housekeeper. I have now reluctantly come to terms with the fact that James Bond is a fictional character but like to think that one of the houses really is home to a secret agent, having breakfast of “two cups of very strong black coffee, brewed in an American Chemex, an egg boiled for exactly three and a third minutes and served in a dark blue egg cup with two thick slices of whole wheat toast and butter”.

Heading west you will come to the former home of Russian ballet dancer Princess Serafina Astafieva. She lived in what was previously known as the Pheasantry but is now a Pizza Express. The place starts to become more eye-catching on passing Chelsea Town Hall with a number of interesting furniture shops and the Bluebird Restaurant.
At the end of this stroll is the World’s End, named after a local pub. It is famous for the 60’s counter culture boutique Granny Takes a Trip. In the 70’s the shop was owned by Vivienne Westwood and become the birthplace of British punk.
Map of Sloane Square to World's End
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