It’s no secret that I’m a fan of E4’s Made in Chelsea. Well, perhaps fan is too strong a word, but I am addicted. And I know I’m addicted because whilst I find the plot slow and most of the characters irritating, I still watch it. And even though I’m on my sofa alone, I watch it with one of my best friends who’s sitting on her sofa alone in her flat only a few minutes away from mine.
We text each other throughout the programme, discussing the important events unfolding in each episode; like what’s happening with JPs goatee, and how Louise has become really toned since dating the PT (lucky b*tch), and why on earth Binky’s mother insists on being in the show. But what annoys us the most about the show, is that a lot of the places the cast eat and drink at are not actually in Chelsea. They’re in Notting Hill, or Mayfair or Soho!
An ex-Chelsea girl myself, I’ve spent a lot of time (and money) strolling down Kings Road, or ‘the KR’ as we used to call it, (ugh, I hate myself I little bit), which is the beating heart of Chelsea. Here are a few of my favourites, in what is undeniably one of the most beautiful areas in London. See you on the KR, daahhhhling.
THINGS TO DO
KOBOX Work up a sweat at the nightclub-like gym that offers high intensity kickboxing classes
Lots Road Auction House Even if you don’t want to buy anything, head inside to see all things authentic, alternative and wonderful
Chelsea Physic Garden The second oldest botanical garden in Britain, the Chelsea Physic Garden is home to around 5000 different edible, medicinal and historical plants
Saatchi Gallery Free admission to check out Charles Saatchi’s personal art collection, as well as a number of contemporary art exhibitions and installations.
Kurobuta Outstanding Japanese tapas casual dining. It was first only supposed to be a temporary pop-up, but after being a steaming (buns) success, it’s now a permanent fixture. Yay.
La Famiglia A family-run Italian restaurant hidden in Chelsea World’s End that has stood the test of time. Wholesome and delicious traditional dishes in a non-fussy environment.
8 over 8 A delicious Asian menu that’s always good for a light snack or big meal. They make killer cocktails at the bar at the front of the restaurant which you can have whilst munching on edamame until your table is ready. The Tom Yum soup and chopped salad are two of my favourite things.
Medlar High-end French food with a modern twist in an unpretentious setting. The food here is absolutely outstanding, and they have a lunchtime offer of three courses for £35. If you go, make sure you order the blood orange sorbet with freshly baked madeleines for dessert.
Frantoio Another tasty, family-run Italian, serving traditional dishes. Go on a Thursday for dinner and you might be lucky enough to have Dan the magician do magic at your table.
Mona Lisa Not much to look at at all from the street – for years I thought it was a simple local builder’s cafe. It’s so much more than that! Head there for dinner and you’ll be surprised at the delicious Italian dishes, fresh fish and absurdly cheap menu (given you’re in the heart of Chelsea).
Jaks A super cool and fun, underground Mediterranean restaurant. Popular with families on Sundays, the restaurant is a hodge-podge of eclectic furniture with comfy sofas and dining room chairs. The place is huge with an open kitchen, large seating area, big bar and massive screen to show whatever match is being played that day. In the evenings the bar takes on a bit of a club vibe with a DJ and dancing.
Juice Baby Outstanding super health foods and juices in the cosy Juice Baby kitchen. The prices are slightly eye-watering, but if you want to be healthy, that’s just want you gota pay. It’s worth every penny as you leave there feeling healthy AF.
The Big Easy If you’re after the taste of the Southern States of America, then look no further. The Big Easy is well-known for its lobster, ribs and chicken wings.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden The Ivy on Kings Road is an absolutely stunning addition to Chelsea’s main strip. Whilst the menu serves delicious, modern British dishes, it’s the art-filled space with garden terrace and orangery and stunning garden that really steals the limelight.
Cheyne Walk Brasserie Situated close to the Thames and in an old Victoria Pub, Cheyne Walk Brasserie offers a tasty French menu, great for lazy Sunday afternoons. The brasserie dining room has an open grill where they prepare everything from veal chops to sea bass. Make sure you order the crudités basket to start.
Rabbit A British ‘wild foods’ menu, that comes straight from the owners’ farm in Suffolk. Seriously delicious food with tasty cocktails.
Poilane It’s all about the bread. Poilane offers everything from Viennese pastries to gingerbreads and Biscottes.
Colbert An art nouveau setting with a French bistro-style menu.
Ziani’s An old-school, family-run Italian restaurant serving Venetian specialities.
Le Colombier This old-school French brasserie will make you feel as though you’re in Paris, with its French waiters, fussy restaurant feeling and delicious Parisian menu.
Tom’s Kitchen A staple for Sunday brunch, Tom’s Kitchen in Chelsea serves delicious dishes in a bright brasserie setting.
The Pig’s Ear My favourite pub in the whole of London. Cosy and traditional with a killer scotch egg.
Bluebird Bluebird is one of the very few places in the neighbourhood where you can eat and drink outside. For this reason, it’s packed during the summer months, (they also have a large screen showing Wimbledon matches), and they don’t take reservations to sit outside so the queue is always really long. This gives the false sense that the food is really good. It’s not, it’s only OK. But the sun on your back and Murray on the big screen makes the OK worth it (if you can get a table!)
The Builder’s Arms Another British gastropub with colour fabrics, cosy seats, warm fires and boardgames.
The Admiral Codrington An always packed pub with a heated beer garden and pretty good menu.
The Chelsea Ram Tucked away within the back streets of Chelsea, this gastro pubs offer a range of ales, beers and wines with a seasonal British menu. Head there early in the warmer months to grab a picnic table outside.
606 Club Live jazz music from British-based musicians.
Tonteria Mexican tapas lounge and tequila bar