Bordering Knightsbridge, Kensington and Chelsea South Kensington is one of the most affluent areas of London and attracts people from around the world. With Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens on its doorstep (as well as private garden squares), green space can be easily taken for granted. In addition, there is a thriving French community and along Bute Street you will find yourself in petit Paris. The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle, Institut Francais and Cine Lumiere will make the Francophile feel right at home. South Kensington is often top of the list for wealthy families and successful professionals.
Culture in South Kensington
I can’t share South Kensington without sharing the wonderful museums the area has to offer. My personal favourite is the V&A which hosts an eclectic mix of exhibitions throughout the year. It is the world’s largest museum of applied arts, decorative arts, and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects.
If you love seeing the history of our planet and our animals, the Natural History Museum is a must-visit; also it’s a great place for ice skating around Christmas time. It is, for the last time after 16 years, hosting its incredible ice skating rink this Christmas which is open until 16th January 2022, so is definitely worth a visit. For those who don’t feel comfortable on skates, will be pleased to hear you can get mulled wine, a hot chocolate, and some food from the cafe bar.
The Science Museum is fun & hands-on making it great for families. What makes it extra special is that they are all located on Exhibition Road where you have South Kensington station at one end and Hyde Park at the other.
Nearby you have The Royal Albert Hall for world-class performances and concerts.
South Kensington is also home to world-renowned auction house, Christie’s where you can invest in fine art, furniture, jewellery, and wine.
House Dynamics in South Kensington
South Kensington is defined by white stucco-syle villas, Georgian red-brick mansion blocks, mews houses and Victorian terraces which surround South Kensington and Gloucester Road tube stations. The six- and seven-storey terraces of large houses that characterise South Kensington are now mainly divided into flats and maisonettes, or lateral conversions spreading across several buildings, with beautiful private gardens for residents to enjoy. There are also purpose-built mansion flats and some smaller houses.
Property prices in the area have actually fallen by an average of 6.13% over the last 12 months and are down 17.7% lower than they were 5 years ago. This has mainly been a result of the lack of international buyers affected by Brexit and then covid. However for the 3rd quarter 2021, according to Lonres, there has been a 4.8% increase in achieved price year on year, but transaction volume is down 20%.
The average achieved price per square foot was £1,628.
Properties sold in the last 3 months achieved average price of £2,071,346 for flat and £4,340,222 for houses.
Transport is a breeze with South Kensington and Gloucester Road stations providing access to Circle, District & Piccadilly Lines, which will take you across London.
The French Community in South Kensington
South Kensington attracts residents from all over, but it particularly has a vibrant French community. If you stroll along Bute Street you will find yourself in petit Paris. Institut Francais and Cine Lumiere offer the vibrant French community or just local Francophiles access to authentic French culture. The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle is a primary and secondary French day school if you want your young people immersed in the language and educational system.
Schools in South Kensington
We’ve already mentioned The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle which is London’s largest French co-educational primary and secondary school. You’ve also got Queen’s Gate School on Queen’s Gate for secondary school education.
At the university level, Imperial College is a premier research university based in South Kensington. The college focuses exclusively on science, technology, medicine and business.
Local Favourites of South Kensington
Top Dining Experiences in South Kensington
South Kensington is buzzing with incredible restaurants and eateries, from a quirky Prohibition-inspired underground cocktail bar, Nocturne to the family-friend Casa Brindisa, a Spanish tapas restaurant with a warm comforting feel. For a high-end experience, you must visit Claude Bosi at Bibendum, which is in the iconic Michelin House; or Daphne’s a neighbourhood favourite which serves up beautiful Italian food within its vibrant decor and conservatory that feels like an Italian garden. I’d also like to mention Hummingbird Bakery, Bumpkin, and Star of India as additional local favourites.
For places to drink, there’s Nocturne, the South Kensington club created in the style of the prohibition era, Duke of Clarence, a classic British pub with a dash of added style and luxury.
There is also the private members’ club – Albert Club – which offers a late night cocktail bar, champagne bar, private meeting rooms and restaurant. Margaux is a local French favourite, serving French and European food in the restaurant, and offers delectable wines in their wine bar.
Head to Kensington Gardens
While Hyde Park is moments away I’d highly suggest heading to the beautiful Kensington Gardens which has a range of little gardens within it, memorials like the Albert Memorial, cycling tracks, walking paths, ponds and of course Kensington Palace.
Located within Kensington Gardens are the Serpentine Galleries, each connected by a bridge over the Serpentine Lake. If you’re into contemporary art, then this is definitely for you.
Retail Therapy in South Kensington
If you need a bit of retail therapy, then South Kensington is the place for you. With world-renowned Harrods offering more than a million square feet over seven floors, you can spend an entire day within this almost mall-like shopping haven. It also has a world class food hall so you can stop to re-energise while browsing the luxurious items within. Head along Old Brompton Road or Sloane Street and you can discover luxury designer shops, as well as quirky independent shops to your heart’s content.
Founded in 1831, Harvey Nichols is a luxury British retail store in Knightsbridge and definitely worth a visit for incredible fashion, beauty, wine, and food.
As you can see, South Kensington really is an incredible neighbourhood to enjoy and live in, particularly if you are looking for a culture-packed area with green spaces abound.
If you are looking to discover a new neighbourhood to live in, or want to move to London from overseas & looking for an agent who can help you find the perfect area for you, please get in touch.