Are you looking for a home in one of the most affluent and culturally diverse neighbourhoods in London? Then you’ll want to stay tuned, as I’ll be sharing my area guide to Kensington and what makes this area so very desirable.
One of the areas that is most beloved by my overseas high-net worth clients is Kensington. If you’re looking for stunning homes, incredible architecture, royal roots and upscale glamour, then Kensington should be a top choice. This area is adored by the super-rich for its exclusivity, large townhomes, private garden squares and proximity to phenomenal shopping.
Residents of Kensington live in some of the most spectacular and grand properties in all of London while being on the doorstep of Kensington Gardens, Kensington Palace and Holland Park.
- Take in the culture of the area
Kensington is just moments away from the top museums of London – The V&A, The Science Museum, The Natural History Museum all grandly located on Exhibition Road.
You can also visit The Design Museum that the world’s leading museum devoted to contemporary design in every form, which relocated to Kensington High Street in 2016.
For music lovers, you are also near to The Royal Albert Hall, which hosts world renowned classical, operatic and modern performances.
If you prefer something a little quirkier, there are other museums in the area offering more unusual exhibits. From the Museum of Music, to the Museum of Architecture Kensington plays host. For more unusual things to do in London, including a selection of other quirky museums you must add to your visit-list in check out my Top 10 Unusual Things to Do in London video!
- Discover Luxury Shops
As you would expect in such an affluent area, there are plenty of boutique & luxury shops to browse and add to your wardrobe, home, or food cupboard.
When you think of luxury shopping in London, the first store on most people’s lips has to be Harrods. It is one of the world’s most well-known luxury shopping departments and it is located in nearby Knightsbridge. There you can take in the countless floors of designer fashion, home accessories, food, and technology all in one place.
A little closer to the neighbourhood is Kensington High Street, which offers a wide selection of both well-known high street brands including Urban Outfitters and Zara Home, along with boutique brands such as Massimo Dutti and Kensington Couture for men’s bespoke tailoring.
- Visit the parks
As I mentioned earlier, Kensington is located next to two of London’s prettiest Royal Parks.
Kensington Gardens is 265 acres and houses the Albert Memorial, the Serpentine Galleries and the Diana Memorial Playground. You can even get fruit & vegetable growing tips from the allotment, and visit the chickens! There are also 3 cafes, ice cream vans, and the stunning baroque Orangery restaurant that offers Afternoon Tea, champagne, wines & lunch.
You can also visit Holland Park, with 55 acres of green space, which houses The Kyoto Garden, a beautifully landscaped and curated Japanese garden. There are also children’s play areas, tennis courts and pitches for netball and football, as well as areas to practise your cricket and golf.
- Enjoy the chic restaurants & pubs
You truly are spoiled for choice in Kensington for incredible food and drinks options.
On the High Street itself, you can discover an eclectic mix of restaurants and cafes, it is also home to London’s biggest Whole Foods store.
A few top picks for residents for food include:
The Ivy Brasserie for art deco interiors, delicious brunch & cocktails.
Il Portico for a family-run Italian restaurant, beloved for its homemade pasta and classic Italian dishes.
Ming Jiang for incredible views of London from its 10th floor location in the Royal Garden Hotel and delicious Chinese classics – the Dim Sum is a must try.
For cocktails with stylish food pairings, and beautiful interiors, then Balans is a must-visit, and if you love a glass of champagne for a bargain, they offer SPARKLING THURSDAYS, for Champagne and sparkling wine at half-price every Thursday 5PM until 8PM .
One of the most “Instagrammable” pubs of London is in the area, The Churchill Arms located on Kensington Church Street. This 1750’s pub not only offers patrons great food and drinks, but its exterior is breathtaking – the historical architecture is complemented by its stunning flowers that cascade across the facade.
For a cool place to dine out with a little homage to my American roots, you can visit Dirty Bones, also on Kensington Church Street, which provides American comfort food and cocktails in a funky diner.
Properties in Kensington
Now you know why this area is so fantastic to live in, you may be wondering what the homes are like and the budget required to live in such a beautiful and affluent neighbourhood.
The area offers stunning homes and grand mansion blocks to choose from. Here you will find a pristine mix of classic red brick townhouses, white stucco-fronted three-storey townhomes, mansion blocks, and grand Georgian houses. There is also a selection of colourful cottages and high-end luxury modern developments.
Today, many of the grand homes have been converted to flats, however, you can find mews houses and grand townhouses with hefty price tags when they come to market.
A few examples of the properties you can find on the market include:
This 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom on the raised and lower ground floors is on a beautiful tree-lined street in Observatory Gardens. The building is of the areas classic styling within a redbrick converted period property with very high ceilings, concierge, and period features throughout. It is on the market for £1,725,000, and provides a rarely included feature in London which is underground parking.
[I went and mentioned my £10.5M sale of Vicarage Gate so please add pics (with one of me in it) as well as the link for the video.]
This fourth and fifth floor 3 bed, 3.5 bath flat located on Queen’s Gate Terrace is an example of the gorgeous stucco-fronted properties that are available to residents. With a porter, stunning bathrooms, high end fixtures & fittings, this property is on the market for £4,600,000.
As an example of the Mews properties that rarely become available, there is this 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom (with 2 cloakrooms) terraced mews-style home. It is the first time it’s come to the market in 25 years, has a garden & roof terrace and is located on a cobblestone street. As with all Mews homes, the proportions are less grand than the flat mentioned previously, but it has tonnes of character and means you are not sharing upstairs or downstairs neighbours. It is on the market for £4,995,000.
For a slightly larger budget, you can purchase this incredible 4 bedroom 3.5 bathroom apartment with balcony and views of Queen’s Gate Gardens which is one of the area’s most prestigious locations. Located in an imposing Grade II listed Victorian building, residents have access to the gorgeous communal gardens which can be so important in London. This property is filled with light, high ceilings and classic details while having received careful updates throughout. It is on the market for £5,600,000.
Properties in Kensington had an average price of £2,296,508 over the last 12 months. The majority of sales were flats, selling for an average price of £1,549,487. Terraced properties sold for an average of £4,286,740, with semi-detached properties fetching £6,045,833 on average.
Overall, sold prices in Kensington over the last year were down 8% on the previous year and down 6% from the 2017 peak of £2,445,458. (source: Rightmove).
As you can see, Kensington provides a culturally rich neighbourhood for those looking for properties with gorgeous architecture and access to a multitude of amenities.
If you are looking for a London home and want to have support from someone who can help you discover the perfect area for your needs and budget, I’d love to help.
So what do you think of Kensington? Is it an area you could see yourself living?