Top 5 best things to do in Kensington & Chelsea

Written on 9 October 2013 by Alistair Boscawen in London

We sum up the five best things to do in Kensington and Chelsea – from pubs to cinemas – there’s a lot to do!

We decided to round up the best of the best in the Royal Borough so next time you’re out and about in this area you know where to spend quality time.

The Churchill Arms Kensington Best Pub

Admittedly this category has a LOT of competition to say the least. However, after thorough research, we came to the conclusion that you can’t go wrong with The Churchill Arms. Built in 1750, the pub was apparently the first one to serve Thai food in London – and is even a Chelsea Flower Show winner. Offering an array of authentic dishes, apparently handed down through generations, it’s also famed for the lovely flowers and hanging baskets that flow over into the streets.

Best Market

Many people would assume that Portobello Road is the best market in this affluent borough – however we’d beg to disagree. As lovely as it may be, some view it as a little overpriced. We decided instead to pick Golbourne Road market – which is located at the Northern end of Portobello Road. There are a diverse range of food stands with international food to nibble on, gastro-pubs and fine dining as well as a range of vintage clothes and antiques. The market’s much more lively at the weekends, in the week it’s mainly basic fruit and vegetables as well as take-away food.

Best Museum

When it comes to museums there’s a lot of competition. From the V&A to the Natural History Museum to the Science Museum the borough’s got them all! This is somewhat unsurprising, considering that South Kensington was originally developed as a site for museums and science institutions as a legacy for the Great Exhibition, which took place in Hyde Park in 1851 and was organised by Prince Albert, husband of the reigning monarch Queen Victoria. Because it’s so hard to choose we’re going to pick a completely different museum – The Museum of Brands. Just a stone’s throw from Portobello Road, the museum offers many glorious surprises when you enter. From First World War Oxo cubes to Rimmel cosmetics from the late 19th century, to KitKats and 1970s Chopper Bikes, it’s certainly an interesting day out for anyone with an imagination.

Best Park

Kyoto Garden holland park KensingtonAgain, the top prize for best parks is not an easy choice. We could go for one of the Royal Parks, but as we like to be different, we decided to go for Holland Park instead. As the borough’s largest park with some 22.5 hectares of garden, there are also facilities for tennis, football, golf, cricket and netball. A series of events, activities and educational visits are run, with wildlife club for children too. And who can forget the stunning Kyoto Garden; a Japanese garden donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Koyoto in 1991.

Best Cinema

This wasn’t a difficult choice – we think the Electric Cinema on Portobello Road offers something a bit alternative. Showing a mix of box-office hits as well as older movies, the building was one of the first to be opened in Britain for motion picture exhibition. The interior boasts 65 leather armchairs with footstools and side tables and even double beds with cashmere blankets in the front row! Just grab a drink from the bar and get watching…..

Images courtesy of den99, George DeBaly and Ewan Munro

Alistair Boscawen

Alistair has 32 years’ experience as an estate agent, starting in the country house department of one of London’s main international agencies before moving to the Knightsbridge house department of the same agency and learning the difference in values between freehold, long lease and short lease houses in Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Chelsea and Mayfair.

All articles by Alistair Boscawen


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