1. Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Square
Serene. Tranquil. These are the words ChelseaConcerts uses to describe Holy Trinity Church, and they fit perfectly. Sometimes in this busy centre of one of the world’s busiest cities, an oasis of calm is exactly what you need. And how wonderful to find it in a place of such fascinating beauty.
This is not an old church; it was built in the late 1880s in the spirit of the Arts and Crafts Movement by architect John Dando Sedding, and the bill was footed by the 5th Earl Cadogan, on whose estate it was built. It’s a big church – the widest in London – wider by nine inches than St Paul’s Cathedral – and (as you would expect from an Arts and Crafts building) it contains some of the finest stained glass you’ll ever see.
Holy Trinity is a working parish church in the Anglican tradition. The Eucharist is celebrated twice every Sunday and three times during the week, there is evensong on Sunday, and the church is open for prayers at 9.00 a.m. 6 days a week. One of its glories is that there are no pews, so the huge interior is available for concerts and other celebrations. Keep an eye out for announcements.
2. Statues in Belgrave Square
Which is Belgravia’s finest square? Not wishing to offend supporters of either of them, we’ll keep our opinion to ourselves and say only that it is a toss-up between Belgrave Square and Eaton Square. It would, however, be difficult to find another square anywhere with the wealth of statuary that Belgrave Square has.
Perhaps the best is the statue of Christopher Columbus, which was gifted to the square by Spain and shows the Italian explorer as a young man, seated in a chair and holding a map. The statue is by Tomas Banuelos and was donated in 1992.
Another global explorer is commemorated in the statue of Prince Henry the Navigator. At the unveiling in 2002, the President of Portugal said that it showed Henry “visualising the unknown world”, which is as good a description as any of what these great explorers did.
There are also statues of Simón Bolívar, José de San Martín, who led Argentina to independence, and George Basevi, the square’s original architect.
Although only residents of the square can gain entrance to the garden, the Homage to Leonardo is visible from the street and shows the eight-limbed figure in a circle, which most people will be familiar with.
3. Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens cover 270 acres and are one of London’s eight Royal Parks. The gardens were once the private gardens of Kensington Palace. The flower beds are everything you would expect of a royal park, and there is a pleasing formality to the avenues of trees that reflects the impressive weight of Belgravia. The memorial playground to Diana, Princess of Wales is always popular, but don’t miss the Albert Memorial, erected by Queen Victoria in memory of her husband.
The gardens are open every day from six in the morning until dusk, but if you do stay too long, captivated by this delightful piece of London, you’ll find turnstiles at five of the garden gates that will let you exit the park.
4. Grosvenor Crescent
Grosvenor Crescent, a particularly prestigious part of Belgravia, is quite possibly the most beautiful street in London. A stunning Regency crescent, it has been kept in magnificent order and offers the convenience of Harrods close to one end, and the Queen’s residence, Buckingham Palace, not far from the other.
Are you looking to sell, let, buy or rent property in Belgravia? If you are, it’s no doubt important for you to know you are dealing with people who know this area intimately, and can find what their clients are looking for.