Your Ultimate Knightsbridge Calendar for 2015

Knightsbridge is so much more than just Harrods – although for many, that will be enough. Harrods is a department store so feels like numerous different shops under one roof with opportunities to dine on nearly every floor too.

But what else does the area have to offer? This month-by-month 2015 calendar will give you lots of ideas to help you plan your trip. Remember to bookmark it!

You’ll be sure of a warm welcome at The Beaufort in the heart of Knightsbridge.


Of course, the exclusive shops of Knightsbridge are definitely worth seeing during the January sales. Harrods and Harvey Nichols should be top of your list.

When you need a rest from retail therapy, try one of the pubs in the area with an open fire. The Duke of Wellington is an unpretentious boozer with great pub grub, and The Paxtons Head offers a warm welcome too.
Address: Duke of Wellington, 63 Eaton Terrace, Belgravia SW1W 8TR
Distance from The Beaufort: 20 minutes walk

Address: The Paxtons Head, 153 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7PA
Distance from The Beaufort: 8 minutes walk

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

For the evenings, the Cirque du Soleil comes to the Royal Albert Hall each January, and Kensington Palace offers Eerie Evening Visits where you can hear tales of unexplained happenings at this royal residence.
Address: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP
Distance from The Beaufort: 16 minutes walk

Address: Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens, London W8 4PX
Distance from The Beaufort: 28 minutes walk


While it is likely to still be chilly in London you can enjoy the early signs of the good weather to come at the annual Snowdrop Days at Chelsea Physic Garden. The Tangerine Dream Cafe also serves warming lunches and hot mulled wine.
Address: Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HS
Distance from The Beaufort: 27 minutes walk


Matlenitsa is a Russian Festival now celebrated in London too. There’s an event in Trafalgar Square on the last day but you would do well to dine at the Russian restaurant Mari Vanna where it feels like you have entered a fairy tale.
Address: Mari Vanna, 116 Knightsbridge, Wellington Court, London SW1X 7PJ
Distance from The Beaufort: 8 minutes walk

Book a romantic restaurant for Valentine’s Day such as the Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Amaya. This is the India Bar & Grill created by the owners of the renowned Chutney Mary and Veeraswamy.
Address: Amaya, Halkin Arcade, Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8JT
Distance from The Beaufort: 12 minutes walk

Or enjoy Chinese New Year with a meal from The Good Earth which has had Chinese restaurants in London for over 30 years.
Address: The Good Earth, 233 Brompton Road, London SW3 2EP
Distance from The Beaufort: 5 minutes walk


As Spring arrives this month the deck chairs become available in Hyde Park until October.
Distance from The Beaufort: 10 minutes walk


The Albert Memorial tours start again on the first Sunday of the month from March to December.
Address: Kensington Gardens, London W2 2UH
Distance from The Beaufort: 18 minutes walk

And National Trust properties reopen after their winter break. Thomas Carlyle’s House in Chelsea is open March to October.
Address: Carlyle’s House, 24 Cheyne Row, Chelsea, London SW3 5HL
Distance from The Beaufort: 27 minutes walk


Spring is most definitely here by now and this is a great month for getting outdoors. From April to October The Chelsea Physic Garden is open along with their cafe and shop too. (See also February for Snowdrop Days).
Address: Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HS
Distance from The Beaufort: 27 minutes walk

The Wildlife Garden at the Natural History Museum is open from April to October and is a wonderful hidden gem. You will sometimes see sheep grazing and can watch different wildlife around the pond.
Address: Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD
Distance from The Beaufort: 12 minutes walk

Boating on the Serpentine in Hyde Park is open from April to October. The Serpentine lake was created by a section of one of London’s lost rivers: The Westbourne. A dam was put across the river in 1730 to add this water feature to the royal park. The Westbourne used to run through Knightsbridge and may well be the reason for the name (a bridge over the river).
Address: The Boat House, Serpentine Road, Hyde Park, London W2 2UH
Distance from The Beaufort: 17 minutes walk


The annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show is one you have to plan ahead for as no tickets are available on the door but it’s always worth the effort.
Address: Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4SR
Distance from The Beaufort: 23 minutes walk


Do stay longer in the area as the streets of Chelsea are transformed for Chelsea in Bloom, with many restaurants and bars offering floral-themed menus. The Saatchi Gallery is also worth seeing for its cutting edge contemporary art.
Address: Saatchi Gallery, Duke Of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London SW3 4RY
Distance from The Beaufort: 16 minutes walk


Hyde Park plays host to many large concerts including the annual British Summer Time Hyde Park shows which always have big name headliners.

For somewhere more secluded, at Rococo Chocolates there is a secret MaRococo garden – a Moorish courtyard oasis for enjoying the cafe’s indulgent hot chocolate. From the garden you can see into the chocolate kitchen which may tempt you to try a workshop at their Chocolate School. The garden often gets involved in the annual London Open Garden Squares Weekend this month where you can visit many other gardens too.
Address: Rococo Chocolates, 5 Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8JU
Distance from The Beaufort: 13 minutes walk

Motcomb Street holds a Street Party late in the month to raise money for charity.

This month is also the Queen’s birthday parade, better known as Trooping the Colour. For an excellent view of the Household Cavalry riding from Knightsbridge Barracks to the event I’d recommend going up Wellington Arch and watching the horses go through the arch.
Address: Wellington Arch, Apsley Way, Hyde Park Corner, London W1J 7JZ
Distance from The Beaufort: 18 minutes walk


Another attraction at Hyde Park Corner is Apsley House, the home of the Duke of Wellington after his victory over Napoleon at Waterloo. Also known as Number One London, the interior of the house has changed little since the days of the Iron Duke.
Address: Apsley House, 149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner, London W1J 7NT
Distance from The Beaufort: 17 minutes walk


If the Wimbledon Championships has inspired you, why not try the Hyde Park Tennis Centre?
Address: Hyde Park Tennis Centre, South Carriage Drive, London W2 2UH
Distance from The Beaufort: 14 minutes walk

Tim Henman. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Tim Henman. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Nearby, from late June to October each year, the Serpentine Gallery has a temporary summer pavilion. The unpaid commission to design the pavilion goes each year to a major architect who hasn’t yet built in the UK and is regarded as one of the most highly sought-after small projects in world architecture.
Address: The Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA
Distance from The Beaufort: 19 minutes walk


This is a glorious month to be outdoors and Hyde Park is perfect for some people watching. Look out for the skateboarders and rollerbladers showing off their skills along South Carriage Drive, near The Albert Memorial, at the weekends.
Address: South Carriage Drive, London SW7 1QH
Distance from The Beaufort: 17 minutes walk

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

And when visiting The V&A do stop to rest in The John Madejski Garden where the central oval water adds a real sense of tranquility.
Address: V&A, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL
Distance from The Beaufort: 8 minutes walk


Britain’s largest outdoor classical music event, BBC Proms in the Park, returns to Hyde Park with a wide-ranging line-up of top acts.
Address: Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH
Distance from The Beaufort: 12 minutes walk

The Chelsea Antiques Fair is on in March and September. Since the demise of the Grosvenor House Antiques Fair, this is now the oldest fair in Britain and possibly the world.
Address: Chelsea Old Town Hall, Kings Rd, London SW3 5EE
Distance to The Beaufort: 21 minutes walk

© Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Leighton House © Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Open House London means many buildings usually closed to the public open their doors for one weekend only each year. While you could explore buildings across the whole of London local recommendations include Cadogan Hall, Leighton House, Holy Trinity Church.
Address: Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ
Distance from The Beaufort: 15 minutes walk

Address: Leighton House, 12 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ
Distance from The Beaufort: 41 minutes walk

Address: Holy Trinity Church, Brompton Road, London SW7 1JA
Distance from The Beaufort: 7 minutes walk

This could also be a good time to visit the National Geographic Store which has regular exhibitions, events and a good cafe too.
Address: National Geographical Store, 102A Brompton Road, London SW3 1JJ
Distance to The Beaufort: 4 minutes walk


The annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum opens this month.
Address: Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD
Distance from The Beaufort: 12 minutes walk

Before it gets too cold in London, this would be a great time to try horse riding in Hyde Park. The Hyde Park Stables are open all year round and offer lessons and riding opportunities for all levels.
Address: Hyde Park Stables, 63 Bathurst Mews, London W2 2SB
Distance from The Beaufort: 33 minutes walk

As the month ends with Halloween, why not visit Brompton Cemetery? It’s one of Britain’s oldest and most distinguished garden cemeteries and is one of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’.
Address: Brompton Cemetery, Fulham Road, London SW10 9UG
Distance from The Beaufort: 31 minutes walk


The month starts with the Harrods Christmas Parade and switching on the lights then you know the festive season is coming soon. It’s when Father Christmas arrives at the Harrods Grotto but do note booking opens in September and it’s likely to be sold out by now.
Address: Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, London SW1X 7XL
Distance to The Beaufort: 5 minutes walk


14 November is the Prince of Wales’s birthday so there is a royal gun salute in Hyde Park at midday. There is another on 10 June for the Duke of Edinburgh’s birthday.

Kensington Dolls House Festival is in May and November and is the leading event for craftsmen and miniatures enthusiasts to get together and enjoy their obsession.
Address: Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8 7NX
Distance to The Beaufort: 33 minutes walk


Hyde Park Winter Wonderland opens in late November and has rides and Zippos Circus, as well as food and drink and a Christmas Market.
Address: Hyde Park, London W2 2UH
Distance from The Beaufort: 20 minutes

© The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

© The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

For a very picturesque setting, try the Natural History Museum Ice Rink in front of the ornate Victorian building. Look out for live music in the Cafe Bar too.
Address: Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD
Distance from The Beaufort: 12 minutes walk

Note from the concierge: Thanks Laura for the above blog post. So there you have it: you’ll never get bored of Knightsbridge whenever you decide to visit! Use the above calendar to plan your visit and take advantage of the special Advance Purchase Rate at The Beaufort to give yourself even more spending money.

Laura Porter writes the London Travel site and contributes to many other publications while sustaining an afternoon tea addiction to rival that of our Queen. You can find Laura on twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.

Hidden Highlights – The Side Streets of Knightsbridge

Knightsbridge is well known for its department store duopoly, Harrods and Harvey Nichols. But there’s a lot more to Knightsbridge than just these two shops. Look down some of the side streets and you’ll find some fascinating smaller shops. Whether you want to push the boat out, or just buy a couple of unusual souvenirs of London, Knightsbridge and neighbouring Chelsea can provide you with hours of fascinating shopping.

Some are high fashion. For instance Anya Hindmarch and Lulu Guinness fight it out for the title of Handbag Queen. Anya Hindmarch’s shop in Pont Street famously sold out of the ‘I’m not a plastic bag‘ shopping bag back in 2007, and this year Anya is launching Tony the Tiger and Cornflakes bags at London Fashion Week. Lulu Guinness, in Ellis Street, has very pop art bags; my favourite is a big black bag with a huge pair of red lips appliquéd to it.

Continue reading “Hidden Highlights – The Side Streets of Knightsbridge” »

London’s top 8 hobby shops

Duke of Uke

Got an unusual hobby? It’s odds on that if you do, you’ll find a shop in London devoted to it.

Love fast cars? You can’t buy a full size racing car – but St Martin’s Models, in Cecil Court, has thousands of diecast replicas of supercars, F1 and rally racers. The slowly revolving glass shelves in the window are mesmerising and inside, there are some interesting memorabilia including an old Shell petrol pump with an illuminated shell motif on top.

Or if you fancy yourself as George Formby (or possibly Jake Shimabukuro, the Jimi Hendrix of the Uke), you’ll be happy as a sandboy at Duke of Uke in Cheshire Street (near Shoreditch High Street station). This shop does also have a good stock of banjos, guitars and basses, but it’s really focused on ukes – from a £35 learner model to a several hundred pound handmade baritone ukulele in precious woods. It even offers lessons and courses, and you can buy tutorial DVDs and sheet music, too.

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Spring gardens in Kensington

Now it’s spring, it’s time to think about gardens in Kensington. Of course the obvious place to go is Kensington Gardens – though personally I find it’s a park that looks better in summer and autumn than in early spring – but Kensington and Chelsea are full of smaller and less well known gardens which are worth discovering.

Kensington Gardens

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