An artisanal spirit in Chelsea

It’s hard to underestimate the cultural importance of the King’s Road. It’s a street steeped in history; from royal connections (the clue’s in the name) to movements like the Swinging Sixties and its place at the epicentre of punk. Today, it’s a place that still moves to a comparable beat. It’s also the centre of the Chelsea Design District. Sophia Routledge, of the Cadogan Estate, gives us a tour of the gems to be found at one of LDF23’s newest Districts.

Tell me about Chelsea as a creative area of London?

Chelsea has an extraordinary heritage, renowned for its bohemian freethinkers and creatives throughout the centuries. From architecture to interiors, fashion to jewellery, fitness to food, Chelsea flourishes today as a neighbourhood rich in artistry and artisan making.

The historic King’s Road is home to independent and globally-recognised craftspeople, as well as The Fashion School and the famed Chelsea Arts Club. Nearby Sloane Street was originally home to many of the ‘court’ dressmakers, corsetieres and milliners and, since the 18th century, has remained one of the most luxurious destinations worldwide to discover the finest designers from across the globe. A stone’s throw away is Pavilion Road, Chelsea’s pedestrianised artisanal food quarter, home to a butcher, baker, wine merchant and cheesemonger, among others celebrated for their gourmet delicacies.

Why should people visit Chelsea?

The area celebrates its talent throughout the year with a programme of events that allows local creatives to share their stories with new and engaged audiences. Highlights include London’s largest free flower festival, ‘Chelsea in Bloom’ (opposite top), which sees storefronts adorned with floral art; the ‘Artisan Chelsea’ series at London Craft Week; and even a dedicated ‘Chelsea Dog Day’.

What can we expect of Chelsea Design District at LDF23?

A true celebration of the neighbourhood’s design talent – spanning fashion, food, drink, interiors and more. There will be bespoke creations, spotlights on design visionaries and live demonstrations. Highlights include botanical casting at stylish interiors store Birdie Fortescue, to a probiotic workspace experience at Anthropologie. During your visit, don’t forget to look up and enjoy the beautiful architecture, follow the blue plaque trail and marvel in the beauty that is Chelsea.