One of the world’s most elite and most expensive residential areas in the world lies in the heart of West London between Victoria Station and Hyde Park, just a few minutes from the Palace of Westminster.
Welcome to the Belgravia!
Since its construction in the 1820s wealthy main residents of Belgravia are Londoners, celebrities, the rich and famous foreigners.
The area takes its name from one of the Duke of Westminster’s subsidiary titles – Viscount Belgrave. Most of the area was originally owned by Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster, who had it developed from the 1820s.
A construction of the elite district was entrusted to Norfolk builder Thomas Cubitt and his brother Lewis. Also a large number of buildings located in the central part of the district around Belgravia square was designed by one of the most famous architects in London – Thomas Cubitt.
These buildings are designed in a classic English style with architectural features from 18th century Georgian era. Buildings are intoxicating luxury but at the same time exudes coolness and self-restraint. Grand terraces of white stucco houses are like copy paste one from another. Row houses as clones are close to each other, differing only by cars that are parked by the front door.
Also a large number of buildings located in the central part of the district around Belgravia square was designed by one of the most famous architects in London – Thomas Cubitt.
As one of London’s wealthiest areas, Belgravia boasts multi-million dollar homes and celebrity residents.
There are talks that Mozart wrote his first symphony ever at 180 Ebury Street at only eight years old. Also Belgravia was home to the famous Lady Astor, the first woman in Britain to hold a seat in parliament and become an MP.
James Bond actors Sean Connery and Roger Moore have all lived in Belgravia, as did Ian Fleming – the writer who created the fictional spy. Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher spent her final years in a six-storey, six-bedroom Georgian mansion in Chester Square. The Philip Treacy Fashion house, hat maker to the royals, can be found on Elizabeth Street.
There are talks that Mozart wrote his first symphony ever at 180 Ebury Street at only eight years old.
Walking through the aristocratic streets of Belgravia you can really feel the special rhythm of life of its residents. Although located in the very center of London, in Belgravia there isn’t neither distinctively metropolitan bustle and fuss, nor tourists hugging all possible cultural monuments in the area.
These things are usually characterized by London but not in Belgravia. Everything around there is peaceful, sedated and calm. Sometimes it might feel that you are the only person in the whole area. And that exactly what makes it even more beautiful and special.
More activity occurs when you get to the Elizabeth Street near St. Michael’s Church. Elizabeth Street is one of the main shopping streets of Belgravia, where the brand stores as the excellent “In Love” fragrances shop, “Les Senteurs” perfume temple, “Carolina BICC “ jewelry ornament and a variety of fancy clothing and footwear brand stores.
Among those appears also some interesting vintage-style shop, cozy restaurants and coffee shops. And obviously we couldn’t pass “Peggy Porschen Parlour” cupcakes shop. They are for sure the best cupcakes in the world with a heavenly bouquet of taste that literally melted in mouth.
Everything around there is peaceful, sedated and calm. Sometimes it might feel that you are the only person in the whole area. And that exactly what makes it even more beautiful and special.
Belgravia is full of little leafy squares. Many streets are on a faint curve, and the parallel streets curve in the opposite direction. This is so that the back gardens of the houses can be turned into one, large, communal park for all the residents.
One of our main objectives of visiting this area was to see famous Belgrave Square Gardens. Within the gardens there are impressive bronze and stone statues of historical explorers and the memorial of Christopher Columbus and Simon Bolivar.
We were very astonished that you can’t actually enter any of the parks, even little leafy squares nor Belgrave Square Garden as they are all private. Entrance in gardens is only allowed for residents of the neighborhood meanwhile guests can only look from outside the fence. Turns out the entrance for residents is also not a free of charge.
So even if you are living in one of the most expensive areas of London it does not mean that you can take your Yorkie for a daily walk to Belgrave Square Gardens just like that. The membership fee is currently £260.00 per annum for singles or couples and £400.00 for families. In addition, there is an initial administration charge and key deposit for new members.
We were very astonished that you can’t actually enter any of the parks, even little leafy squares nor Belgrave Square Garden as they are all private. The membership fee is currently £260.00 per annum for singles or couples and £400.00 for families.
A walk in the elite Belgravia created a feeling as we were suddenly in a bit more modern “Downton Abbey” series. We discovered a completely different, so far unknown edge of London. Perhaps this destination may not seem interesting to many travelers, it might even seem inaccessible as there are no crowds of tourists everywhere.
However we learned that going there and enjoying the unique atmosphere of the rich and powerful is absolutely worth it. Just a few steps away from the crowds in Victoria Station or Hide park just like Alice in Wonderland, you suddenly are in another world filled with its own provisions and life goes on in a completely different rhythm.