Travel blog: the only way is Chelsea

Wednesday, 22 June 2011 12:00 AM

The gilded world of SW3 is not just for the posh cast of 'Made in Chelsea'

The gilded world of SW3 is not just for the posh cast of 'Made in Chelsea'


Channel Four's hit show Made In Chelsea has made being 'Sloaney' cool again, but the gilded world of SW3 is not just for the posh cast of the show. Here is your guide to the Chelsea, of which few but the locals know, and to the places that the Made In Chelsea cast and crew have been reportedly banned from.

Where To Eat?
Maggies is the place to eat in Chelsea, but the MIC cast and crew have reportedly been refused access to film there. Other favourites which have let the cameras in are Eighty Six on Fulham Road and Mews of Mayfair. But if it is good British grub you are looking for, head to the celeb-favourite the Phoenix; they will even let you take your dog in.

For frankly overpriced organic food (bolognaise sauce for £7.99 anyone?), the only place to shop is the Chelsea Farmers Market, which is not really a farmers market as there is only one organic supermarket. However, the restaurants are worth visiting. A hidden gem is El Gaucho, an Argentinean steak house. Staying with the meat theme, a big Sloaney and celebrity favourite is the Big Easy, an American-style barbecue and crab shack, which was named as one of the best steak restaurants in London by The Times.

Where to Drink?
Chelsea has many exclusive watering-holes. You could go for a drink in Raffles, which features in the first episode, but you would have to be a member. If you are not, the doors will be closed, but don't despair too much as the cast of MIC are not members either.

So where can you go without having to pay thousands of pounds for a membership? If you can find it, you could go to Bart's, a speakeasy that lies through an unmarked door in Chelsea Cloisters on Sloane Street. All you need to do is knock on the door and if the doorman likes the look of you, you will gain entry to this SW3 institution.

If you are granted entry into the hallowed halls of Bart's you will have done better than the cast of MIC, as they have been reportedly banned from filming in the venue. If you are looking to have a casual pint, head for The Trafalgar on the Kings Road.

New Kid On The Block, The Jam Tree, has also become popular with the Sloaney set. For after-work cocktails (yes the SW3 crew do have to work!) head for Juju, which is also on the King's Road. The bar has just won the The Best Bar 2011 in the London Club and Bar Awards.


some of the cast at a polo match (photo: Getty Images)

Where To Shop?
You can join the MIC cast in Biondi Couture on Old Church Street, where Caggie and Mille were seen buying bikinis for their trip to Cannes on episode five, but Sloaneys don't always pay full price for their designer gear. On the Kings Road both Joseph and LK Bennett have clearance stores, where you can get up to 80 per cent off on some items.

For quirky jewellery, the pick of the bunch is Kiki McDonough on Symons Street, near Sloane Square. And last, but not least, the Chelsea institute that is Bluebird, the 'neighbourhood' department store which has a vast wine cellar, a bakery, and sells the latest designer gear. They are currently showing Wimbledon matches in the courtyard.

A Bit of Culture
There is plenty to see in the area of SW3, you can marvel at Charles Saatchi's modern art collection in The Saatchi Gallery. You can wonder around the National Army Museum or have a peak around essayist Thomas Carlyle's House on Cheyne Row, a street which has also featured on MIC.

By Cat Hughes

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