Russians in the world

Russians in the world

Why Russian souls stick to Chelsea


Only in Chelsea can you leave the house in a pair of jeans, fitted jacket with sleeves turned up, a cute designer scarf and a pair of rubber boots (Hunter wellies most commonly) and fit perfectly into a crowd of people going about their business in similar wellies, jackets with sleeves turned up and designer apparel.

Only in Chelsea Range Rovers are called Chelsea Tractors by the locals and constitute majority of traffic, cruising among Maseratis, Ferraris and Porches. You wont have to go far to spot a Maybach or a kitted out number plate suggesting Royal Arabic decent of the owner.

Only in Chelsea majority of men going to a casual Mint Polo tournament held in the neighbouring Parsons Green will turn up in bright red chinos and girls will have beautiful tans from late spring holidays well in place for early June.

Property prices are high (a one bedroom in Loane Square or around will easily set you back 800,000 GBP, and a penthouse in the Imperial Wharf will go for 45 Million, but will have 8 bedrooms and fantastic views), people are beautiful and cars are expensive. Intimidating right?

Wrong! Chelsea is lovely.

Its not high-gear Knightsbridge or arty Primrose Hill where its easy to feel out of place, it’s a homely, sweet, relaxed and very pretty island in a fast changing city. Its an area that holds its traditions and does not change to follow the time.

Having grown up in Russia, Chelsea is a perfect fit because of the pace at which life flows here. Every evening when I come out of Sloan Square tube station after work I feel I leave the crazy investment banking world of Canary Wharf far, far behind. I take a deep breath and my shoulders drop as I relax.

And here is what I love:

  1. Saturday morning coffee at the Blue Bird Café outside under the heaters with the friendliest waiters on the planet. Just chatting with a friend.
  2. Saturday markets in front of Partridges – its cute, its small, you get fresh oysters to snack on and amazing farmers cheeses and cocktails to take away in coconuts
  3. Partridges, a supermarket with “good old times” from the 50s feel
  4. Peter Jones, just a department store but it reminds me of my grandmother, her taking me to her work when I was very small and me playing with fabrics she was preparing for an exhibition
  5. Lots Road all the antique auctions and some modern ones – I saw a 2 huge statues from the Oscars in one of them ones. The ones you see on TV lining the red carpet
  6. Furniture shops down New Kings Road – what a bliss!!
  7. Imperial Wharf (my home) with its own fountain and private gardens and the best Lebanese restaurant in town
  8. Having my first date with my now significant other in a beautiful secret garden of some average looking bar on Kinds Road
  9. An old lady I met on a bus who confided that she hasn’t been north of Harrods and east of Sloane Square in 30 years because London is just not the same anymore
  10. Chelsea Farmers Market, no longer a market but a hidden from view collection of cafés
  11. Chelsea Gardener, a dream inspiring flower nursery, really more a botanical garden than a shop
  12. Pet Pavilion a pet shop that doubles as pet owners advice bureau, I never left that place without a great chat with the keepers, and it really feels like they care about my cat as much as I d
  13. How all shops decorate their windows in the style of Chelsea Flower Show when that time of the year comes
  14. Saachi Gallery that I’ve never visited because I get distracted by the Partridges every time!
  15. Worlds End Estate the most grim looking council housing with Vivienne Westwood shop right in front of it


Lulu M