In spite of living and working just a mile away from South Kensington and passing through it most days, I never felt as if I really knew the area.
To me it was a vague ensemble of various things – the museums, French people, a really good sheet music shop, the tube to Heathrow – but I’d never spent much time there. From the top deck of the number 49 to Battersea I’d catch a glimpse of what looked like some nice restaurants or a lively bar, but it always remained a fairly unknown neighbourhood.
Now I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not actually my fault I didn’t know much about South Kensington even though I was so often passing through – it’s because a lot of the best bits of South Kensington are hidden away.
From anonymous doorways hiding speakeasies to hidden gardens and underground restaurants, there is a whole new world going on in SW7 in addition to the many delis and restaurants which are full of tourists and students every day.
My most recent discovery was certainly not the kind of thing you’d come across by accident. Walk down Sloane Avenue and into the smart but dull entrance to serviced apartment building Chelsea Cloisters and behind an unmarked door with a small plaque saying ‘Barts‘ next to it on the wall you’ll find a modern-day speakeasy which is very much set in Prohibition times. Continue reading Barts Speakeasy South Kensington – small but perfectly formed