Renting property in Belgravia
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Why rent in Belgravia?
Belgravia, with its SW1 postcode, has historically been one of London's most fashionable residential districts, and maintains that reputation to this day.
Although Belgravia is not actually an administrative area and has no official boundaries, it is understood to be a district in the City of Westminster in central London located to the south west of Buckingham Palace.
Belgravia is a relatively quiet area in the heart of London, forming a great contrast with busier neighbouring districts with their large modern office blocks, hotels, and entertainment venues. The slower paced quality of life in Belgravia is proven by the large number of foreign embassies in the area and therefore also by the large number of ambassador's residents, especially in Belgrave Square.
Property in Belgravia
The area of Belgravia is focused around Belgrave Square and Eaton Square and is well known for its grand terraces of white stucco houses.
After the second World War many of the larger houses were no longer used as residences favouring commercial use instead. However, the leases restricted usage to certain categories, including embassies, charity headquarters and professional institutes. By the early 21st century this trend started to reverse. Offices in grand old houses were becoming less popular, so rather than leaving the properties empty, several houses were reconverted back to residential use making large houses for London's new super-rich, and apartments for the professionals working in the neighbouring office blocks. To this day the properties near Belgravia and Eaton Square are amongst the most expensive in the world, often costing more than £15 million.
An example of the grandeur of property in Belgravia is found in Seaford House, Belgrave Square, where the interior staircase is made of pure Onyx. It was even used as a film location as the first class passenger accommodation in the latest blockbuster film, Titanic, whilst the corner house opposite was rented by Queen Victoria for her grandmother.
However, not all the properties in Belgravia are in this traditional style. Eccleston Place, which is owned by Residential Land, is a modern purpose built building offering sixteen exclusive rental apartments in Belgravia.
Transport links in Belgravia
Belgravia's nearest London underground stations are Hyde Park Corner and Knightsbridge which are both served by the Piccadilly line, and Sloane Square which is served by the District and Circle lines. London Victoria train and bus station is one of London's busiest National Rail trains, tube and coach interchanges, and is found to the east of the district.
Numerous buses frequently travel through Belgravia offering access to the West End and the City.
Belgravia is well located within walking distance of Chelsea, Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, Pimlico, Westminster.
History of Belgravia
Before the 19th century the area that is now known as Belgravia was owned by Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Marquess of Westminster, who developed the land in the 1820s. Before this development the land was a marsh, known as the Five Fields. The main contractor employed to design and develop the area was Thomas Cubitt, an architect who is said to have done "more to change the face of London than any other man".
It was not long after its completion that members of the royal family took residence in the property in Belgrave Square establishing Belgravia as a fashionable area for the aristocracy and it maintains that reputation today.
Former and current residents of Belgravia include many high profile politicians including former prime ministers, Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain and Margaret Thatcher as well as actress and writer Joan Collins; singer, songwriter, and actress Sarah Brightman, Nigella Lawson and Lady Helen Taylor.
Attractions in Belgravia
Daniel Armitage Bannerman's House
During the Victorian era the British people had an obsession with the collecting and cataloging of any type of animal they could find from around the world. Daniel Armitage Bannerman was at the forefront of this obsession and is well known as being one of the greatest ornithologists of his age. Bannerman lived in this house in Belgravia which is close to the Natural History Museum where he worked as a senior exhibitor.
On the southern edge of Belgravia Colonnade Place is a shopping precinct framed by a series of classical pillars along the façade separating the shops from the busy road outside the Coach Station. It is home to a diverse array of shops and boutiques, cafes and restaurants and travel facilities aimed at tourists and locals alike.
Belgravia is known for its beautiful public but secluded gardens in central London and Ebury Square is just one example of these. Close to Victoria Station, the gardens have been a place of rest and relaxation for local people and visitors alike for many centuries. Visitors to the grounds are well sheltered from the noise of the city and from the elements by a selection of mature trees which also protect a beautiful selection of flower beds and lawns below.
Ian Fleming's House
The writer, Ian Fleming, is most famous for his creation the legendary spy character James Bond who he wrote many novels about. Fleming lived in a flat in this converted palatial property on the edge of Belgravia, close to Victoria Station. He loved the area and it inspired his writings.
Continuing Belgravia's association with the natural world, the Lindley Library comprises the most comprehensive botanical library in the country and is the main archive of study for the Royal Horticultural Society. The collection numbers well in excess of fifty thousand books, three hundred archived periodicals and more than twenty thousand botanical drawings. The archives are a fascinating place to explore and learn more about the natural world and gardening.
Shopping in Belgravia
The main shopping areas in Belgravia are found on Ecclestone Street, Ebury Street, Motcombe Street and Elizabeth Street. Motcombe Street, known by the local residents as "Belgravia Village" is home to a variety of everyday convenience shops such as hair and beauty salons, dry cleaners, estate agents and a patisserie. Waitrose supermarket can be found at the end of Motcombe Street whilst Ecclestone Street provides the post office as well as other retail outlets. For the less everyday, Ebury Street is home to at least three antique shops and a gallery and fine art dealer. Belgravia also boasts a couple of designer shops such as jewellery designer Carolina Bucci and fashion designer Stewart Parvin, although it is Elizabeth Street that boasts the highest number of shops offering a huge variety of delightful and exclusive boutique style outlets.
Restaurants in Belgravia
Belgravia is home to a vast mix of culinary cuisines set in award winning dining establishments. Whether it is Asian, British, Italian or French food that you are after they all offer superb culinary fare in classic and traditional or chic and elegant environments, providing the perfect venue for that ultimate and unsurpassed dining experience.
Amaya is a sleekly appointed modern Indian restaurant with sparkly chandeliers, splashes of modern art and a groovy bar whilst the menu cleverly links dressed-up street food with regal specialties.
Al Rawsha serves a variety of popular Lebanese dishes as well as providing entertainment in the form of belly dancers and live music. A takeaway and delivery service is available.
The Boxwood is one Gordon Ramsay's restaurants and can be found inside the Berkeley Hotel. It offers sophisticated yet relaxed dining with an exceptional menu and great service at surprisingly reasonable prices.
This Michelin starred restaurant is located at the Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, and offers modern European cuisine created by the award-winning head chef, Chris Staines.