Few London boroughs compare with Belgravia. On the outside, it is classicism personified, with its elegant terraces and squares. Yet it has many attributes of an urban village, with a friendly ambience, local shops and good schools.
Known as one of the most exclusive residential areas (along with its close neighbour Chelsea) Belgravia has been a magnet for wealthy Londoners since it was first laid out in the early nineteenth century. Its location adds to the overall appeal: Belgravia is tucked between Buckingham Palace and Knightsbridge. Thomas Cubitt, the master builder, ensured the architecture was second to none back in the mid- 19th century. His style stands out at both Eaton Square and of course Belgrave Square.
The best of Belgravia – effortlessly stylish, architecturally flawless – it’s one of the best London boroughs.
Streets to target
Belgravia’s great squares – notably Eaton Square, Lowndes Square and Belgrave Square – are addresses known around the globe. However, there are plenty of lesser-known streets which attract house-hunters as they have so much to offer. Areas worth targeting include Kinnerton Street, handy for Waitrose, and Wilton Crescent, which has some great little hidden pubs in the vicinity, but there are many more.
Belgravia’s wealth of blue plaques testifies the area’s star-studded credentials. Notable Belgravians include Mozart, Chopin, Ian Fleming, Brian Epstein and three former Tory prime ministers – Stanley Baldwin, Neville Chamberlain and Margaret Thatcher.
From stunning garden squares to discreet cobbled mews, Belgravia covers the gamut of desirable London residences. The signature Belgravia property is a white stucco-fronted terrace, with a high-ceilinged drawing-room, dating back to the Georgian or Victorian era. However, there are many handsome Edwardian mansion blocks with surprisingly spacious apartments, too.
There are tube stations at Knightsbridge and Hyde Park Corner, on the Piccadilly Line, and Sloane Square, on the District and Circle Line. Good bus routes into central London include the 137, 22 and the 19.
Where to eat and drink?
Foodies are spoiled for choice in Belgravia, whether their taste is for French haute cuisine at Koffman’s at the Berkeley (www.the-berkeley.co.uk) or cutting-edge Basque dishes at Ametsa with Arzak Instruction at the Halkin (www.comohotels.com). The Fine Cheese Co. (www.finecheese.co.uk) is a new addition on Motcomb Street.
The pick of the old Belgravia is probably the Star Tavern (www.star-tavern-belgravia.co.uk) on Belgrave Mews, which has hosted everyone from Peter O’Toole to the planners of the Great Train Robbery.
Join the school run
Popular prep and pre-prep schools in the area include Knightsbridge School (www.knightsbridgeschool.com), Garden House (www.gardenhouseschool.co.uk) and Hill House International Junior School (www.hillhouseschool.co.uk).
The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital (www.chelwest.nhs.uk) on Fulham Road, London, SW10 9NH.
Is it right for you? Three good reasons to buy in Belgravia
- It is such an architecturally pleasing neighbourhood that there is an instant feel-good factor.
- The area is not just blessed with wonderful shops and restaurants, but is close to the great open space of Hyde Park.
- Because the very name of Belgravia is such a strong brand, a residential property here is often a blue-chip investment.
The bottom line: thinking of buying?
- You can find one-bedroom apartments in Belgravia for around three quarters of a million pounds, but they may need some work.
- The best one-bedroom apartments, in mint condition, will cost about £2 million or more.
- Two-bedroom apartments range from £1.85 million to £3.5 million, while three-bedroom houses start at £4 million and can rise to over £10 million.
- The largest houses, with four or more bedrooms, will cost a minimum of £5 million and probably much more.
The bottom line: thinking of renting?
- Rents in Belgravia reflect the high value of the properties. One-bedroom apartments would typically let for between £500 and £900 per week.
- A two-bedroom apartments can rented for between £700 and £1,900 per week.
- Three-bedroom maisonettes rent for between £1,350 and £1,500 per week.
- At the top end of the market, you could expect to pay £5,000 per week to rent a six-bedroom house.
And finally… views from our experts
Olivia Rae, Sales Negotiator at Henry & James, says:
“Belgravia will never fall out of fashion. Property prices may fluctuate, depending on the market, but the area is steeped in so much history, diversity and culture that people who buy here tend to stay for years. Like generations of Londoners before them, they have caught the Belgravia bug.’”
Steve Cook, Senior Lettings Manager at Henry & James, says:
“Belgravia’s property prices will always make it an exclusive address. Yet, like a top fashion designer, its’ style stands out across the world.”
We’re here to help: Henry & James
Our philosophy is to put the customer first. This principle was paramount when Henry Brahm launched his lettings agency in the 1950s. Today, we stay true to our founder’s principles. Customer service really is our number one priority.
- For advice on buying, selling or moving to the area, contact Henry & James Belgravia, Motcomb Street, London SW1X 8JX (020 72358861; firstname.lastname@example.org)