London’s café culture is streets ahead. As the sun grows stronger in springtime, tables and chairs magically appear across the streets of Belgravia, Kensington and Chelsea. What could be better than relaxing with a cappuccino and a croissant at a pavement café, soaking up the rays and watching the world go by? Here we sniff out six of the best homes for sale or to let near the city's most tempting brasseries.
- Elizabeth Street, London SW1W: Baker & Spice
This Belgravia street has a vintage village feel, with boutiques and bistros to die for. Perfect pastries and scrumptiously sinful cakes can be eaten at Baker & Spice (www.bakerandspice.uk.com/belgravia.aspx) while you watch the passers by. On the corner with Ebury Street, Tomtom Coffee Shop (www.tomtom.co.uk/ ) is another streetside café. It’s a specialist coffee house, so the bean is king here. Here is a home with charm and character: the two-bedroom maisonette on Elizabeth Street is ready to move in. It is on the market for £1.8m.
- Motcomb Street, London SW1X: Ottolenghi
The exclusive treats along this street, are just along the road from our Belgravia branch. But having, feasted your eyes on the delicious delights inside, kick off your Jimmy Choo’s and feast your soul. There are tables at the back of the Ottolenghi’s deli (www.ottolenghi.co.uk/belgravia) where you can absorb the ambience. It is perfect for a rainbow-bright salad or maybe an oversize meringue. Just round the corner in Lowndes Square is a two-bedroom apartment available to rent (£1,495 a week). It’s on the second floor of a portered building, with a lift in case your purchases are excessive. http://www.henryandjames.co.uk/property?id=53FC7A9908C00
- Sloane Square, SW1W: Colbert
Sitting proudly on Sloane Square in Chelsea, Colbert brings a touch of Parisian chic to London (www.colbertchelsea.com). In the classic spirit of all-day continental cafés, it serves everything from breakfast to lunch and supper. If you are looking for a perfect pied-a-terre (£875 a week) near this bustling brasserie, here is a two-bedroom apartment in Sloane Gardens. The location is hard to beat: the tube station is nearby and designer boutiques of Sloane Street are moments away. http://www.henryandjames.co.uk/property?id=PL60202
- King’s Road, SW3: The Ivy Chelsea Garden or Bluebird
If you want to live life to the full, where else would you choose but the King’s Road? Famed for its trendiness in the Swinging Sixties, it retains a fashionable feel today. There are plenty of places to stop for a bite to eat, but you might be tempted by the art deco Bluebird (www.bluebird-restaurant.co.uk/at/cafe-chelsea/) which has a large, partly covered, courtyard set back from the road. Alternatively, The Ivy Chelsea Garden (https://theivychelseagarden.com) offers all-day dining, indoors and out. It is one of the trendiest places on King’s Road with its impressive floral displays throughout the year outside. For £1,145 a week, you could rent this two-bedroom garden flat in Park Walk and have the King’s Road on your doorstep.
- West Halkin Street, Belgravia SW1X: L’eto
L’eto (http://letocaffe.co.uk/) means “summer” in Russian. This cosy café has an astonishing range of desserts, both familiar and more exotic. But it also offers brunches and lunches, or just a coffee, if that’s what you want. A few doors away, this lovely corner house is a landmark in its own right. It has three bedrooms and is available to rent for £2,750 a week.
- Duke of York Square, SW3: Saatchi Gallery’s café
The Saatchi Gallery’s café (www.saatchigallery.com/gallerymess) is cool, calm space serving food and drink to art lovers. Smart and friendly, surprisingly it won’t break the bank. Savings here will mean more to spend on a property and this one-bedroom flat in Draycott Place (£1.395m), which offers contemporary living in an attractive building.