London Hidden Corners

Kinnerton Street – My first love affair with London

27th June 2019

I lived on Kinnerton Street for six years when I was single, young and working in the City. When I moved here, the area was not popular or known at all. On its neighbouring street, Motcomb Street, there was the original famous Jimmy Choo shoe shop (do you remember? Princess Diana used to shop there), Errol Douglas hairdresser (he is still there), Moyses Stevens Florist (this is how I started my love affair with them) and Mayhews newsagents (to my delight also still there). 

What makes Kinnerton street unique is the village feeling you get while being in the middle of the city. Hyde Park is only a few minutes away (I used to walk every single morning with my daughter to watch the guards pass by on their horses). It is tucked away around the corner from Knightsbridge and its shops while only a few minutes away from Victoria and Gatwick Express. It’s very central yet quiet with picturesque alleys and aesthetic facades. It really stands out on its own. 

Some of my happiest days were spent in this neighbourhood. I started dating my husband, got married, started a chocolate company called “Rita Farhi” (I am no longer involved in it for those of you asking) and had my first child here. 

While we were living here, Grosvenor Estate started renovating the area. First Waitrose opened up and I must admit this is still one of my favourite local Waitrose shops in London. With a newborn baby, I popped in and out for anything that was missing and bought fresh food on daily basis. 

Then Amaya (one of my favourite Indian restaurants) opened its doors at the Halkin Arcade in 2004. Since then, they received one Michelin Star and for special occasions we still go there. I highly recommend you try it once as it is absolutely delicious and special. Halkin Arcade, in general, is a hidden gem just behind Motcomb Street. You can sit on a bench and just enjoy the scenery. If you wanted to have coffee, then you can opt for a table at Ottolenghi (where you want to eat everything on offer) or at the Fine Cheese Company.  During Chelsea Flower Show, they built four different gardens (you can read more in my press article) and during Wimbledon they put a giant screen, chairs and a pimm’s bar for you to enjoy the matches. It truly is a place to discover while in Knightsbridge. Recently, I saw the scaffolding came off and I understand a new restaurant with a rooftop terrace is in the works of opening up. One I need to visit in September.

Kinnerton Street is not a long street. However, it is full of character and charm. It is surrounded by many little lanes (which I urge you to explore in different seasons as colours change every season). You’ll be surprised to find out how much there is to see. So, make sure to take your time and appreciate every hidden beauty.

One unusual place on Kinnerton Street is the shop called “Egg”. Have you already discovered it? Cult fashion designer Maureen Doherty is behind the brand. Egg makes and sells timeless simple clothes and objects. If you love anything to do with minimalism this is the place for you. It’s all about shapes, colours, materials and appreciation of simplicity. Its interiors are as impressive as its clothes. Clothes are displayed like art installations in a gallery. I remember the shop when it was a tiny room. Since then, it expanded first to a mews across the street and then upstairs as well. While passing by, you might get to see her two dogs sleeping away at the front of the shop if you are lucky. Always a bonus from an Instagram point of view.

If you walk further down the street, you will find Judith Black Florist hiding for those of you who are flower crazy like me. The floral entrance should give away the place, but I am not sure if many people walk inside. I have read that if you are coming from far, they recommend neighbourhood places to dine and explore. If this is out of your way and you still would like to take floral lessons, they offer online floral arrangement course. One to be explored more. All I know is that she has been at this location for a while now and each time I come here, it has a different look. I love flowers. I love this area. I can spend hours here.

For such a small street, there are quite a few options where you can eat. At the beginning of the street lies the Alfred Tennyson pub where you can enjoy outdoor tables in a beautiful day facing Halkin Arcade. They also provide formal dining at their upstairs room serving Modern European cuisine. If you really wanted to spoil yourself, Gordon Ramsey’s Michelin Starred restaurant, Petrus, is also here. So is Saloos, the Pakistani restaurant (I highly recommend it, it has been there since 1976!) for a real traditional Pakistani cuisine. To have a more traditional English tradition, towards the end of the street are the two famous pubs almost next to each other, Kevin Moran and Wilton Arms . Wilton Arms especially is hard to miss with their eye catching hanging baskets in full bloom no matter the season.

The area has been getting better every day. While in the area, there is so much to see. We can write a whole chapter on Berkeley Hotel with its Blue Bar, Pret-a-Porter tea, its rooftop pool and spa. Let’s not forget about Motcomb Street and the surrounding area. Again, that’s another blog. Here I only wanted to introduce you to Kinnerton Street, a hidden street that is valued by its residents and is for me one of London’s best kept secrets….

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