Once upon a time, King’s Road was lined with banks. You didn’t have to run a few blocks to get to the nearest cashpoint machine because they sat on most corners. But now, most of them are gone as high street chains and estate agents have moved in.
There also used to be a pub called The Ifield, which I always loved going to. I remember once standing at the bar and listening to Hugh Grant chatting up a woman on a stool and I remember once getting back from a winter in the sun holiday to find my favourite actor from Home and Away working behind the bar. It was that kind of place: low-key but full of wonderful surprises and a real local’s haven.
Sadly The Ifield has been converted into flats. At first I was shocked to see my favourite pub become a residential property but it seems that developers are keen to turn more of Chelsea’s gems into homes.
The latest pubs at risk are The Phene and most urgently, Chelsea’s oldest pub: The Cross Keys.
The Cross Keys is located in between the King’s Road and Cheyne Walk. It is 300 years old and the developers who own it are appealing to overturn the council’s decision to forbid planning permission, which would allow the pub to be converted into a home.
Chelsea has already lost a lot of its unique charm at the hands of property developers. For example, Chelsea College of Art which alongside the Royal Academy of Art was responsible for making the King’s Road cool in the sixties, has now moved to Pimlico. And more estate agents are moving into the area in their hungry lust for profit.
But as a Chelsea Girl, since I was three, I urge you to please help save our local institutions because without them we lose our character.
Thanks for reading. x