Here is some exciting news for art fans in Chelsea! There is a new exhibition opening in SW3 which will bring exclusive works by Dave White, Jessica Zoob, Marc Quinn, Polly Morgan, Blek le Rat, Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst to the area.

Jessica Zoob, Midnight Waters 2

Highlights of the exhibition will include original works, including an exclusive Great White oil painting from Dave White’s upcoming LA show, Apex, as well as Limited Edition works by Marc Quinn, Takashi Murakami, Hirst and ‘Godfather of Street Art’ Blek le Rat.

Dave White, Great White Shark

The success of Loughran Gallery has spread across London from Notting Hill to Shoreditch and from Haggerston to Battersea as well as the Southbank. So it’s probably a wise decision to not miss out on Loughran Gallery’s arrival into Chelsea, which will continue through spring from 18th March to 5th April 2014.

And where will the gallery head next? Follow them on Twitter to find out.

Loughran Gallery, 7-9 Tryon Street, Chelsea, SW3 3LG.

1. Visit the Michelin-starred Chinese dim sum teahouse Yauatcha for lunch or afternoon tea.

Not only to try the limited edition desserts: Red Macarons filled with mandarin ganache and mandarin pâte de fruit as well as the Red Petits Gateaux, which are jasmine mousse filled with a honey panna cotta centre, caramelised mandarins and sesame brittle. But also because …


… each guest at Yauatcha will receive a red envelope containing vouchers for fashion and beauty treats, along with a bespoke Chinese New Year cocktail created by the Yauatcha and Harvey Nichols bar managers. The cocktail is also available at the Fifth Floor Bar.

Eight special golden tickets will also be given to guests at random, containing lavish prizes such as meals and cocktail masterclasses at Yauatcha and makeovers at Harvey Nichols.

2. Head to the White Horse pub in Parsons Green for Burns Night supper. Each of the five courses will be matched with a Brewmeister beer. You can see the full menu here.

3. Catch the last weekend of Daumier, 1808-1879, Visions of Paris at the Royal Academy of Arts. London Evening Standard describes the exhibition as “An exciting and astonishing exhibition, an aesthetic boxer’s blow to the heart.” More information

4. If you’re a Hobbs shoes fan, hurry to the Hobbs three day sample sale from 24th until 26th January 2014, at The Music Rooms. Here are the opening times as well as a list of other sample sales at the same venue.

5. If you love music soundtracks and fancy a nostalgic evening of live music locally. The Pink Singers will be performing A Night at the Movies at Cadogan Hall on Saturday night from 7pm. You can book your tickets here.

To commemorate the death of William Turner who died on 19th December 1851 at his home in Chelsea, Nika Garrett from My London Tours has written the first guest post on King’s Road Rocks. I met Nika recently at a private viewing at the V&A and most recently for a coffee on the King’s Road. When talking to Nika, I realised that even though I had grown up in Chelsea and still live here as a new mummy, there is a lot I don’t know about my own neighbourhood. So let me hand this post over to Nika. And for a glimpse of the types of stories that lie within Chelsea, please read on …

At 10am on 19th December 1851, Joseph Mallord William Turner died in his home in Chelsea. It was a foggy morning and yet just before his death, the sun managed to break through the fog to shine on the face of the man who was to become known as “the painter of light.”

Turner and the Thames in ChelseaTurner spent his last years living anonymously at 119 Cheyne Walk in a very modest house. In fact Leopold Martin, son of the painter John Martin who also happened to be living just a few houses away was far from impressed when he visited: “the house had but three windows in front and was miserable in every respect, furnished in poor fashion.” He also recalls that an old woman served them bread with porter (dark ale). That old woman was probably Sophia Booth, Turner’s landlady and his loyal life companion during his last years.

Turner assumed the name of his landlady and insisted on being called Mr Booth. Local boys called him “Puggy Booth” and the boatmen dubbed him “The Admiral” as he had a habit of carrying his telescope with him. Turner spent most of his time watching the Thames from his first floor room overlooking the river. He also climbed up to the roof and watched the dawn and sunrise from there. A special wrought-iron balustrade was installed to prevent him falling from his favourite viewing point.

Sometimes Mr Booth and Mrs Booth would venture across the river to Battersea fields. It would often be local boatman Charles Greaves who would row them across the Thames. Later at night Greaves would wake up his neighbour and painter John Martin if the skies looked particularly stormy. Several years later Charles Greaves’s sons, Walter and Henry, would row another painter: James Abbot McNeil Whistler. Once on the other side of the Thames, Turner and his loyal Mrs Booth would walk to the Battersea church where he would watch the sunset over the water from the vestry above the west door.

It was Turner’s priority to protect his secret life in Chelsea. His official address was the house he owned in Queen Anne Street, Marylebone. There is a story that after a dinner party he once attended, he was helped by his host into a cab. The host asked what address he should he give to the driver. Turner’s clever reply was; “Tell the fellow to drive to Oxford Street and then I’ll direct him.” In fact, it was only a letter that the landlady of his official residence found in the painter’s coat that provided the clue to his Chelsea address where he was traced to just the day before his death.

Turner and the Thames in Chelsea

Turner’s house in Chelsea survived and a plaque commemorates the famous painter. However, the reach of Thames that Turner and later Whistler so much admired has changed dramatically. The old wooden Battersea Bridge that they knew was replaced by Joseph Bazalgette’s bridge in 1890 when Whistler was still living in the area. 16 years earlier the embankment, while providing the solution to the sewage problems, swept away many riverside inns and houses. And yet, if you come to Chelsea or Battersea to watch how the Thames and its bridges are transformed when the sun sets down, you can still feel that magic of the bygone Chelsea that Turner aka Mr Booth must have felt back then.

Quotations in this post after Thea Holme’s “Chelsea” and John Richardson’s “The Chelsea Book; past and present.”

For bespoke tours in Chelsea please contact at You can also follow Nika on Twitter, here.

There are currently two interesting exhibitions; Turner and the Sea at National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and Whistler and the Thames at Dulwich Picture Gallery.

You may have read my lunch review on Sake no Hana earlier this year. The bar and restaurant are part of the Hakkasan group and somewhere you have to visit if you love Japanese food as much as I do.

To add to the delectable experience and if you visit Sake no Hana before 25th January 2014, you will also get to see artwork by Daniele Davitti.

Daniele Davitti at Sake no Hana

Daniele Davitti’s exhibiton at the Sake no Hana bar on St. James Street is the venue’s second art installation as part of A Space For Art, which seeks out remarkable spaces in London and Berlin to place the right art on the right wall.

Inspired by Japan, Davitti’s work has focused on traditional Japanese themes such as the art of ink, kimonos and Japanese style and imagery. Davitti’s portfolio includes global collaborations with Vanity Fair, the Moretti Gallery (London), La Pergola Theatre (Florence) and Arte Fiera International Fair of Contemporary Art (Bologna). And in 2011 Davitti was appointed Professor of Graphic Design and the Aesthetic of Fashion at the Polimoda, becoming one of the youngest professors in Italy.

This is one to check out!

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.”

Last week I had the great privilege of attending the launch of Moleskine’s limited edition range of Mickey Mouse notebooks, which I think is quite a genius yet unsurprising idea if you think about the legacy of both brands: Moleskine notebooks have been scribbled on by some of the greatest creatives, including Oscar Wilde, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Henri Matisse whilst Mickey Mouse is probably the most recognised cartoon character in the world. Mickey’s introduction to cinema audiences heralded a new age of entertainment and the beginning of the Disney empire.

(Mickey Mouse Moleskine Video link)

So to celebrate this first-time collaboration and the art of sketching, drawing and design, on a Friday morning was obviously a great start to the end of last week!

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by MoleskineThe morning began with a delicious buffet breakfast in an upstairs room at Saatchi Gallery’s Mess Restaurant. After we all had a chance to mingle and chat, we were all seated for what was to become a Mickey Mouse drawing masterclass led by Disney Character Artist Seiji Lim.

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by MoleskineAs much as I have always loved Mickey Mouse and drawing, it had never crossed my mind that I could even attempt to sketch him. Why would it? For some reason Mickey always seemed so untouchable. But Seiji led us through a step-by-step process in piecing Mickey together on the page. And here are my attempts …

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine


Mickey Mouse Notebooks by MoleskineMoleskine’s limited-edition notebooks include more sketches to showcase the process of drawing Mickey Mouse. There is even a six-page drawing guide if you want to give it a go.

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

At the end of the session, I asked Seiji if he observes people and uses their mannerisms when drawing Mickey Mouse. Seiji explained that at times he does for example adopt the attitude of say a model and translates it onto Minnie Mouse. But he also explained that he always has to be conscious that he also needs to keep in line with the character’s heritage. I found this all fascinating because I have always considered a Moleskine notebook ideal for jotting down observations. And I for one cannot wait to fill my latest notebook with more doodles, ideas and ramblings. Maybe I’ll even give drawing Mickey another try. 😉

Mickey Mouse Notebooks by Moleskine

The large notebook is priced at £18.50, and the small pocket-sized one is £13.99, which you can buy from selected retailers.

Disney Moleskines

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