Our favourite food quarters…
…are the ones you get from cakes.
But when in West London, it has to be Pavilion Road – a little mews street that had a big reboot in 2016 as Chelsea’s gourmet quarter.
Parked just off Sloane Square, Pavilion Road stretches all the way up to the back door of Harrods – but the Chelsea end is where you’ll find a neat row of independent shops, cafés and grocers; well worth a nose around before you drop £15 on a bottle of artisanal olive oil and spend the rest of the day feeling sick about it.
Here’s the highlights reel:
One of London’s eminent bakeries, Bread Ahead’s been slinging dough since 2013. They started out in Borough Market and now have a couple of branches to their name. Their Pavilion Road store is both a bakery (where you can pick up sourdough loaves, sandwiches and donuts to take away) and a baking school, with half-day courses in mastering everything from New York bagels to Japanese melon pan, as well as festive Victorian bakes, flatbreads, and donuts. Seriously, get the donuts.
Details: Open daily 8am-4pm | 249 Pavilion Road, Chelsea, London SW1X 0BP
Very much not a food shop, but very much worth a mention – Papersmiths is a stationery buff’s paradise. Shelves are stacked with beautifully crafted pens, notepads and workplace nick-nacks designed in Japan, Scandinavia and California. If you can resist the strange urge to own a rubber in a clickable steel casing, you can browse the curated collections of travel guides, coffee table books and indy magazines lining the walls.
Details: Open Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm | 170 Pavilion Road, Chelsea, London SW1X 0AW
Ice Cream Union
Ice Cream Union say they want to “radically change people’s expectations of ice cream.” So
they’re serving it hot they’ve developed over 50 different flavours, including banana split, cornflake, Granny Smith, rhubarb ripple, spiced delica pumpkin, root ginger, smoked sugar and Pimm’s sorbet. And they’re all excellent.
Details: Open daily 11am-10pm | 166 Pavilion Road, Chelsea, London, SW1X 0AW
Granger & Co
Aussie chef Bill Granger – aka “the egg master of Sydney” – has four Granger & Co restaurants in London. What makes this one so special – besides the elegant but laid-back interiors, suntrap terrace and delicious, globally-inspired all-day menu – is that it takes reservations, even for brunch. READ MORE
Details: Open daily 7am-10pm (8am Sundays) | 237 Pavilion Road, Chelsea, SW1X 0BP
The Sea, The Sea
By day, this softly lit space is a high quality fishmongers, selling shellfish and catches of the day fresh off the boats, as well as all the stocks, sauces and marinades you could need to go with them. But by night, lauded chef Leandro Carreira takes up the reins and serves a Japanese-Portuguese menu of pescatarian delights, from squid with sake to rice milk-poached scallops. READ MORE
Details: Fishmonger currently by pre-order only; restaurant open Tuesday-Saturday evening | 174 Pavilion Road, Chelsea, SW1X 0AW
The London Cheesemongers started out as a humble market stall before finally landing a bricks and mortar spot in Pavilion Road. Wheeeey. Passionate about cheese of all kinds, they only ever stock 30 types at any one time, piled up alluringly on their counter. The mongers will be able to talk you through the provenance and technique of each one, and will be more than happy to let you sample – but if you’re really serious, you should book in a session at their tasting room upstairs.
Details: Open daily 10am-5pm | 251 Pavilion Road, Chelsea, London SW1X 0BP
According to an inexorable law of the universe, where there is cheese, there must be wine. Pavilion duly delivers, with 250+ bottles of grape hooch, hailing mainly from France with a smattering of New World picks. You can take them home by the case or the bottle – or take a seat outside in the mews and have a glass there and then.
Details: Open Mon-Wed 12-8pm, Thurs-Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-7pm | 255 Pavilion Road, SW1X 0BP
For context, fruit & veg specialists Natoora supply restaurants like Lyle’s, Koya, Hawksmoor and Core by Clare Smyth, as well as Momofuku Ko over in New York. So yes, it’s kind of a big deal that they’ve popped their flagship grocery here in Chelsea. Pop into their Pavilion Road shop and leave laden with globe artichokes the size of a football, fuzzy flat peaches and 16th century French plums.
Details: Open weekdays 8.30am-7.30pm, Sat 8am-7pm & Sun 10am-6pm | 245 Pavilion Road, London SW1X 0BP
Provenance Village Butchers
Provenance work directly with family-run, award-winning farms to stock their shop with ethically sourced meat. The animals are all grass-fed and free range, and you can taste the difference in the cuts they produce. Swing by for your Sunday roast, or book in for an intimate masterclass to learn your way around beef, pork or lamb cuts.
Details: Open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm | 247 Pavilion Road, London, SW1X OBP
Exploring Chelsea? Cap it off with live jazz at 606 Club