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Belgravia is well known for the grandeur of its residential property, SW1 postcode closeby to the boutiques of Sloane Street and Knightsbridge and the recognizable tone of cream paint that dominates the area. The area is bordered by Hyde Park to the North, Grosvenor Place (which divides Belgravia from the gardens of Buckingham Palace) and Buckingham Palace Road to the East, Pimlico Road to the South and Chelsea to the West beyond Sloane Street.
Unlike its neighbour Mayfair, Belgravia hasn’t always had a majestic reputation. During the 18th century the piece of land was used for grazing sheep and was known as the Five Fields. A bridge crossing the river was known as the “Bloody Bridge” due to the occurrence of many violent robberies that took place there. However, after the Grosvenor family developed the area, it quickly became stylish.
Central Belgravia is mainly residential. The area does have a few shops as outliers, mainly on Elizabeth Street and Motcombe Street. These streets have a village-like feel and are home to stores such as De Vroomen, a famous jewellery designer, and Mungo and Maud which offers accessories and cashmere sweaters for your pets. The small yet smart selection of boutique stores along with antique shops and galleries provides a certain charm.
Restaurants like the award-winning Thai restaurant on Grosvenor Place, The Mango Tree, and Boisdale of Belgravia attract knowledgeable diners. Prestigious schools such as Francis Holland, the American International School and the nearby Westminster School can also contribute to the reason why many wealthy families reside here.
Belgravia is owned by the Grosvenor Estate which owns a majority of Mayfair as well. Belgravia is expensive and offers exclusive management by the Estate, albeit with strict requirements and high service charges. Many properties are becoming freehold due to leasehold reform and the Estate is also selling new leases, notwithstanding a hefty fee. However, even if you own the property freehold, the Grosvenor Estate still upholds strict rules outlining how it is to be maintained.
Belgravia has a diverse range of homes, which is similar to Knightsbridge, offering flats and penthouses as well as cottages and mansions. You can buy a five-story mews cottage on Lower Belgrave Street for around £1,300/sqft, a terraced house on Chester Square for £2,500/sqft or a four bedroom flat in a new development such as 21 Chesham Place for around £3,500/sqft.
The average property in Belgravia goes for around £3 million. The average flat is selling for about £2.2 million and the average terraced house is close to the £4.7 million mark.
Prices vary here much more than in other neighbourhoods of London, particularly because of the huge variety of properties available. Eaton Square, Belgrave Square and Chester Square are among the grandest of places to live in Belgravia and are home to the area’s most elegant mansions.
Belgrave Square is home to embassies, charities and institutions with very few single homes left in between. With so many embassies comes a strong police presence and great protection of the area, which can be an added bonus that foreign buyers look for when deciding what specific area to purchase property.
Mostly all of the Eaton Square mansions have all been converted into flats. According to the Estate, only 8 out of 118 properties are still single homes. It has a significant presence in Belgravia as the largest of the three squares and is mainly composed of long terraced houses with pillared, grand-entry porches aligning the square. Bustling King’s Road runs down the middle of the square leading to Chelsea along with two other parallel streets which divide the square into six large sections.
Chester Square, although not as grand as Belgrave or Eaton Square, is a small residential block and home to many single houses in their original form. A small string of houses parallel to Ebury Street has been named Mozart Terrace honouring previous notable resident Wolfgang Mozart. Baroness Thatcher also resides in Chester Square, and Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein, lived in Belgravia in the beginning of the 19th Century. Lowndes Square has proved lush enough to persuade the UK’s second richest man, Roman Abramovich, to buy property there.
The squares are definitely the most desirable place to live in this neighbourhood and provide an array of different housing options.
There is ample transportation in Belgravia with a tube stop highlighting the four corners of the area. In the NE there is Hyde Park Corner, followed by Victoria, Sloane Square and Knightsbridge moving clockwise. These four stations serve the Piccadilly, Victoria, Circle and District lines and provide many options when trying to journey around the city. However there is no tube station in Belgravia itself allowing the area to retain its residential charm, avoiding much of the bustled feel of the rest of the capital.
Overall, Belgravia is quiet and secure, with more properties onlooking green areas than anywhere else in the capital, making it the ideal place for the family or those looking for a tranquil cove in the close to some of the cities most cherished boutiques.