King’s Road is one of London’s most notorious stomping grounds for fashionistas, celebs and royalty – a mecca for the well-heeled Chelsea girl, it’s patrolled constantly by a stream of well-groomed, glossy haired, designer-bag-toting women; amongst them Kate and Pippa Middleton. It’s home to the Blue Bird Cafe, a restaurant that Kate and her family have often visited, and one which is very much a draw still for visitors to the area’s many shops. (Kate is pictured below in 2006 for the opening of the cafe’s shop.)
It’s also home to French Sole, the British ballerina shoe company that has served Kate and Pippa, as well as Princess Diana before them – the flagship store is opposite Blue Bird, making it easy to nip in and out for some fittings after dinner!
King’s Road is just under two miles long, although most of the shopping area is located near Sloane Square to the south. You can catch a Tube to Sloane Square and take a look around Duke of York Square before beginning your walk along the road!
As you can probably guess, there’s a bit of royal history to this road, as it was used by King Charles II to travel to Kew, and was a private royal road until 1830. Rule Britannia was composed at 215 King’s Road, and it’s easy to see why this street has become one of the centrepieces of British fashion – starting in the 1960s, it’s been the home of mod fashion, hippie culture, punk ideals, and now the upper middle classes. Always at the front of what’s new and cool, it was even home to the UK’s first branch of Starbucks back in 1999.
King’s Road is home to many of the same high street stores that we’ve mentioned previously in this series, but it’s also home to some of the newer brands that we’ve seen Kate wearing recently. Brora has a store there, and in stock even now are the gorgeous gold filigree earrings that the Duchess first wore on her India tour.
Even more recently, Kate debuted some beautiful Soru Jewellery earrings purchased on King’s Road and worn at the Art Fund Awards on 6 July 2016 and to Wimbledon on the following day. These pretty baroque pearl earrings were purchased at Baar and Bass, according to Soru’s Twitter account, and the fashion and lifestyle boutique is located at 336 King’s Road.
@WhatKateWore Hi! It’s very similar… She is wearing the same stone from our AW collection. Bought from @baarandbass available online soon
— Soru Jewellery (@SoruJewellery) 7 July 2016
Baar & Bass also has some other royal links, as the shop is the exclusive stockist for Chelsy Davy’s range of jewellery (AYA), and they also regularly dress her for events, too! Baar & Bass was launched by Maddie Chesterton, an entrepreneur who trained at St. Martin’s, and is a haven for exclusive clothing and accessories, as well as a mixture of established brands and lifestyle items. You can find them online at http://baarandbass.com/.
There are a couple of interesting outlet stores on Kings Road too, perhaps the source for some of Kate’s thrifty bargain buys? One is the L.K. Bennett outlet store, full of dresses, shoes and bags, and beautifully laid out.
The second is for Joseph, a brand Kate has turned to on a few occasions for beautifully tailored dresses. This outlet store is very cramped and somewhat eccentrically stocked – but it does mean that a visit can feel a bit like a voyage of discovery, and the thrill of picking out a bargain is even higher!
As well as these brands and some more high street favourites at the bottom of the street near Sloane Square, make sure you visit the Orla Kiely store and the branch of Jane Taylor, home of exceptional headpieces!
Are you planning a visit to King’s Road? Let us know in the comments! Which would be your first store to visit and why?