Central London is losing its character
A house in Pelham Street for £105 million, Tamara Ecclestone spends £1 million on a bathtub and Made in Chelsea’s Spencer Matthews racks up a bar bill of £450,000. These are all headlines we’ve featured recently that illustrate the nonsensical world that has become The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Mayfair and Belgravia.
Yes, we’ll readily admit these areas have always been a home to the elite of England and that things have generally been more pricey but now it’s not about value, it’s about vulgarity. Just as the English toffs are priced out of Eaton Terrace by Russian oligarchs, the residents of Chelsea Green’s The Sutton Trust Estate are campaigning to stop the estate’s owners relocating them to another location to make way for a Candy & Candy style development.
Choys on the Kings Road, which was open for 61 years, has closed and the General Trading Company is no more. Half of Beauchamp Place is empty and Harrods is closing its pets department. The new residents – if one can even call them that given they spend most of the year elsewhere – don’t want anything other than cigar terraces where a gin and tonic will set you back £40 because of the £25 “seating charge” and restaurants that charge £35 for a simple stir fry.
The very things that make Central London attractive are its fine architecture, history and character. We must not let the new wealth destroy them.
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