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Tag: South Kensington

September 30, 2017

Commie Ferraris

by Matthew Steeples

Protestors descend on H.R. Owen Ferrari dealership in South Kensington screaming: “Kill the Rich!”   On Saturday afternoon a bunch of protestors held a protest outside the Brompton Road Ferrari dealership H.R. Owen.   Seemingly something to do with rights for cleaners, the assembled ragbag waved Communist flags and shouted: “Kill the rich!” and “Fight … Continue reading “Commie Ferraris”

July 9, 2017

Expensive Shit

by Matthew Steeples

‘SHIT’ to be sold at Christie’s in South Kensington; it comes at quite a price   A painting which simply depicts the word ‘SHIT’ is to be sold at Christie’s in South Kensington, London this month.   Offered with an estimate of £2,000 to £4,000 ($2,590 to $5,180, €2,260 to €4,520 or درهم9,470 to درهم18,940) … Continue reading “Expensive Shit”

June 26, 2017

Tea at Blakes

by Matthew Steeples

Matthew Steeples takes tea in the delightful courtyard garden at Blakes Hotel in South Kensington, London   Blakes Hotel is synonymous with the now much overused description “boutique hotel” and is generally considered the world’s first. It opened in 1978, is a destination that is popular with the likes of Seal and Sharon Stone and … Continue reading “Tea at Blakes”

June 21, 2017

Disappointing Dent Coad

by Matthew Steeples

New Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad fails to join Labour heavyweights showing support for the single market   Prior to her victory, the now newly elected Member of Parliament for Kensington, Emma Dent Coad, clearly and repeatedly said she’d “fight to retain access to the single market”. Yesterday, however, she failed to join a whole … Continue reading “Disappointing Dent Coad”

June 19, 2017

Letters – Berkoff & Brenda

by Matthew Steeples

Actor and producer Steven Berkoff suggests Her Majesty The Queen should open up Buckingham Palace to survivors of last week’s Grenfell Tower tragedy   Sir   In these grim times, when the shadow of death is stalking us with bitter regularity, an opportunity presents itself for our beloved Queen to actually do some real service … Continue reading “Letters – Berkoff & Brenda”

June 10, 2017

Empire State of Knightsbridge

by Matthew Steeples

Penthouse with tower in prominent Knightsbridge landmark for sale for £8.25 million   A penthouse with a tower in a Grade II listed landmark triangular ‘flat-iron’ building on the border of South Kensington and Knightsbridge has gone on sale for £8.25 million ($10.51 million, €9.39 million or درهم38.62 million).   Created in 1991 to designs … Continue reading “Empire State of Knightsbridge”

June 8, 2017

A Question of Borwick

by Matthew Steeples

Matthew Steeples asks Conservative candidate for Kensington Lady Borwick five questions; he put the same to the Liberal Democrats Annabel Mullin also whilst Labour’s Emma Dent Coad failed to respond   In the final hours of the 2017 General Election campaign, I asked the Conservative candidate for Kensington, Lady Borwick, five questions I considered relevant … Continue reading “A Question of Borwick”

Flop or Fly?

by Matthew Steeples

London estate agents launch three properties priced over £25 million each on General Election day   Pundits may be referencing worrying times ahead in Britain’s post-Brexit economy, but London’s top tier estate agents have come out all guns blazing on General Election day and launched a series of jaw droppingly priced properties.   In Knightsbridge’s … Continue reading “Flop or Fly?”

June 1, 2017

Annabel Mullin – What’s on your mantelpiece?

by Matthew Steeples

A 20-question interview with criminal justice expert, former police officer and Liberal Democrat candidate for Kensington Annabel Mullin   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? To live every moment to the fullest and make the biggest difference to people’s lives that I can.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, … Continue reading “Annabel Mullin – What’s on your mantelpiece?”

May 29, 2017

A Land of Contrasts

by Matthew Steeples

Kensington and Chelsea – The land of the ‘have-a-lots’ and the ‘have-nothing-at-alls’; an example of a contrast too far   The mere mention of the area of Kensington and Chelsea brings all sorts of connotations: One thinks of the Albert Hall and Hyde Park, Harrods and Harvey Nicks and one imagines affluence and culture. Here … Continue reading “A Land of Contrasts”

May 13, 2017

Lady Ridsdale DBE (1921 – 2009, née Victoire Bennett)

by Matthew Steeples

Dame Paddy Ridsdale, as she generally known, was an intelligence operative, secretary to Ian Fleming during WW2 and the inspiration for the Bond character Miss Moneypenny.   A Conservative Party stalwart and married to Member of Parliament for Harwich from 1954 to 1992 Sir Julian Ridsdale CBE (1915 – 2004), Dame Paddy – or Vicky, … Continue reading “Lady Ridsdale DBE (1921 – 2009, née Victoire Bennett)”

April 30, 2017

Advertorial – City Relay

by Matthew Steeples

Matthew Steeples takes a look at the services offered by City Relay, a hassle free short-term rental management company   Established three years ago and based in Earl’s Court, City Relay offer the very best guest and host management services for over two hundred apartments and houses in Central and West London.   Primarily focused … Continue reading “Advertorial – City Relay”

March 27, 2017

Bigots & Baseball Caps

by Matthew Steeples

Intolerance comes in many forms but the very worst kind is middle class hypocrisy   In a week when Damien Hirst was told: “Go home!” by animal rights activists in Venice (who also dumped 40kg of dung outside where he is due to exhibit a non-animal related show at the Palazzo Grassi), I, myself, experienced … Continue reading “Bigots & Baseball Caps”

March 23, 2017

The Loss of La Bras

by Matthew Steeples

The closure of La Brasserie in Chelsea should send a signal to greedy landlords; their avarice is killing London   There are restaurants that come and go and there are ones that become institutions. La Brasserie fell into the second category but sadly, yesterday, after 45 years in business, this popular dining spot closed its … Continue reading “The Loss of La Bras”

March 16, 2017

Not So Roomy

by Matthew Steeples

Small, single room in South Kensington to be sold for £150,000 at auction   A single room in South Kensington is to be auctioned for the staggering sum of £150,000 ($184,000, €172,000 or درهم675,000).   Curiously offered with a “reserve price not to exceed” that sum, the 205 square foot space is on the lower … Continue reading “Not So Roomy”

October 24, 2016

Mapping Trump

by Matthew Steeples

The world according to Donald Trump (and where to watch the US elections in London)   According to the Bulgarian artist Yanko Tsvetkov, Donald Trump is an example of “a modern Icarus, Trump thinks he’s a butterfly that can cause a hurricane. The problem is he can’t fly”.   In the latest map in his … Continue reading “Mapping Trump”

October 22, 2016

The Pret Prayer

by General

A new addition to the South Kensington neighbourhood in October 2016, the Pret Prayer likes to get his mat out in front of all and sundry in Pret A Manager in Old Brompton Road, SW7. He also likes to paint and listen to his radio – on full volume, of course. He then joins the … Continue reading “The Pret Prayer”

October 15, 2016

The Pret Sleeper

by Matthew Steeples

Spotted early in the mornings in Pret A Manager in South Kensington, the Pret Sleeper wears loafers and an entirely black outfit. He usually purchases nothing and sits and sleeps. Occasionally he takes out a notebook and biro but only once has he been heard to speak; he choose to ring his bank manager about … Continue reading “The Pret Sleeper”

August 11, 2016

Room to swing a cat

by Matthew Steeples

Tiny studio in London’s SW7 offered for sale for more than the average price calculated to buy enough space to swing a cat in that area   It costs £119,965 or £1,527 per square foot to buy enough room to swing a cat – calculated at 78.54 square foot by the homeless charity Shelter – … Continue reading “Room to swing a cat”

July 19, 2016

An SW3 raid

by Matthew Steeples

Home Office immigration enforcement officials raid SW3 apartment block that counts actress Jacqueline Bisset amongst its residents   A ritzy Chelsea apartment building that counts Bullitt star actress Jacqueline Bisset amongst its residents was raided by Home Office immigration enforcement officers on Friday last.   Crompton Court on the corner of Brompton Road and Pelham … Continue reading “An SW3 raid”

May 19, 2016

Mr Make a Big Issue

by General

Big Issue sellers are normally pleasant but Mr Make a Big Issue is quite the exception.

April 19, 2016

The Pret Spitter

by General

Always in a red ski jacket and always with a trolley and umbrella, The Pret Spitter is a most unpleasant vagrant.

April 12, 2016

Overheard – 12th April

by Matthew Steeples

Clangers overheard and snippets spotted by readers of ‘The Steeple Times’

April 11, 2016

The Pamborghini

by Matthew Steeples

Pink Lamborghini owned by 32-year old multi-millionaire appears in South Kensington (complete with images of Pamela Anderson)

April 3, 2016

Two guys sitting at a bar

by Matthew Steeples

An amusing artwork based on a conversation at a bar is to be offered at Christie’s in London in April

March 20, 2016

Review: The Adria Hotel

by Matthew Steeples

The Steeple Times’ Matthew Steeples and ‘photographer to the stars’ John Stoddart review South Kensigton’s The Adria Hotel and are pleasantly surprised (despite the lack of alcohol)

February 28, 2016

Arthur Woodham

by General

Born on Christmas Day 1927, Arthur Woodham is famed for his eponymous café in Kingsland Road, Dalston.

February 21, 2016

Hannah Wick

by General

Despite having suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), Herefordshire born Hannah Wick displays passion and gusto that’s hard to find.

February 15, 2016

Tom Read Wilson

by General

Berkshire born singer, actor and sports massage therapist Tom Read Wilson described himself as “a cultural throwback” when he appeared on the BBC show The Voice in February 2016.

January 10, 2016

An expensive studio

by Matthew Steeples

Small studio flat overlooking Britain’s most expensive street for sale for a staggering £2,300 per square foot

December 9, 2015

A hidden place

by Matthew Steeples

Unusual South Kensington artist’s studio in hidden mews for sale

November 27, 2015

Grand gardening

by Matthew Steeples

South Kensington communal garden offered for sale for the staggering sum of £175,000

November 5, 2015

Club class

by Hugo Campbell-Davys

Hugo Campbell-Davys tours London’s latest private members’ clubs

November 4, 2015

Taking bijou to another level

by Matthew Steeples

South Kensington studio with what are described as “two sleeping areas” hits the market for a staggering £1.195 million or £1,950 per square foot

October 15, 2015

Angelo Vizcaino

by General

A popular and hard-working waiter at La Brasserie in London’s Brompton Cross, pint-sized Angelo Vizcaino delights in telling customers about his love of Cuba and his pet dog.

September 27, 2015

Mr Penny Farthing

by General

Often spotted on the roads of Kensington and Chelsea, as little is known about Mr Penny Farthing as his fellow eccentric The Fantasy Cyclist.

September 16, 2015

Five of the Best: Artists’ studios

by Matthew Steeples

‘The Steeple Times’ chooses five artists’ studios for sale that will appeal to creatives with significant means

August 21, 2015

The Ark of Brompton Cross

by Matthew Steeples

Playboys swarming the streets of SW3 have turned Brompton Cross into the Arabian answer to Oxford Circus

July 10, 2015

A Spitfire soars

by Matthew Steeples

Spitfire smashes £1.5 million pre-sale estimate and soars to sell for £3.1 million for charity in London

July 9, 2015

From Russia with Cash

by Matthew Steeples

Anyone who watches Channel 4’s ‘From Russia With Cash’ will agree that it is now time for estate agents to be regulated suggests Matthew Steeples

June 12, 2015

Sods, bitches and gin

by Matthew Steeples

Raising a toast to World Gin Day with VII Hills gin at La Brasserie

May 21, 2015

Closing the avenue

by Matthew Steeples

Chelsea institution Poissonnerie de l’Avenue to close after 53 years in business on 24th May

A light mile

by Matthew Steeples

Running shoes in which Sir Roger Bannister became the first man to run a sub four-minute mile to be sold for £30,000 to £50,000 in the Christie’s ‘Out of the Ordinary’ sale

May 20, 2015

Maxing the council

by Matthew Steeples

A £1.15 million ex-council flat sums up just how bonkers the Chelsea property market truly is

May 8, 2015

Ann Barr (1929 – 2015)

by General

Despite defining “The Sloane” and “The Mayfair Mercenary”, the co-author of The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook lived out her final years in Notting Hill 

April 27, 2015

Kensington Claus

by General

It’s Christmas every day for this bearded giant. Generally spotted in the pubs of South Kensington and always on his own, Kensington Claus has favoured drinking spots at each bar he visits

April 11, 2015

Barbara Casasola

by General

This Brazilian firecracker and rising star of the fashion world loves spending time at 5 Hertford Street and the National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

March 22, 2015

Pat Albeck (AKA “Queen of the Tea Towel”)

by General

Hull born textile designer and mother of one Pat Albeck studied at the Royal College of Art in the 1950s and is best known for creating special tea towels for the National Trust.

February 22, 2015

Messing up a McLaren

by Matthew Steeples

McLaren 650S Spider totaled in accident in Belgravia’s Eaton Square

February 21, 2015

Model Behaviour

by Matthew Steeples

La Brasserie celebrates London Fashion Week and the Gin Festival with a new cocktail named ‘Model Behaviour’

December 28, 2014

Meet a Moron

by Matthew Steeples

Marinka Smirnova illustrates that stereotypes sometimes can be spot on

December 6, 2014

Pablo Salcedo

by Matthew Steeples

This cheerful barman lives in Chelsea and works at La Brasserie in South Kensington.

October 30, 2014

Brian Crawford ( – October 2014)

by Matthew Steeples

A director of Jermyn Street’s famous Tramp nightclub, affable Brian Crawford trained at Kensington’s Royal Garden Hotel and also worked at the Dome and Acanthus in Edinburgh.

September 20, 2014

Sloane discretion

by Matthew Steeples

Matthew Steeples reviews Chelsea townhouse hotel San Domenico House   San Domenico House is a hidden secret; a small hotel that’s physically minutes from the bustle of Sloane Square yet literally a world away from it.

September 9, 2014

Keep an eye on the auctions

by Matthew Steeples

An analysis of the results of the Christie’s Out of the Ordinary and RM Auctions Battersea sales

September 6, 2014

Rank Rolf

by Matthew Steeples

Does Rolf Harris a right to complain about what he’s being fed in prison?

August 26, 2014

Squalor in South Ken

by Matthew Steeples

The worst property particulars ever?   Estate agents often use clever photography to promote properties and urge sellers to tidy up and brew hot coffee before viewings. The brochure for a one bedroom flat in Stanhope Gardens in London’s South Kensington, however, is an example where an agent has done anything but.

August 24, 2014

Out of the Ordinary

by Matthew Steeples

Highlights from the second annual Christie’s South Kensington sale of unusual items and objects, ‘Out of the Ordinary’   On 3rd September Christie’s South Kensington will auction “an eclectic selection of art and ephemera celebrating the joy of the unconventional”. Here, The Steeple Times selects a few highlights

August 22, 2014

Drilling a bank robbery

by Matthew Steeples

A drill used in the Knightsbridge Security Deposit robbery on display at Christie’s is a reminder of the world’s biggest bank heist   Former banker David Gainsborough Roberts has amassed an extraordinary collection of items owned by famous and infamous individuals. A selection of them are currently on display at Christie’s in South Kensington and … Continue reading “Drilling a bank robbery”

August 6, 2014

Thai Dang Cao (1953 – 2014)

by Matthew Steeples

The eccentric owner of Old Brompton Road’s Nam Long Le Shaker was famed for creating the legendary Flaming Ferrari cocktail. A favourite of the likes of Lord Archer’s son, James, this lethal concoction consists of 100% proof rum, Chartreuse, Grand Marnier and Blue Curaçao. Of them Dang Cao commented: “If you drink three of them … Continue reading “Thai Dang Cao (1953 – 2014)”

July 28, 2014

Well sly water

by Matthew Steeples

Matthew Steeples examines London venues charging the most for mineral water   A 500ml bottle of San Pellegrino will set you back just 63p in Tesco. At The Wellesley in Knightbridge, however, a customer, Edward Heaton, was left somewhat shocked when he got a bill of £75 for three bottles on 17th July.

July 25, 2014

Upstairs rather than downstairs

by Matthew Steeples

Chelsea revealed to be London’s most popular residential address and not just “a place where servants live”   Whilst in March, estate agents Beauchamp Estates announced that Chelsea is “a place where servants live”; a more recent analysis by local firm Russell Simpson has found quite to the contrary and provides proof that it is … Continue reading “Upstairs rather than downstairs”

July 24, 2014

Plated IX

by Matthew Steeples

15 more of the best plates spotted by readers of ‘The Steeple Times’   Continuing our series, below we feature 15 more unusual, laughable and entertaining number plates

July 19, 2014

Romantic heroes: Ian Fleming and James Bond

by James Murphy

James Murphy examines his romantic heroes, Ian Fleming and James Bond   I was privileged to attend the recent Masterpiece art and antiques fair in Chelsea. For me, the undoubted highlight was coming face to face with the letters of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, on Peter Harrington’s stand.

The masters of marketing

by Matthew Steeples

Uber pulls off another great promotional stunt   When London’s black cab drivers protested against Uber in June, the result was to cause an an upward spike of 850% in sign-ups for their app. Yesterday, the San Francisco based company pulled off another clever marketing stunt in hiring ice cream vans to deliver ice creams … Continue reading “The masters of marketing”

July 14, 2014

Bastille Day at La Brasserie

by Matthew Steeples

Bastille Day at La Brasserie was a jolly affair   The 14th July is to the French what 4th July is to Americans. It’s a day to celebrate and at London’s first all day brasserie, La Brasserie, Bastille Day is taken very seriously.

June 30, 2014

The musical tramp

by Matthew Steeples

A can of beer in hand, this bearded wanderer likes to serenade customers outside Brompton Road restaurants such as La Brasserie and Aubaine. He’s been known to do handstands and especially loves persuading old ladies to dance. A donation of £1 will have him jump into a jig.  

June 24, 2014

No clowning around

by Matthew Steeples

Matthew Steeples reviews Toto’s in Knightsbridge, London   It takes something for me to be impressed with a restaurant but after three visits to the newly reopened Toto’s in Knightsbridge, I will boldly declare that I believe it to be the best opening of 2014

June 3, 2014

All that glitters

by Matthew Steeples

Gold Ferrari disintegrates   The gold Ferrari that has plagued the streets of Kensington and Chelsea in recent months is disintegrating.

April 11, 2014

The contrasting couple

by Matthew Steeples

Season for rich Arabs to parade in London has begun   The time has arrived; the annual invasion has begun. The streets of Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Mayfair have been taken over by Arabs and each year they come earlier and earlier.

April 10, 2014

Raising the cocktail

by Matthew Steeples

Karol Rybicki of The Sanderson wins La Brasserie’s first inter-bar cocktail competition   On Sunday evening La Brasserie in Brompton Cross, South Kensington hosted their first inter-bar cocktail competition. The winner was Karol Rybicki of The Sanderson.

April 1, 2014

Plated VI

by Matthew Steeples

15 more of the best plates spotted by readers of ‘The Steeple Times’   Continuing our series, below we feature 15 more unusual, laughable and entertaining number plates

March 26, 2014

Watering down

by Matthew Steeples

Christie’s sell two bottles of water for £23,750   Today, Christie’s in South Kensington sold a ‘piece of art’ made up of two bottles of water for £23,750 and provided indication, surely, that the world’s gone mad.

January 21, 2014

Felicity Kendal CBE

by General

This stunning actress has been known to have both lunch and dinner at La Brasserie in South Kensington on the same day and is best known for playing Barbara Good in The Good Life. Warwickshire born, twice divorced and a convert from Catholicism to Judaism, Kendal’s dream dinner party would include Byron, Gandhi, Eddie Izzard … Continue reading “Felicity Kendal CBE”

December 30, 2013

Naff off

by Matthew Steeples

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 … Continue reading “Naff off”

December 25, 2013

Seeing in 2014

by Matthew Steeples

The perfect spot to say goodbye to 2013   Struggling for ideas as to what to do on New Year’s Eve in Central London? If so, La Brasserie is offering a 6-course dinner with music by DJ Chris Sullivan for just £69.

December 19, 2013

Giacomo Brunelli: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”

by Matthew Steeples

20 questions with photographer Giacomo Brunelli   The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force? Adrenaline.   “Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours? “If you are going through hell, keep going” – Winston Churchill.  

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