The King's Road, once a private
royal route to Hampton Court, is Chelsea's main road, stretching
south-west from Sloane
Square it curves round World's End before going,
(as New King's Road, to Putney Bridge.
From smart Sloane
Square, dominated by the Royal
Court Theatre and the department store, Peter Jones,
the King's Road becomes more downmarket, particularly after
the bend at World's End, where the pub of the same still stands.
The elegant glass façade of Peter
Jones shop, a member of the John Lewis group, sweeps around
Sloane Square into the King's Road. Built in 1935 -
38, the department store was one of first glass-curtain structures
to be erected in Britain.
Shopping is the King's Road's
main obsession and the street is packed with small fashion
shops. It has always been at the forefront of fashion:
the mini-skirt revolution started here in the 1960s and in
the 1970s punk was born at Vivian Westward's clothes store,
Today many of the trendy boutiques
have been replaced by high-street chains but the upmarket
clothes shops that survive offer cutting-edge designs to a
youthful market. Vivian Westward's store, now known
as 'World's End', is at No. 430.
Antiques are important in the
King's Road, and on the south side of the road there are three
areas of stalls for antique-lovers: Aniquarius at No.
131 - 141, Chenil Galleries at Nos. 181 - 3 and the Chelsea
Antiques Market at No. 253.
Sir Terrance Conran opened his
Habitat household store in the King's Road, opposite Chelsea
Town Hall, as a direct challenge to old-fashioned Peter Jones.
Heal's, Habitat's upmarket sister, was established at No.
234. Conran extended his restaurant empire into the
King's Road, with Bluebird, at No. 350, a converted 1930's
garage with a restaurant, café, luxury food store, cookware
shop and flower stall.