I used to be what you could call a ‘Chelsea Girl’ about 10 years ago, with my SW3 postcode, Saturday lunches at the Chelsea Farmer’s Market and drinks at Eclipse on Walton Street. Then, I moved up ‘North of the Park’ where I swapped King’s Road for Westbourne Grove, Eclipse for the Westbourne Pub, and Saturday lunches at CFM for Daylesford lunches and went from ‘Chelsea Girl’ to ‘NHYM’. As a Chelsea girl I remember thinking that Notting Hill was a) not as pretty b) a bit grungy/scary c) a little ‘too cool for school,’ but I followed my other half and 10 years later, all the remnants of ‘Chelsea Girl’ are well behind me and with two kids in tow, I have fully embraced the Notting Hill ‘cool.’
I recently wrote a short piece about London’s most expensive postcodes and the bankers who want to live there. http://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/205575/6-london-postcodes-that-show-youve-made-it-in-banking-and-the-bankers-who-live-there/. It got me thinking about London postcodes and how we identify with them. So what does your postcode say about you?
Zoopla’s Rich List of the most expensive postcodes: http://www.zoopla.co.uk/property/richlist/uk/england/
Highest value areas
1 W8 (Kensington) £2,707,386
2 SW7 (Knightsbridge) £2,493,204
3 SW3 (Chelsea) £2,324,889
4 SW10 (West Brompton) £1,857,677
5 W11 (Notting Hill)
Here is my guide to London’s Most Expensive & Poshest Postcodes:
1. SW1X: Knightsbridge
Your neighbours: Sheiks & Oligarchs
Your Style Icon: Queen Rania of Jordan
Knightsbridge is Blingland. It is home to One Knightsbridge, one of the world’s priciest residences where Sultans, Sheiks and Oligarchs love to mingle with their own kind. For them, the postcode and address are clearly more important than cost per sqm. Their motto is ‘the more expensive, the better.’ Of course with Harvey Nics and Harrods at their doorstep, shopping is a vital past time for the SW1X residents. They love labels, flashy cars, yachts and PJs. Competition is rife amongst the SuperRich, and Knightsbridge is the perfect place for them to show off their latest bling.
2. W8: Kensington
Your neighbours: Kate Middleton & Tamara Ecclestone
Your Style Icon: Kate Middleton
With Kensington Palace and Kensington Palace Gardens, W8 has won the trophy for the most expensive postcode in the UK. It is easy to see why the SuperRich drop £75 Million for a house on Billionaires Row, aka Kensington Palace Gardens, with Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens as their backyard. Then just a few streets away, Phillimore Gardens houses will keep you drooling, which is the best place for Halloween Trick or Treating, with a competition for the best, excessively decorated house on the street. Kensington divides the Chelsea set and the Notting Hill set who are constantly competing for ‘best postcode.’ Ideally located with Holland Park to the West, Hyde Park to the East, South Kensington to the South and Notting Hill to the North, no wonder it is considered the Billionaires Postcode.
3. SW3: Chelsea
Your neighbours: Charles Saatchi, Roman Abramovic, and Hugh Grant
Your Style Icon: Amal Alamuddin (Amal Alamuddin may appear straight out of Chelsea, but she is in fact a Notting Hill Girl).
Chelsea used to be for Sloaney Poneys and the Posh British set, but times have changed. Even the ‘Made in Chelsea’ cast can’t afford to live in Chelsea anymore. Hugh Grant remains one of the last Chelsea Toffs that can be seen toffing around in Chelsea at Brinkley’s on Hollywood Road, right around the corner from his house (unless he moved since my last sighting). Nowadays, it is rich American Private Equity and Hedge Fund kings who sweep up many of the Chelsea Square mansions. The Chelsea set tend to be immaculately dressed and coiffed with head to toe Chanel or Ralph Lauren, thanks to the Chanel store on Brompton Cross or Ralph Lauren on Fulham Road. They do tend to think that ‘it’s Chelsea or nothing’. Chelsea is beautiful, immaculate and manicured, home to the Boltons, some of the most expensive London real estate. But let’s be real, Chelsea is like that really, really good looking guy, who knows it.
4. SW7: South Kensington
Your Neighbours: Italian and French Aristocrats
Your Style Icon: Marion Cotillard, Clemence Poesy
South Kensington used to be ‘the’ place for all the Italian and French to decamp to from Paris, Rome or Milan, helping to make London France’s 6th biggest city with 400,000 French inhabitants. The French of course love it so much that it has the French consulate and the Lycée Francais within 2 blocks of each other. There is even a French street, Bute Street, with a French bookshop and delis filled with Lycée boys and girls. For the French who want a piece of France in London, South Kensington is the ideal place. Their Mediterranean neighbours, the Italians, equally love South Kensington, paying homage to it with the 2001 film with the same name, South Kensington. The Italian aristocrats can’t get enough of South Kensington, and you may just find yourself on one of their 42 m sailing yachts off the coast of Capri if you’re lucky enough.
5. W11: Notting Hill
Your Neighbours: Stella McCartney, Richard Curtis, Writers, Musicians and Fashionistas
Your Style Icon: Stella McCartney and Kate Moss
It used to be that Notting Hill was the edgy, cool, hip Postcode, but with the 1999 Notting Hill movie and the Bankers and Funders entering the neighbourhood, Notting Hill has gentrified and become the home of the NHYMs and those artists that have ‘made it’. Some of the Modelistas, such as Elle McPherson and Claudia Schiffer have left, but the newer and younger ones like Arizona Muse have moved in, and Stella still remains. It is also popular with many musicians like Blur and Coldplay musicians and Adele reportedly bought her first house here in NH. Notting Hillers like to think themselves as cooler and hipper than their Chelsea counterparts, but the reality is that they both drive their Black Range Rovers, carry a Bottega Veneta handbag and shop at Net-a-Porter but with a rock chick look like Kate Moss. W11 though still prides itself of its multi-coloured homes and magnificent Private Gardens like Ladbroke Square that most can only dream of.
So what your thoughts on your Postcode?!