Spread between Chelsea, Westminster and Belgravia, Victoria sits at the heart of central London. Possessing many of the capital’s most popular destinations, such as Westminster Cathedral; its most gorgeous hotels, including The Rubens at the Palace; as well as some of the world’s leading companies (Google, for instance), it has always had an important place in London life. However, in recent years Land Securities has identified large swathes of the district for regeneration, promising to transform Victoria into a hub for the 21st century. Here, we look at some of the recent changes, to highlight the best things to see and do in the district.
Home to some of the most acclaimed restaurants, bars and restaurants, Victoria is increasingly seen as one of London’s most dynamic food quarters. Whether visitors fancy sushi or steaks, curries or soughdough pizza, there are plenty of new dining concepts to keep even the fussiest customers happy. Favourites include Ahi Poke, which brings traditional Hawaiian fare to the area (this summer), as well as Ole & Steen, Bbar – a laidback South African restaurant on Buckingham Palace Road – and the new English Grill Restaurant at The Rubens. Which also happens to host the city’s finest Afternoon Tea, overlooking the Royal Mews.
As you wander around the neighbourhood, you’ll likely notice that Victoria has metamorphosed into slick shapes of glass and steel, demonstrating what bold design and perfect execution can achieve. The result of a collaboration between three of London’s most innovative architectural practices, Victoria now cuts a fine figure in the midst of central London.
The Living Wall
350 square metres in size, with a total of 10,000 plants clustered on it, passers-by rarely fail to spot one of the Rubens Hotel’s walls, which has something of the jungle about it. Designed to provide waves of blossoming plants throughout the year, the Living Wall includes plant species that attract bees, butterflies and birds, and makes the area so much more pleasant to live in or pass through.
Living & Working
These new features of Victoria would mean little if there were few Londoners living or working in the area. Fortunately, with 603,000 sq ft of office space and 193,000 sq ft of high quality apartments included in the architecturally daring developments, Victoria offers sky-high views, fashionable neighbours and a vibrant community to boot.
Keep up with the stylish trends of SW1 by stocking up at some of the fabulous stores in Victoria. Home to all the retailers that matter, from Hugo Boss to Hawes & Curtis, if shopping sounds a little too tiresome, there’s an array of spas, health clubs and salons, too. In fact, there’s even a five-screen Curzon cinema at the Cardinal Place development, for those who want to catch up with the latest in art house films.
If you’d like to explore the new, regenerated Victoria for yourself, there’s no better place to stay than the refurbished Rubens at the Palace – the area’s pièce de résistance.
All Images are Courtesy of Land Securities