New King’s Road was principally known for home interiors and furniture shops. But now the middle strip, from Parsons Green, past Eel Brook Common to King’s Road, is becoming a hub for cafés and artisans.
TAKE A TOUR ALONG THE NEW KING'S ROAD
The changing demographic of the area has helped, with the “ripple effect” driving up prices in Chelsea and South Kensington — and driving people out to more affordable “villages” such as Fulham and Parsons Green. New King’s Road has certainly also benefited from the 40,000 French people now living in Fulham, a nation who favour independent shops.
- Search houses and flats for sale in New King's Road, SW6
ENCOURAGING SMALL TRADERS
Tom Cribb, of chartered surveyors Vause Crib & Co, is among locals keen to promote independent and semi-independent shops in smaller “village” locations. His practice has actively been encouraging landlords in areas of south-west London including Parsons Green, Barnes Village and Clapham’s Abbeville Road.
“My father ran an independent bookshop so I know how important independent retailers are to an area,” he says. “A few years ago when the recession hit, we set out to discover what people really wanted. We talked to local churches and businesses and residents associations, and came up with the idea that if people are to continue to shop locally, it has to be for things for you can’t get at places like Westfield or big shopping centres.” It’s timely, with property developers accused of destroying Chelsea’s diverse character by bringing in international brands at the expense of small, idiosyncratic businesses.
Stylist to the fashion pack: A-list hairdresser Hari Salem’s New King’s Road salon in Parsons Green
Duncan Good, of surveyors and property consultants Miles Commercial Services, who deal with the local area, says: “Landlords are being entrepreneurial and giving new and different retailers a chance.”
Fashion stylist Natasha Coote has opened her concept boutique, NC Natasha Coote, at 173 New King’s Road stocking Danish and Italian brands and offering a fashion concierge service. “Everyone says New King’s Road is what the King’s Road used to be in the Seventies — a boutique environment,” she enthuses.
“This little row was quite derelict,” says Liz Dale of The Cavendish Clinic & Medispa, which has moved next door to Space NK. “But now it’s buzzing.”
Mary Portas’s Living & Giving shop is at No 28, next to Friarwood independent wine merchant, while deli and grocer Bayley & Sage offers artisan breads, cheeses, organic meat and fresh fish. Spanish bar and food store Tienda serves tapas with Spanish wines and sherries, and St Clements coffee shop has just opened next door.
When hairdresser to the A-list Hari Salem opened a salon at 183 New King’s Road, the fashion world sat up and took notice. His clients include Paloma Faith, Kate Moss and Laura Bailey.
“When we first moved into Brompton Cross, it was a no-man’s land, then they gave it a name and it all took off,” he says. “The same thing is happening with New King’s Road. All you need is a hub of two or three interesting shops and people take notice.”
Taste of Spain in SW6: Tienda bar and shop offers tapas, wines, sherries and specialist foods
He predicts a bright and buzzing future for Parsons Green, which, over the last two years has lost some of its Sloaney identity to become hipper and more international. Certainly the local French and Catholic primary schools are a big draw for families, and alongside those who have moved here from France, the Italians and Spanish who live locally want artisan shops and markets.
New King’s Road rents are made favourable for interesting new businesses. “There are incentives available for the correct calibre of tenant,” says Tom Cribb. “And we’ve got a very committed group of investors who take a long-term view, so they will be as flexible as they can at the start of the lease.”
Savills Research says Parsons Green property prices rose 20 per cent last year, and some of the houses on the desirable Peterborough Estate are up 65 per cent over recent years.
A restored five-bedroom family house in Bradbourne Street on the Peterborough Estate is on the market for £3.8 million, while a five-bedroom house in Bettridge Road is for sale at £2.2 million, and a converted mews flat with a garden in New King’s Road is priced at £750,000.