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historic hotel in Knightsbridge called Hans Crescent Hotel

For the last 20+ years this property has been given over to apartments and it had a strange history from WWII onward, but the Hans Crescent Hotel is on my radar right now because it was reportedly a favorite dinner spot of John Singer Sargent when he was working from his studio in London (which had at one point actually belonged to Whistler):

Anyone here on the forum have experience visiting the Hans Crescent there in Knightsbridge? What's to see?
What's a good eatery nowadays?

All I know about Knightsbridge is from lyrics by Elvis Costello :-)

I'm wondering if I could figure out the route Sargent took to get there...

Posted by
3300 posts

Just for fun I have just looked up where his studio was at Tite Street.
It's quite a fair step actually to Hans Crescent.
As a circular walk there are any number of variations, it would be quite interesting.
You could go up to the V and A (with the Natural History Museum), and past the Brompton Oratory.
But I think I would go via the National Army Museum, the Royal Hospital (Chelsea pensioners), Chelsea barracks and through Sloane Square.
Harrods is just round the corner from Hans Crescent, Hyde Park just round the corner.
Go into Hyde Park, and continue along the Carriage drive to the Albert Memorial, opposite the Royal Albert Hall, then down past HTB (Holy Trinity, Brompton) back to the V and A.
You could make this a good half day wander, or even a full day.

I repeat this was just a bit of fun, it is not meant in any way to be a tour guide. Done while I am sat here monitoring a train for a forum member, in case there is a problem on the day after a strike, and a rerouting is needed.

Posted by
12719 posts

Looong ago and far away, my aunt lived in Brompton Square so visited a number of times in the 80's. I used to love walking in the neighborhoods between Brompton Road and Knightsbridge Rd.

Do you ever look at the blog A Lady in London? She has a bunch of DIY walks and I am pretty sure she has one in that neighborhood but honestly I don't have time to search thru all 36 of them this morning, lol!! If you head from Hans Crescent toward Victoria Station there are a bunch of small Mews in the area of Belgravia which I find interesting.

If you did walk the route from Hans Crescent to Tite Street there is the very interesting (to me) Chelsea Physic Garden in the Tite Street area. I also did a London Walks one time of Chelsea that wandered in that area.

Posted by
2316 posts

It's been too many years since I walked around that area, for sure. I bet there's been many changes. Hopefully the car traffic is better controlled!