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© Ingrid Taylar/Flickr
© Ingrid Taylar/Flickr
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A Nightlife Guide to Kensington & Chelsea, London

Picture of Ruaidhrí Carroll
London Travel Writer
Updated: 4 September 2017
Kensington and Chelsea is home to some of the wealthiest people in the UK – Made in Chelsea springs to mind. Despite being the smallest borough in London, the area has managed to cultivate a superbly stylish nightlife scene worthy of its rich patrons. Chelsea may kick a ball about in Stamford Bridge, but that’s not the only striking venue in the locality.

Montezuma

Named after the last Aztec emperor, Montezuma hosts over-21s nights with a smart-elegant dress code in a stylish modern bar. After opening in December 2015, Montezuma was named May 2016’s Bar of the Month in GQ magazine, before winning Best Boutique Club at the London Club & Bar Awards in 2016 and 2017.

Hyde

Situated on the southwestern peripheries of Kensington Gardens and opposite Kensington Palace, Hyde promises a night of stylish sophistication that lasts until 3am Thursday to Saturday. On weekends, delectable contemporary Pan-Asian cuisine is available alongside the delicious signature cocktails served up Wednesday to Sunday.

Embargo República

Another club with worldly influences, Embargo República is Kensington’s answer to Cuba, complete with the iconic image of Fidel Castro, live Cuban music and strong Cuban vibes. While thinking about Cuba is likely to spark mental images of poverty and depravity, Embargo República conjures a picture of style and class befitting of its Kensington home.

Maggie’s Club

Maggie’s continues with the theme of clubs that have embraced the interior design style of decorating walls with the face of a former world leader, which is admittedly less common in the UK than in more authoritarian countries. This 1980s-themed bar, where the tables are Rubik’s Cubes, has gone one step further and become a namesake of the leader in question – in this case, former British Prime Minister Margaret “Maggie” Thatcher.

JuJu

Indulge your inner socialite on Chelsea’s King’s Road at JuJu, where the booths have leather seats, the ceiling is reflective and the champagne and cocktails are a-flowin’. Winner of the London Club & Bar Awards’ Best Bar, Best Mixology and Best Late Night Bar categories between 2011 and 2013, JuJu is also a popular venue for private hire.

151 Club

Party the night away in this intimate basement nightclub where cosy booths and alcoves surround the dance floor. Open from 11pm-3am Monday-Saturday, 151 Club on King’s Road in Chelsea serves exclusively as a nightclub, but with the dedication to open six nights of the week.

Kensington Roof Gardens

Start your evening off with some tasty rooftop cocktails and maybe even a bite to eat from The Roof Gardens perched above Kensington High Street. After enjoying some skyline views in the evening, mosey down one floor to find the nightclub, open from 10pm-2am on Friday and Saturday nights. Be sure to call up to check the gardens are available before heading here because their striking beauty – not to mention the resident flamingos – makes the place very popular for private events.

Kensington Roof Gardens
Kensington Roof Gardens | © Rictor Norton & David Allen/Flickr

Eclipse

Get your evening off to a casually classy start in Eclipse, a compact Kensington cocktail bar on Old Brompton Road that opens at 5.30pm every day of the week, making it a great spot for after-work drinks. Part of an international chain, Eclipse is also represented in Barcelona and Istanbul. Walton Street in nearby Chelsea is home to the original Eclipse, but the Kensington bar has longer opening hours.

Barts

Step into the private apartment of the elusive ‘Uncle Barts’, a prohibition-era speakeasy cocktail bar run by Chicago gangsters, where rules include “speak easy, drink hard” and “Party like it’s 1929.” Found – if you know where to look – in Chelsea Cloisters on Sloane Avenue, Barts is open from 6pm every day.