London is constantly evolving. Every time I walk through the City, there are five new skyscrapers and countless cranes. But it’s not the only place that’s seen big building works recently. Many London neighborhoods have. Earls Court, London’s most extreme example, is at the beginning of a multi-decade urban redevelopment project that will change its character forever. So now’s a good time to explore.
Earls Court, London
On the western edge of central London, Earls Court is best known for being a popular place for visitors to stay (there’s a hotel on every corner) and for having the most confusing tube station in the city (why I do I always end up on the wrong branch of the District Line?).
But despite its convenient location near the museums in South Kensington, Earls Court isn’t always an obvious place for me to meet friends or discover more of London. Which is too bad, because there are a lot of things to do and places to go in the area.
Earls Court Restaurants and Bars
Restaurants and bars, for example. While the high street can be a bit hit-or-miss, there are staples like Franco Manca, the beloved and oh-so-reasonably-priced pizza restaurant everyone adores. And Garnier, the neighborhood French restaurant that even notoriously harsh food critic AA Gill gave a five-star review.
Or all the pubs in the area, which somehow seem to have cornered the market on inspiring facades and ye-olde-England signs.
And let’s not forget The Troubadour. The iconic cafe and live music venue is one of the most beloved places in Earls Court. Not only have the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Adele performed there, but there’s also a great ambiance in the rustic restaurant upstairs.
On the newer end of things, Earls Court has one of the best secret bars in London. Evans & Peel Detective Agency is a proper speakeasy, complete with an unmarked entrance, passwords, and false identities. Oh, and good cocktails. It adds a nice bit of east London’s edge and excitement to this normally subdued part of the city.
Earls Court Mews and Gardens
Away from the commercial side of the neighborhood, Earls Court also has lovely streets and gardens. The area’s colorful houses are some of the brightest in London, and there are a lot of little mews streets to get lost in.
And that’s to say nothing of the gardens. Like most of the city’s big gardens, only the people that live around them have access. But there’s still plenty to see for those of us with noses small enough to stick through the bars. And what we see are beautiful trees, brightly colored flowers, and pretty gazebos. Swoon.
Earls Court in the Future
There’s certainly enough to discover in Earls Court to merit a trip, and now’s the time to go. The famous Earls Court Exhibition Centre that played host to concerts by Michael Jackson and David Bowie has been demolished, and the 7-phase, 77-acre redevelopment project that is slated to last until 2032 is heating up.
Whether Earls Court will be better or worse after the work is completed is up to each individual to decide. But regardless of opinion, it will soon be a very different London neighborhood.
What are your favorite places in Earls Court, London?