Look at the Local Amenities before you Rent a London Flat

How Far – Can I walk?

Everyone knows how important local shops, restaurants, pubs, buses, trains and tube stations are to where you live. The key question when flat hunting is – “how far away are local amenities?” and – “can I walk to them?”.

In order to speed up hunting for a London Flat to rent it’s important to do your research online before you start the time consuming process of booking and attending viewings. Use Google and Google Streetview to look at the property, the street it is in, and how far it is to local amenities.

Fortunately there is a new facility to enable you to automate the process, and I’ve embedded it in this blog, so you can give it a spin.

Here is the amenity report for Pimlico Flats, as you can see we are just about in the top 10% of all locations for walkable amenities. You can put any address into the panel above to compare other locations to us. I am confident that you will find that Pimlico Flats is a better place to rent a Flat than 90% of all other locations in London.

Chinese New Year in London and Pimlico

Chinese New Year decoration in London's Chinatown

Image via Wikipedia

A Happy New Year to you Chinese style from Pimlico Flats! Today Thursday 3 February is the Spring Festival – known in the west as the Chinese New Year, a traditional Chinese holiday celebrated by Taoists, Buddhists and Confucians, and this coming year is the year of the Rabbit.

London will be celebrating Chinese New Year on  Sunday 6 February 2011 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Trafalgar Square with traditional Chinese Dragon ceremonies, and 2 Chinese song and dance troupes, and 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m at Shaftsbury Avenue with Hong Kong Hip Hop – download details of both venues.

Last year 250,000 people attended these free celebrations, and in addition to the main two events there will be a number of stalls, entertainments and a Kung Fu Panda Zone. Chinese New Year is the biggest festival of the year, in the days leading up to the Chinese New Year, people clean their houses, repay debts, buy new clothes and have their hair cut. A celebratory meal is held on the eve of the new year, with many traditional dishes served, to see in the new year fireworks and firecrackers are let off and Lion Dances pass through the streets to bring good luck to the households and businesses they visit. The drums, gongs and cymbals that accompany the Lion Dance are used to scare away evil and bad luck.

If you are looking for a Chinese Restaurant to help you celebrate I cannot give a personal recommendation, but I notice that when Fluid London compiled their list of London’s Top 10 Best Chinese Restaurants two of the ten were from the Pimlico SW1 area.

Hunan (Bar / Restaurant)
51 Pimlico Road, Pimlico, London, SW1W 8NE
Cuisine: Chinese

Sloane Square – Hailed as possibly the best Chinese restaurant in the world and established almost 30 years ago, Hunan has quite a following. It is famous for not having a menu. The chef is so talented that he’ll cook tapas style Chinese dishes to suit your preferences. Chef Peng has developed his own style and although the food has a strong Taiwanese influence, there are many dishes from the Hunan province. The crispy frog legs with fermented bamboo shoots & chilli are particularly intriguing.

Memories of China (Bar / Restaurant)
67/69 Ebury Street, Belgravia, London, SW1W 0NZ
Cuisine: Chinese

Belgravia – Ken Lo’s Chinese restaurant is somewhat of an institution in the world of Chinese food. Established more than 30 years ago, Memories of China is a crowd pleaser delivering continually high standards in an intimate setting. Executive chef, Kam Po But, offers an excellent selection of Chinese favourites as well as more outlandish options. The classy clientele and high prices reflect the restaurant’s location in the heart of Belgravia, the quality food and first-rate service.

What superb recommendations!

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Free Pimlico Restaurant

I can never pass free without writing about it, so I wasn’t going to pass up a restaurant which provides food for free without any comment. For the first time ever there is such a thing as a free lunch, however this time …….. it’s for dogs! Yep – a restaurant serving dog food – only in Pimlico. A restaurant serving free food – only in Pimlico.

Restaurant for Dogs

Lily’s Kitchen Dog’s Diner, 30 Pimilco Road, SW1 is open from yesterday for 6 weeks to promote the company’s dog food – however only 6 dogs may enter at any time. The blossoming pet food company produces fresh food, adding therapeutic herbs, vegetables and fruits. With the help of two homeopathic vets, the company developed canned and dried food, biscuits and treats, and also makes a variety of cat foods. All the meat used is free range or naturally reared; many ingredients organic. “We shouldn’t view dog food as just a commodity buy – it’s not like washing powder,”.

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Pimlico Pub Restaurant – The Orange

Until recently the pub was called “The Orange Brewery” and was one of the best Pubs not just in Pimlico, but in the whole of the country. Newly refurbished in a traditional yet comfortable style, and boasting of being the only Pub which brewed it’s own beer, it offered a range of freshly brewed tasty beers – just what you wanted from a pub in the 1980s & 90s.

Unfortunately as time went by the advent of micro-breweries belittled the exclusivity of the pub’s beer, and recently the decor began to look it’s age, so (perhaps with an envious eye on the success of The Ebury up the road) the new owner closed the Brewery and undertook a massive refurbishment. The Pub has reopened as “The Orange” Public House and Hotel offering accommodation, and upmarket food, and having read several rave reviews I felt obliged to try it myself and report back.

The Orange Pub

There is not a shadow of doubt that the refurbishment creates a lovely building, with an open and light Atrium in the middle. I would think that the Bed and Breakfast would be a cut above the normal Pub Accommodation, but as they don’t publish prices I wouldn’t know if it represents a viable alternative to a hotel.

Our meal was served with adequate service, not up to the service that you would expect from a restaurant, but the staff were pleasant enough and pretty much what you would expect from a pub meal. The food was distinctly above the standard pub fare that you tend to expect in the UK, although again you couldn’t say that it excelled. Personally I tried a Wild Boar, Chorizo, and Chestnut Casserol – which was an adventurous choice costing £12.50 and disappointed dramatically, being over salty and devoid of Chestnuts. A friend couldn’t eat their Lamb, complaining it was tough and undercooked – although I suspect that I would have enjoyed it myself as I like my food on the rare side. Vegetables are priced as an extra, and it grated to pay £3.50 for some mashed potato. The beer was nice, but even by London prices £3.75p for a pint, or £3.50p for an Orange Juice is a lot to pay.

Unusually for a pub the bill came with an optional 12.5% Service Charge added, and I have to say I am always inclined to be suspicious of establishments that do that, as it smacks to me of a dishonest way of making menu prices seem lower than they really are. In this case 3 of us shared a reasonable quality single course, single drink, pub lunch which cost us £67. Frankly, even by Central London standards, that is too much. I don’t know where the professional reviews are getting their five star rave reviews from – this place is one to avoid I am afraid.

Opening Hours
Monday – Thursday: 8am to 11.30pm
Friday & Saturday: 8am to Midnight
Sunday: 8am to 10.30pm

37 Pimlico Road
London SW1W 8NE
020 7881 9844 /

Budget Eating in Victoria, London, SW1

As a local I know all the best places to eat in the local area of Pimlico, Victoria, SW1 and we are richly blessed with a wide range of places to eat which are either take out, or eat in at take out prices.


Restaurant in Victoria

City Harvest Restaurant in Victoria, Buckingham Palace Road view

If you are near Victoria Station at lunchtime then City HarvestRestaurant in Victoria

 is a must. With a wide range of take out food, rolls sandwiches, and several freshly cooked meals every day this is the areas best stop for food. Further – if you mention “Pimlico Flats” you will be able to get a second helping for free!

Victoria Restaurant

City Harvest Restaurant in Victoria, Buckingham Palace Road, Internal view



At the junction where Wilton Rd. meets Warwick Way is Spicy Food Plus – here you can eat a fabulous meal for £3.50p, either to eat in, or take out. Thay have a Tandoori Oven and will cook a Chicken Tandoori, or Kebab, or Naan, for you while you watch.

Kazan – the Turkish Restaurant opposite – does an excellent value menu for those eating before 18:00.

I’m afraid Seafresh, the Wilton Rd. Fish and Chip shop  – whilst offering excellent quality, is severely overpriced. The best Fish and Chips to be had in the area are at Lupus Street .

For Kebabs I have always gone to Marmaris for Kebabs, and they were the best I have ever eaten. Sadly the restaurant has passed into new hands, and is now known as Cyprus Mangal – I can’t guarantee that the food is of the same standard, but I think it’s worth finding out.

Free Second Helping on Pimlico Flats

Restaurant City Harvest offer customers who mention Pimlico Flats a second helping of their dish FREE.

You can find them – on Buckingham Palace Road, opposite Victoria Bus Station

Fresh, tasty food to eat in or take away. Hot meals and made-to-order sandwiches delicious cakes and treats. Outside catering and free local delivery available they take telephone, fax or email orders for corporate breakfasts or lunches. City Harvest prides it self on the use of the highest quality ingredients. Our food is daily and freshly prepared on the premises.

Pimlico Flats have no connection with City Harvest apart from the fact that we eat there whenever we can.

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