Where Michelin-starred restaurants, and acclaimed museums jostle for attention. And where the world’s most exclusive boutiques stand next to one another.
Naturally, it is here, that you will find perhaps the most famous department store in the world, Harrods. A store so ‘Knightsbridge’, that not only does it have its own dress code but is possibly the only department store to boast its own motto; Omnia Omnibus Unique (Latin for, All Things For All People).
But then Charles Digby Harrod was not a man short of ambition. Having bought the original Harrods from his father, he set about building it into a department store where the rich and famous could buy anything, anything at all. Over the years they have sold everything from Warhols and Picassos to yachts, flying lessons and even an alligator to Noel Coward. As well as tins of baked beans.
Knightsbridge has not always been like this though. Back in the 17th Century, this area was no more than a wasteland between the two villages of Chelsey and Kenesignetun - or, as they are known today, Chelsea and Kensington. It’s most distinguishing feature, other than a reputation for lawlessness, was the bridge that went over the Westbourne River and connected Chelsey with London - which explains half of its name.
This was also the bridge that knights would use when going to London to fight in the Holy Wars, as tradition had it that they first had to receive a blessing from the Bishop of London at Fulham.
According to the legend, on one particular day, two knights using the bridge got into an argument that quickly descended into a fight. During which both knights fell into the river, when due to the weight of their armour, drowned. It was in memory of these two hot-headed knights that the area became known as Knightsbridge.
Or did it?
As with so much of London’s history, there is an alternative version. It goes: the bridge was known locally as ‘Stonebridge’ until a knight called Sir Knyvett was attacked while walking across it late at night. Sir Knyvett fought off his attackers, and as a consequence, the bridge gained a new name.
While yet others will tell you, the name derives from the fact the area was a meeting place for local youths – where ‘knight’ was a slang term for ‘lad’.
Whatever the truth is, what remains indisputable is that Knightsbridge can’t help but reward and delight anyone visiting the area.