We arrived early for lunch in Flood Street, so explored the local neighbourhood: Oakley Gardens, the home of George Gissing, and Phene Street, which is spelt on the street sign Phené after the local developer, Dr. J.S. Phené, a now forgotten archaeologist, collector, poet and recluse, who wrote about symbolism in literature, whose house at 32, Oakley Street was covered by shields and flags, and was a passionate advocate of trees:
Next door is Margaretta Terrace, named after his wife. It looks more like a grand terrace in Brighton than the back streets of Chelsea:-
We also liked the rather crude columns and bunches of grapes on the Cooper’s Arms in Flood Street itself:
One thought on “Old Chelsea”
Phene was entirely new for me, so, thank you.
I love Flood Street : Jocelyn Herbert and George Devine lived there and every summer had Sam Beckett to stay. I was in awe of him, having just read Murphy and Watt, and seen Godot. I was so anxious about what I could talk to him about but it turned out that he LOVED cricket (he played, rather well and was in Wisden). So from then on we always discussed the latest Test and the chances of the England team.
More Chelsea, please. Richard Rogers’s house in Royal Avenue? Peter Jones (a much underrated building, I think) ? The Pheasantry ?