Pimlico is a small and affluent area of Westminster. Living next door to Belgravia can’t always be easy. Then again, Pimlico has enough grand garden squares and elegant Regency terraces of its own to lessen the smart. For those who can get enough of serenity done the neo-classical way, there are also some outstanding examples of more recent architectural styles on offer. Brutalism (Pimlico Academy 1967-70), pioneering self-contained living (Dolphin Square 1935-7) and pre-war housing (Churchill Gardens 1946-62) are all represented: the product of a patchy social history and several successive waves of development. Close proximity to various political and cultural institutions have also contributed to Pimlico’s eclectic character and created an atmosphere a little more vibrant than the cultivated drone invariably produced by centuries of unbroken peace and prosperity. Take that Belgravia!
Emmily began her day on Pimlico Road, which charmed her with its up-market ‘small town’ feel. The strip contains a host of luxurious home and garden shops, as well as the antique dealers for which the area is known. Lloyd Loom of Spalding may be steeped in heritage but it’s no antique. Its founder Marshall Burns Lloyd’s innovative weaving technique inspired a generation of furniture designers in the 1920s and 30s. Whilst recent years have seen the introduction of new models and considerable investment in cutting edge design, Lloyd Loom’s Pimlico showroom still carries a faint air of classic ocean liner glamour. The amiable Henry Harris will happily talk you through hire and loan requirement, bespoke services and larger orders – no wonder it’s a popular destination for Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Marple buyers. For a more dramatic jump back in time, visit Dale Rogers: Ammonite 2000, which contains a genuinely jaw-dropping collection of rare geological wonders. 55 million year-old fossilised fish, prehistoric skulls and vast crystals are presented with a contemporary flourish that belies their ancient origins. Not far from the station, but somehow a little off the beaten track, is Moreton Street, whose small shops and galleries make it well worth a visit. Peta Smyth Antique Textiles is soft-furnishing heaven, richly-lined with carpets, rugs, cushions, tapestries, curtains and trimmings dating from the sixteenth to the nineenth century. Well-informed and stocked with the kind of colour, texture and design that screams history, Peta Smyth is an invaluable destination for inspiration and hire, and has supplied productions such as the Pirates of the Carribean series. On the same street, Emmily found Gallery 41 run by the veteran Kate Thurlow. Specialising in sixteenth and seventeenth-century English and Continental furniture, its heavy pieces have featured in seventies Bond flicks, A Man For All Seasons and, most recently, a Plink Access movie.
Click here for more about Gallery 41 on Plink.