Back in the 80s, the ultimate hipster destination was the King’s Road. While this dubious honour has taken several steps to the east, Chelsea retains a distinctive air of cool self-assurance. With a vast array of designer retailers, boutiques and neighbourhood restaurants, it’s easy to see how the area has remained popular with the wealthy and royalty alike. With its mixture of small cottages and large homes with even larger gardens, it’s just as desirable for British and American families as it is with European professionals (particularly the French) and more recently the Russians. Those looking to rent in a fashionable part of town should look around Carlyle Square, Swan Walk and Tregunter Road, but families looking for good quality, spacious long lets near good schools tend to gravitate towards The Boltons.Truly the home of the global elite, Knightsbridge has always been home to an international crowd. It certainly isn’t one for wallflowers, as it’s resplendent with opulent designer stores and jewellers, not to mention Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Recent new build developments have followed suit, accommodating Rolex stores and Porsche showrooms next to residences. Apartments at One Hyde Park remain the most expensive ever sold in London. Joining those is 199 Knightsbridge and the Bulgari residences, all tributes to unabashed luxury. However, Knightsbridge does have pockets of more discreet period architecture around areas like Cadogan Square and Lennox Gardens, which all have distinctive red-brick facades overlooking private greenery. The white stucco-fronted houses of Egerton Terrace and Egerton Crescent are also low-key affairs that fetch high prices.