What: One of Chelsea’s oldest pubs (it dates back to 1892) has been given a new lease of life. The two-storey venue has a ground floor bar and 50-cover dining room while upstairs is a ‘trophy room’ dining room where vintage trophies and cups from around the world are displayed.
Who: The pub marks the first move into the hospitality sector for furniture designer Timothy Oulton, who owns 40 stores across the world in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Sydney, Hong Kong, New Delhi and Moscow as well as in London. Thankfully he won’t be manning the stoves, with Fionnan Flood on head chef duties and Michele Ridolfi The Chelsea Pig’s general manager.
The food: An all-day dining menu of classic British favourites is an unsurprising approach given the pub’s location and likely clientele, with hearty dishes and big, rich flavours featuring. Starters include rabbit terrine with grain mustard, heritage carrots and sourdough crisps; scallops with caramelised celeriac, blackberry and wild mushroom; and boneless chicken wings, with porcini purée and woodland herbs. With the mains things go up another notch with a fish pie to share; Cornish hen pot roast with herb and suet dumplings; Hereford dry-aged rib-eye with treacle marinade and café de Paris hollandaise; and Stargazy pie with langoustine and a puff pastry crown (pictured). Calorie counters might be better off going to somewhere else.
The drinks: Ridolfi, who has worked at bars including Scarfes, Claridge’s and The Arts Club, is behind the cocktail menu, with signature serves including a Chérie Old Fashioned made with Bulleit bourbon, Palo Cortado Gonzales Byass, black cherry and vanilla; and the Pig President with Ron Zacapa 23, Tio Pepe and Unripe Pickled Walnut. As one would expect from its Chelsea postcode, there’s also a solid list of wines, champagnes and premium beers and spirits.
The vibe: This is where Oulton comes into his own with a strikingly dark interior that sets it apart from your local posh Chelsea boozer. Interior design quirks include black panelled walls with backlit porthole-esque art installations of various insects, Oulton’s trademark leather Chesterfield-style banquettes, and wooden honour boards for sports including snooker dating back to the early 1900s and even an old-fashioned deep sea diver in a glass case. Upstairs in the trophy room in particular the vibe feels very masculine despite the rather ornate crystal chandelier-style lighting.
And another thing: It’s been a busy few months for Oulton. Just this week he officially his new East Coast flagship store and showroom in New York City’s Flatiron District.
35 Old Church Street, London, SW3 5BS