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chelsea pubs, the cross keys
© Karen Hatch

Chelsea pubs

If you’re after poshed-up grub and plenty of good times, pay these Chelsea pubs a visit

By Laura Richards
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Chelsea pubs are classy joints for a pint, a souped-up G&T or an exemplary glass of wine. Many of the area’s boozers have transformed into fancy gastro pubs, but that doesn’t mean they’re lacking in atmosphere. So browse our list of SW3’s most handsome boozers, ideal for an evening’s tipple or a more lingering weekend session (complete with grub galore, of course).

RECOMMENDED: Find more fun nearby in our Chelsea area guide

The best pubs in Chelsea

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© Ming Tang-Evans/Time Out

Botanist

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Contemporary European Sloane Square

Sloane Square’s Botanist is one of the upmarket ventures of gastropub-meisters the ETM Group. In accordance with the location, however, it eschews any pubbiness in favour of a cocktail-bar-cum-restaurant feel. The whole place is decorated with images of botanical specimens, while the cocktail menu continues to play with the plantlife theme.

The Chelsea Pensioner

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Chelsea

This Fulham Road pub is a true blue boozer, just moments from Stamford Bridge. But it’s hardly a textbook footy pub, with a junk shop’s worth of kitsch ephemera on shelves. It’s popular for its pool table, a generous weeknight happy hour and satisfying grub – including burgers, hotdogs and nachos.

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Chelsea Ram

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Gastropubs Chelsea

One of the Geronimo Inn fleet, the Chelsea Ram is cosy and likeable in that west London ‘country’ way – flowers, cushions, homely furnishings, smart wallpaper, rustic tables. Geronimo’s outlets generally feature above-average, crowd-pleasing grub and a well-thought-out drinks list, resulting in an agreeable balance between drinkers and diners.

The Cross Keys

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Gastropubs Chelsea

Before its annus horribilis in 2012, when it was closed, threatened with redevelopment and then occupied by squatters as a protest, The Cross Keys was a creaky old-school boozer. It’s now the full gastropub, although, happily, The Cross Keys is still just as dedicated to its beer-drinking crowd. 

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Enterprise

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Gastropubs South Kensington

Divided equally between intimate restaurant and bar, the Enterprise is one of Chelsea’s more formal establishments for a drink. A comprehensive wine list relies heavily on France and, to a lesser extent, Spain and Italy. The bar menu is a delight, with Scotch eggs, sloe gin cocktails and a list of brandies all living merrily side by side. 

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Sam Bailey

Pig's Ear

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Gastropubs Chelsea

Pig's Ear: it’s Cockney rhyming slang for beer. Although, there’s not much Cockney about this west London pub. Still, the real ales from nearby Sambrooks brewery and Orchard Pig cider are lapped up by the Chelsea crowd, who also enjoy indulging in the pub’s fancy menu of food – from seared bream to pork belly and beyond.  

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Tommy Tucker

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Fulham

Like many of the area’s pubs, the TT is focused on fancy food. But it’s very modern in its approach from breakfast through to dinner time. Aside from those posh plates, there’s a list of cocktails well worth checking out – choose from caipirinhas, bellinis and more – although wine seems to be most popular among the Tucker's fan base.

Admiral Codrington

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs South Kensington

Locals affectionately refer to this pub as The Cod, a neighbourhood pub that’s been scrubbed up to meet the 21st century, with posh patterned wallpaper and shiny wooden tables. It’s perhaps best known for its unpretentious pub menu on offer in the adjacent restaurant – fish and chips feels right when ordering here. If the draught ales aren’t to your taste, a strong wine list suits the poshed-up surroundings.

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Chelsea Potter

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs King’s Road

Right on the King’s Road, the Chelsea Potter has seen its share of action down the years: the Stones, it’s said, were once regulars here. It's less rock 'n' roll inside these days, but sitting on benches out on the King’s Road in summer provides ample entertainment. A large suite of gins is stocked behind the bar, which somewhat makes up for the short selection of beer on tap.

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