Another year passes, and this Chelsea gastropub’s decor equivalent of a mid-life crisis seemingly continues. Range Rovers line the quiet street it occupies off the King’s Road, their blazer-clad owners propping up the bar while guffawing about putting £20,000 on cashback. But the walls are bedecked with a scattering of retro bloke-ish furnishings, including a framed can of bitter, an Evening Standard billboard announcing George Best’s death and posters harking back to the area’s 1970s punk heyday, including a massive promo cartoon for the Sex Pistols’ ‘Holidays in the Sun’. Our Sunday afternoon visit saw a clientele of well-heeled twentysomethings, middle-aged couples and yummy mummies with squealing infants, all tucking into hearty if variable pub fare.
Smoked salmon cannelloni on carrot purée was a thick finger of fish sitting atop an alarmingly yellow paste, but pork roast loin was far more successful – two thick slices of pork with light, delicate crackling and generously crusted roast potatoes. Real ales (from Sambrook’s of Battersea, plus guest appearances from the likes of Cardiff’s Brains) and Symonds cider are lapped up by the Chelsea crowd, who also enjoy indulging in the pub’s selection of battered board games. It looks like this haven for middle-aged pursuits isn’t at risk of running out of fans any time soon.