Pubs

Pub-Food

Once upon a time, King’s Road was lined with banks. You didn’t have to run a few blocks to get to the nearest cashpoint machine because they sat on most corners. But now, most of them are gone as high street chains and estate agents have moved in.

There also used to be a pub called The Ifield, which I always loved going to. I remember once standing at the bar and listening to Hugh Grant chatting up a woman on a stool and I remember once getting back from a winter in the sun holiday to find my favourite actor from Home and Away working behind the bar. It was that kind of place: low-key but full of wonderful surprises and a real local’s haven.

Sadly The Ifield has been converted into flats. At first I was shocked to see my favourite pub become a residential property but it seems that developers are keen to turn more of Chelsea’s gems into homes.

The latest pubs at risk are The Phene and most urgently, Chelsea’s oldest pub: The Cross Keys.

The Cross Keys is located in between the King’s Road and Cheyne Walk. It is 300 years old and the developers who own it are appealing to overturn the council’s decision to forbid planning permission, which would allow the pub to be converted into a home.

With just under two weeks to go until the appeal hearing, there is a petition going around which you can sign here. You can also follow updates on how the petition is doing via Twitter.

Chelsea has already lost a lot of its unique charm at the hands of property developers. For example, Chelsea College of Art which alongside the Royal Academy of Art was responsible for making the King’s Road cool in the sixties, has now moved to Pimlico. And more estate agents are moving into the area in their hungry lust for profit.

But as a Chelsea Girl, since I was three, I urge you to please help save our local institutions because without them we lose our character.

Thanks for reading. x

I am so late to the party with this one, mainly due to my own laziness. Anything over any bridge takes a bit of effort, even if it is merely a hump on the King’s Road. But thank goodness I finally managed to wrench myself from my safety zone and venture to The Sands End pub on Stephendale Road, because what lay in store for me was easily worth a trip out of town!

The occasion was the bf’s birthday lunch: a casual affair with a dozen or so friends. When we arrived, one by one, the pub was already filling up. And the buzz of the locals in a place so off the beaten track felt quite exciting.

As we waited for our friends to arrive, the menu posed a slight challenge. What was I going to order when all I wanted to try was their Scotch Egg?

Eventually our friends started to arrive and we were ready to order. I skipped my starter but snapped a few pics of those which arrived at the table. I also tasted a few and I can readily say that they had surpassed any level of expectation from everyone who tried them.

I was particularly worried about a real foodie friend who isn’t what I would call fussy but he does like his food to be good, like we all do. And he is particularly vocal and eloquent about the food he tastes. When he tried his ceviche dish, he nodded with approval and I knew then that we were going to be in for a delicious afternoon.

So what did the others have for their starters?

Eel

Steak Tartare

Ceviche

Soup

For main, I ordered the Roast Pork …

Whilst others ordered the Roast Beef …

And for dessert, I had the chocolate fondant …

As drinks flowed and everyone enjoyed their dishes – me definitely! – I did wonder why I hadn’t been here before (laziness aside).

Eventually, afternoon became early evening and we moved off the table and headed outside to let the staff prepare the table for the evening sitting.

Outside, we ordered more drinks and as time went by, I couldn’t resist anymore. I had to taste The Sands End’s Scotch Egg!

And what a treat! I’d never tasted anything like it before. The egg was beyond light. It was almost sublime whilst encased in a coat of crispiness. Such sensations.

Somebody ordered a sausage roll, which I didn’t try but it did look very tasty too.

Finally, we left and walked back towards the King’s Road. In fact, the walk was ideal and made the whole afternoon almost guilt-free, so much so that I’ll be heading back soon again!

If at some point you’re heading east to the Olympic Park and if you’re a fan of local Chelsea pubs such as The Kings Arms, The Builders Arms, The Chelsea Ram or nearby The Phoenix, then you may want to try The Calf, a pop-up pub at Westfield Stratford shopping centre.

The guys behind The Calf are Rupert and Jo Clevely who together run Geronimo Inns and who are also behind the Chelsea pubs mentioned above.

As you would expect from a Geronimo Inns pub, good food as well as a selection of wine and beers will be available – so if you’re looking for a home away from home, this could easily be a safe bet.

I’ve never been to Westfield Stratford before but I can imagine that if Westfield is anything to go by, then it is very large and you will need to know your way around. My first and only visit to Westfield made me realise that unless you have hours to wander, then it’s best to know where you’re heading. So, here’s a map to help you find The Calf!

The buzz around the Olympic Park next month is going to be immense, so if you are popping into The Calf for a drink, cheers!

I have a bit of time to catch up on my blog posts and with Ireland playing Croatia on the television, I thought I’d best write a post on where to watch football in Chelsea.

Saying that, after the FA Cup and Champions League, this question may have been answered some time ago. But just in case …

The Hollywood Arms has a great screening room upstairs. You can read my post on watching the Champions League, here.

The Sporting Page is another great local which draws locals. I’ve been meaning to write about this pub for some time and promise to do so very soon.

Other pubs on or around Chelsea Beach include The Kings Arms and The Goat in Boots. All these pubs have enough screens to keep everyone happy but some may be bigger than others.

Further afield, there’s the Anglesea Arms but admittedly I do find the screens quite small there. Saying that, it’s a gorgeous local pub so it depends on what you’re after: atmosphere or a good view of the game.

And of course there’s Bluebird’s courtyard, which you can read more about here.

Erm, where else? The Chelsea Ram apparently shows football and if you fancy a cocktail whilst watching your match, Brinkley’s could be an option.

My list is a bit biased because of the area of Chelsea I live in but if you have other bars or pubs to add to the list, please feel free to leave a comment below. The more options available, the merrier. And who knows, I might actually venture beyond my safety zone!

We Londoners can be so lazy. We have everything on our doorstep, especially if we live in zone one and there isn’t any real reason to travel beyond our comfort zone unless it’s for work or fun. I mean, we don’t have to get into a car to do our shopping and we don’t have to struggle with the notion of finding a decent restaurant within a ten mile radius. We are completely spoiled for choice and especially in Chelsea when it comes to pubs.

Last night I visited The Chelsea Ram for the very first time, which I am ashamed to say. After all, it is one of Chelsea’s legendary pubs and anyone who is truly ‘Chelsea’ would have visited it at one point in their lives. But no not me, I’ve been too lazy enjoying the buzz of the Chelsea Beach or venturing out towards Chelsea Green or the backstreets of Sydney Street.

But as I walked over to Geronimo Inns’s latest Chelsea venture, I realised that in fact The Chelsea Ram wasn’t that far from me. It was barely ten minutes away. And knowing that Geronimo Inns was also responsible for my other favourite pubs in the neighbourhood: The King’s Arms, The Builders Arms and The Phoenix – I was beyond excited to discover its revamp of The Chelsea Ram.

Stepping inside, I discovered a spacious pub that was filled with the mumbles of a very local crowd. The Chelsea Ram is off the beaten track so unless you know it’s here, it’s unlikely that you’ll stumble upon it. You might be lucky enough to do so if you were lost as you made your way to Lots Road or Chelsea Harbour.

I took these pics at the end of the evening, after people had left, because I try not to photo bomb poor souls who happen to step into the path of my blogging addiction. Doesn’t the revamp look lovely?

I especially loved this Tommy Cooper portrait.

The bf and I were seated towards the back of the pub under the skylight which I enjoyed. And as we looked at our menus, I looked around and people-watched. I noticed one of the staff greet a local by their first name and it was clear that the regulars in this pub were not strangers to each other. As people got up to leave, they stopped at the next table to exchange pleasantries whilst another regular dropped into the conversation. In fact, this pub didn’t feel like zone one London. It didn’t even feel like Chelsea. It just felt like what a real local should feel like and I loved it.

The highlight of my supper included the Skate special …

Which I had with fries …

And the Eaton Mess, which I justified devouring because I had been to a spin class earlier that evening. Oh, how the mind likes to play tricks on oneself. But it was so worth it!

I asked the bf what he enjoyed from last night and he pointed out his starter, which was mushrooms on toast with a poached duck egg and rocket on the side.

He also enjoyed his main which was a rib-eye steak with roasted bone marrow and mum’s chips which were large and really crispy.

Our meal was accompanied by a bottle of Malbec Gran Reserva which went down very well.

And I do have to point out that I’m a huge fan of Geronimo Inns’s wine glasses.

By the end of the evening, we were talking to the people at the next table and geeking out on places to eat locally whilst quizzing each other on our favourite restaurants. They were beyond lovely, just like the staff. And as we walked out of the pub, we were greeted by a local who ended up telling me how much she loved The Chelsea Ram.

To see so much affection for one venue was a touching end to a really lovely Monday night.

Chelsea Ram on Urbanspoon

Page 3 of 5
1 2 3 4 5