UPDATE: Congratulations to Chelsea’s winners:

Most Loved Local Cinema: Chelsea Curzon

Most Loved Local Culture Spot: Saatchi Gallery

Most Loved Local Club or Party: Maggie’s

Most Loved Local Bar or Pub: The Sporting Page

Most Loved Music Venue: 606 Club

Most Loved Local Shop: Green and Stone

Most Loved Local Restaurant: Wulf & Lamb

Most Loved Local Brunch Spot: The Ivy Chelsea Garden

***

Except for brief stints in Israel, the US and France, I’ve spent my whole life living in London. There really isn’t anywhere in the world I’d rather live. London is a city I love. It’s home.

So when Time Out’s Love London Awards are back on the radar I’m always interested to see who gets the votes. And because Chelsea is where I have spent most of my life, I am particularly keen on reading about the local hotspots round here.

When I think about my favourite restaurant I would have to say Sophie’s Steakhouse; it’s a home away from home. The staff are always so friendly and welcoming; their tuna steak salad is a favourite; it’s a great place for cocktails or for a family meal with the little one. In fact the list is endless and I consider Sophie’s to be a local institution.

As for my favourite local brunch spot, while I love Sophie’s, I have to also mention Granger & Co. I could sit here all day, people watching and soaking up the beautiful interior. And when the weather is warmer and the terrace is open their outdoor seating in Pavilion Road’s courtyard is a dream.

But what about coffee spots? That’s an interesting one with more new places popping up. But my vote has to go to The Roasting Party on Pavilion Road for quality coffee and great service. I also love their airy upstairs for somewhere to go to.

Time Out’s Love London Awards have several more categories that include (I’ve added my favourites alongside):

  • Local late-night spot – Brinkley’s on Hollywood Road
  • Local place to drink in the sun – Chelsea Farmers’ Market on Sydney Street. Great music, atmosphere and when the sun is shining, the best place to be in Chelsea.
  • Local bar/pub – Hollywood Arms on Hollywood Road
  • Local music venue – Cadogan Hall on Sloane Terrace
  • Local park – Battersea Park
  • Local club/party – Barts on Sloane Avenue
  • Local LGBTQ hangout – Sadly I think the only LGBT pub in Chelsea has now closed down. I might be wrong; please leave a comment below if you have any suggestions.
  • Local culture spot – Saatchi Gallery at Duke of York Square
  • Local landmark – Sloane Square
  • Local shop – Partridges at Duke of York Square

What I love about Love London Awards is it gives us a chance to celebrate local businesses. The ones I have mentioned are just a few I love. I could have also easily mentioned Rabbit, Wulf & Lamb, Hagen or Bread Ahead. In terms of food and drink the last couple of years in Chelsea have been very exciting.

Voting has already opened and will close on 10th April 2018. The winners will be announced on 2nd May 2018.

So if you fancy supporting your local, you can vote here.

I love it when time flies, you catch up with a friend and it feels like only yesterday when you were laughing and letting the meandering conversation make its own way into the evening. The other week that’s just what happened with one of my nearest and dearest friends and on the night we were perched comfortably on stools along the bar of Chicama; a Peruvian restaurant along the King’s Road.

Over the years we’ve experienced a few firsts together: going to the Orange store in Notting Hill to pick up our first mobile phones on our lunch break; visiting Puglia for a girly holiday when we were both single before we met the men we now have children with; and countless London discoveries as we made our way through our twenties. So it felt like old times when we met at Chicama and discovered this Chelsea gem together.

She recommended the Pera Verano cocktail which she had started the night off with … and I loved it. Beforehand, I’d also tried the Barberola cocktail with Barsol Pisco, rhubarb and cherry – their signature cocktail.

Small plates were spread out throughout our evening and we both enjoyed every dish we tried.

Padron peppers

Tapioca marshmallow with ocopa sauce

Sea bass ceviche, grilled corn, heritage tomato, pickled onion

Fried aubergine, plantain miso, pecans

King prawns, tosted almonds with yuzu kosho dressing

Black rice

And the evening ended with the sign of another fabulous night; an espresso martini with orange coffee liqueur.

Overall, the atmosphere at Chicama was lively; the staff were friendly and the restaurant itself was a real beauty. I’ll definitely be going back again.

Chicama, 383 King’s Road, SW10 0LP, London

One of my favourite things right now is meeting up with Pink Julep blogger, Ashley, for our monthly catch-ups. We normally meet in the mornings over coffee. But when I was invited to review Big Easy’s lunch menu during Ashley’s birthday week, I knew that we had to move our morning natter to lunchtime.
Big Easy King's Road

Normally we talk about all things blogging, business and of course personal. But at some point during Ashley’s birthday eve lunch, I realised that I had completely switched off. There was no business involved. It was just pleasure. Perhaps it was the margarita or …
Margarita at Big Easy on King's Road

… the steak frites, which came as part of the set-menu we tried. But it was the first time I had grabbed a bite to eat at Big Easy and I was pleasantly surprised at how relaxing the place is during the day. I’ve been going to Big Easy for a long time, usually in the evenings or weekends. Never during the working day in the week. It wasn’t empty and the atmosphere was very chilled.

Steak frites at Big Easy on King's Road

Our lunch, which I thoroughly enjoyed, ended with an espresso shot to kickstart us into the second half of our day.

Big Easy on King's Road

And as we headed out and ventured in opposite directions along King’s Road, I was already looking forward to my next meet-up with Ashley. It’s always such a joy!

Big Easy, 332-334 King’s Rd, London SW3 5UR

Chelsea Girl

Itsu has arrived on King’s Road and it seems like everyone has been waiting for it. When I walk down the road around lunchtime now it’s guaranteed I’ll see a parade of Itsu takeaway bags, it’s great. Itsu on King's Road

Admittedly the first couple of times I walked past the store, I was put off by the crowds. But on Thursday the queues weren’t bad at all so I picked up some lunch, which included my favourite salmon box. I also discovered the fruit superseed smoothie; normally blended at the counter, I asked if I could take it away unblended (so I could take a photo of it before mixing it up). The smoothie includes a superseed mix, coconut milk, banana, apple, dates, pineapple and strawberry to be blended with ice.Itsu Lunch

I know Itsu has been around forever but I still can’t help being excited. I love this place and most of all it’s great to have somewhere that doesn’t just focus on sandwiches or pasta since Mori closed.

Chelsea Girl

There’s a new’ish restaurant in Chelsea that I’m excited about. It’s The World’s End Market which I’d looked into a few times before visiting and have always seen a good buzz in the evening. Curious, I had it on my list of places to check out. But before I could organise myself, Fiona from London Unattached kindly invited me to go along with her for lunch and review it.

Neither of us were disappointed.

The World's End Market

Inside, the interior stays true to the pub features of the original building which is a great thing. I’ve visited this venue over several years and its style has always changed but this is the first time in a long while since it actually feels authentic.

Bright and spacious during the day, this is a great lunchtime spot. Fiona and I were the first people to arrive (always great for photos) and by the time we left, this space was lively and filling up with folks lunching.
The World's End Market

And for foodies, there’s plenty of food porn to ogle at.The World's End Market

The menu itself is impressive and it took Fiona and I a short while before we could actually decide on what to have. The World's End Market

A glass of Prosecco always helps. 😉

The World's End Market

For starter, I chose and very much enjoyed the tuna tartare with a poached egg on top. The fish was wonderfully fresh and meaty, it made me realise how rare it is to find good seafood when dining out. You really have to seek it out.
The World's End Market

Fiona had the salmon carpaccio with horseradish, shallots, lemon and truffle oil, which I had a taste of and it was equally as fresh and flavoursome. Top marks. The World's End Market

For main, I had the skate wing which is the best I’ve had in a long while. Tasty and meaty, the skate arrived dressed in lemon caper butter with a salsa verde on the side; and there really wasn’t much left after I’d finished with it. The World's End Market

Fiona sang the praises of her lovely fillet steak. (Here’s Fiona’s review for the full low-down.)The World's End Market

And for dessert, I thought given that it was Shrove Tuesday and I was preparing to give up a couple of treats for Lent (I’ve already failed on the added sugar attempt), I thought I’d dive in and go for a slice of red velvet cake with my soya flat white. That was my excuse anyway. 😉

The World's End Market

Fiona had the chocolate fondant, which looked like a great way to polish off a meal. Slight food envy there.
The World's End Market

It goes without saying that I’ll be back. The burgers look fantastic (Truffle Burger, anyone?) and I think this would be a good spot for breakfast too; not to mention the cocktails. So much to choose from, I’m just pleased The World’s End Market is so close by.

The World's End MarketThe World’s End Market, 459 King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0LR

Thank you Fiona for inviting me and to JPR Media for arranging our review.

Chelsea Girl

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