The Chili Martini at Sophie’s Steakhouse is easily one of my favourite cocktails in Chelsea. It’s so good that at the end of the night when all the other foodies are paying their bill, I have to order just one more as if it were an after dinner mint albeit slightly more potent.

The Chili Martini consists of vanilla vodka, chili and passion fruit. These three simple ingredients are explosive when mixed together whilst the clash of the sweet passionate fruit with the hot chilli turns your mouth into a playground of delicious flavours. It’s so easy to drink that tasting one will leave you wanting more. This cocktail is a definite recommend.

 

I am a firm believer in having cocktails at midnight to kickstart my birthday celebrations.

So as the hour approached, we stepped out onto the King’s Road and headed for Beaufort House Brasserie. But as we turned up, the man on the door kindly directed us to the members club and said we could make our way to the 1st floor. They weren’t letting anyone else in downstairs. Result.

But when we arrived at the members’ door, we were told that we weren’t allowed in. The shame. So off we went to the Bluebird instead. There, I decided on a margarita to toast in my new year and enjoyed every sip of my delicious cocktail.

The funny thing was that on our way home, when we passed Beaufort House again, we saw a small crowd of people from the brasserie being sent into the members club. The man on the door who initially turned us away even waved over in a surprisingly friendly manner and invited us in. Perhaps they were trying to fill the place up.

Nonetheless, I decided that I had spent way too many birthdays crawling along the King’s Road in broad daylight because of a deadly hangover and so I walked on, shrugging off the fact that I had been messed about in the first place.

Kicking off my daytime celebrations the next day, I started at Riccardo’s on the Fulham Road for lunch. Riccardo’s was the perfect venue for such a crisp autumn day and the food was delectable as always, especially the lemon sorbet in vodka!

Sunday wasn’t about hiding under the covers either. A wander around Frock Me! Vintage Fashion Fair at Chelsea Town Hall and my ritual Sunday lunch at Sophie’s Steakhouse were both perfect ways to ease me into my *coughs* year!

Last week was one big fashion faux pas.

Firstly, I couldn’t make Ghost’s Autumn/Winter showcase at Juju’s on Tuesday night. Instead I was celebrating my third anniversary with my wonderful boyfriend at Tom Aikens restaurant. I’m not sure what to say about Tom Aikens.

Technically, the food was cooked to precision and the presentation was elegant. But there was something missing. The atmosphere was quite cold – the antithesis of The Wolseley, my favourite London restaurant. Also at £150 per head I was forced to remember my heavenly experience at Gordon Ramsay’s Royal Hospital Road. The morning after my Ramsay experience I was reluctant to eat anything because my mouth was still celebrating the sensations from the night before. The day after my Aikens experience, my tastebuds were unaffected. It was as if none of it had actually happened apart from the dent in my boyfriend’s wallet. It was as if Ramsay had served from the heart and Aikens from the head.

After our meal we were off to Sophie’s Steakhouse for a Whispering Ted, aka Appletini. This drink was wonderfully refreshing and contained a perfectly subtle kick required of a fruity martini: the perfect end to an evening. The Whispering Ted didn’t fall into the trap of over sweetness, which some Appletinis do. In fact, this drink is a definite contender for the signature Chelsea cocktail. Although, I hear that Sophie’s also do a Cucumber Martini, which I am now intrigued about.

After much indulgence, I decided to escape to the country the next day to nurse my hangover and needless to say, this was my biggest fashion faux pas of all. I missed Vogue’s Fashion Night Out!

Lulu Guinness’ party would have been perfect for me. Clinique were in the shop applying glamorous red lips to shoppers whilst Lulu signed bags and spoke to customers.

My only consolation is that London Fashion Week begins in a few days and what with my birthday weekend fast approaching, the next post could be quite exciting indeed.

Mina Zaher

Follow her @kingsroadrocks

There’s a general myth about Chelsea if you don’t know the area. It’s something to do with the correlation of wealth and having a good time. So let me clarify matters: this equation is untrue.

Admittedly, a drinking experience in The Collection or anywhere in the Brompton Cross vicinity does require financial stamina. I once spent almost £50 on two drinks in The Collection at the start of an evening. Still, the venue is great and they were cocktails.

But the fact is heading to Kilburn for a pub roast and hanging out with your starving artist friends is also a false economy.

Why?

Let’s do the math. A residential area with a generally high-income bracket means that businesses have to work harder to keep the punters satisfied. There is too much choice round here to slip up on quality and value. Therefore, Chelsea is your lobster.

So how do you make Chelsea work for you? Well, that’s simple.

The clever places such as Bueno Sierra, Sophie’s Steakhouse and The Big Easy all have delicious special deals on offer. They’re clever because they know they’re good places, they just need to get the customer through the door to show them what they’ve got.

The other evening, the bf and I popped into Sophie’s for a £9.95 steak frites deal: steak, fries and a glass of wine or beer with the meal. A few martinis and dessert later, we were laughing along with the friendly staff. We didn’t want to leave. Clever.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

So what else is there?

Next week, I’ll provide some Chelsea Girl tips on how to get the best out of this area.

Mina Zaher

Follow her @kingsroadrocks

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