King’s House, Chelsea, London
At this time of year, one of the big musts is outdoor space and hopefully some nice surprises thrown in for good measure on top. So, just over the bridge into New Kings Road, the new King’s House (formerly The Jam Tree), fortunately ticked both those boxes.
With strong management thanks to its association with the popular Aragon House and Phene pub and a spacious ‘secret’ garden, the venue has multiple levels with some delicious surprises on the menu made possible by their Josper Oven. (An oven fired by wood with a much higher temperature, cooking more quickly and better at containing flavour than a regular oven).
I started with a glass of their reasonably priced Laurent Perrier Champagne followed by some fantastic Basque Txakoli – the fuller-than-normal Gorabie Arabako Txolina Astobiza. Really a super surprise to encounter. The wine list as a whole was unusual, with many Mediterranean bottles on offer and, of course, many fun cocktails to try. I particularly liked the look of His Majesty’s King’s Mule, made from Grey Goose Citron vodka, with King’s Ginger, topped up with Champagne.
We tried out their sourdough bread first, which was outstanding, with delicious butter, then smaller plates of Gambas pil pil and Glazed chorizo in cider.
Our larger plates were Charred leeks with romesco sauce and hazelnuts, like the Catalan Calçots. I was not expecting to find that admirable dish, which was served on elegant modern plates that complemented their surroundings. The succulent Harissa and lemon marinated spatchcock chicken really hit the spot. (And the knives did not disappoint).
There were lots of good options for dessert but we finally opted for the vegan (lots of vegan and gluten free options here) Raspberry and apple crumble to finish.
The food is British/Basque which happily enables the Sunday Roast to be served. And the Espresso is excellent too.
A glamorous Texan party nearby was enjoying taking the brunch approach, trying out the interesting selection of pancakes. There is also bottomless Laurent Perrier Champagne and different spritzes on offer, all rather reasonably priced.
So, this former pub has transformed itself into something for everyone and thanks to Ashley and the team, the service is impeccable. A pub on the ground floor, with a good selection of beer, very clean washrooms, and a lovely garden downstairs (which few people know about), it’s ideal for both family meals and glamorous parties alike.
Take into account the suntrap, the excellent food (HG Walter supplies the meat), the unusual wine (supplied by LS Wines in Richmond), and a DJ in the evening to kick out the tunes, in all likelihood you will return.
I plan to!
Charles Pelham, FoodNoise
541 Kings Road,