Restaurant of the Week: The Chelsea Pig

By Charlie Colville

2 years ago

The quintessentially British pub experience is getting a makeover

Our restaurant of the week is The Chelsea Pig, which has been sitting on the corner of Old Church Street and Poulton Street since 1892.

The Best Restaurants in Chelsea

Restaurant of the Week: The Chelsea Pig

With Britain being home to more than 42,000 pubs, it’s safe to say we are a nation that loves a classic drink-and-dine combo. One of London’s most historic pubs, The Chelsea Pig, has recently made a comeback to the culinary scene following a refurbishment project led by renowned designer Timothy Oulton. The Chelsea Pig has long been known amongst locals as a gastronomic go-to, but Timothy has endeavoured to create an entirely new dining space for the roaring 2020s. A feast for the five senses, if you will.

Timothy has built his empire around an aesthetic based on heritage and antiques. No two spaces are the same, and the designer adheres to this belief with colourful escapes from the everyday world. And with all things immersive being the rage these days, Timothy truly lives up to his mantra: ‘Be Relevant or Be Dead‘. No different to the trend, the Chelsea Pig has heaps of character – from the black marble tabletops and pig-stamped napkin rings to the scuba diver (human not included) floating in the fish tank near the front door.

But while you may come just to see the whacky interiors, you’ll stay for the excellent food.

The Chelsea Pig interior

First order of business: last orders. The Chelsea Pig is home to a huge array of spirits, wines and cocktails – enough to make it a hotspot come happy hour. Pull up a stool and watch the mixologists work their magic behind the bar, or sit back and relax at one of the tables nearby (we recommend a seat by Captain Cutler) and wait for the fun to come to you. Highlights from the cocktail menu include the likes of Spritzzz Me, a sweet concoction of Roku, peach, Amarico and sparkling sake, and the aptly titled Pig President, which blends Roz Zacapa 23, Tio Pepe and unripe pickled walnut for a fresh kick.

Stagger out the night – and soak up a bit of the alcohol – with some bread for the table. A loaf is served still warm from the kitchens, accompanied by a generous slab of butter with hints of pecorino and salty ham.

Red cocktail with cherry and orange peel

(c) ItsMeLouisPhotography

Now for the main event. Those visiting The Chelsea Pig on an empty stomach will be more than tempted to tuck into a three-course feast. Fans of the tried-and-tested will enjoy starting dishes like duck liver parfait or marinated scallops with pear and lemon puree, while those wanting something a little different can dive straight into beetroot cured salmon with pickled raspberries and horseradish crème fraiche.

The best of British awaits in the main course listing. Think succulent guinea hen breast served with caramelised parsnips and shallot tarts, rabbit pie with honey mustard carrots, and Hereford glazed short ribs with smoked mash. Not a meat fan? The BBQ Kohlrabi served with radish and quinoa will eliminate any sense of FOMO amongst the table.

Roast bass

(c) ItsMeLouisPhotography

If you still have room for more, make a beeline for the dessert menu. Finish the evening on a lighter note with a creamy panna cotta or a serving of violet crème brûlée, or divert to decadence with a heady slice of treacle tart garnished with clotted cream and Grand Marnier.

Final Word

The Chelsea Pig, while refined and stylish, also highlights every lovable quirk us Brits have come to associate with out beloved pubs. After an intermittent few years without them, it only seems right to expect a resurgence in the popularity of the public house – especially if they are led by the likes of Timothy Oulton.


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Featured image: ItsMeLouisPhotography


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