Last week, for one evening, we ate like kings.
Just a gentle amble from Chelsea Bridge and tucked behind leafy trees lies Cheyne Walk Brasserie. The building, whose formative years were spent as a Victorian pub, has been transformed into a chic Parisian restaurant marked from the outside by an oh-so-adorable coiffeured poodle swinging above the entrance.
Cornflower blue banquette seating, a healthy dusting of chandeliers and fresh flowers create a stylish interior and set the tone for a stunning feast. Positioned in the center of the room, an open grill delivers both the sound and smell of your dish being lovingly crafted and creates a real sense of home cooking.
The menu, if rather exuberantly priced, is easy to navigate. Archetypal brasserie dishes range from fabulous cassoulette of snails with cream and garlic sauce to a more simple salad of green beans, pistachios and fresh mint. The provincial edge runs through to the main course where naturally the grill options play a large part of the choice. Carnivores will be satisfied by healthy chunks of meat that arrive at the table complete with charred rosemary burning like incense but the fish does not let the standard drop – whole native lobster with garlic butter sits with absolute grandeur on the plate, surely the king of any menu?
A predominantly French wine list provides fine wines by the glass or bottle and the well-informed staff, mostly French of course, are on hand to offer encouraging advice.
If you have a spare moment wonder upstairs to the Salon complete with sumptuously deep chaise longues, an open fire and a stunning view of the Thames. Feast on tartines, and baguettes during the day or as the light fades, enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail. If there is any room left, put the word to rights over a post-dinner cognac.