Custom-built for ‘Chelsea’s new old guard’, this jam-packed recreation of a 1920s’ Parisian café is the pulsating heart of Sloane Square and buzzes from breakfast until late with a transient crew of locals and shoppers. Colbert’s high-ceilinged interiors are convincingly theatrical with red leather banquettes, vintage posters, photos of movie stars and a dazzling mosaic floor in the bar, while the menu is ‘textbook grand brasserie’ – and all the better for it. Coffee, cakes and croque monsieur are touted alongside buttery snails (‘plump little fellows’), moules marinière and substantial plates of salade Niçoise, cassoulet and veal kidneys in mustard sauce. Otherwise, Elizabeth David completists can economise with ‘an omelette and a glass of wine’, while Made in Chelsea types splash out on caviar and Champagne. Service can be decidedly off-hand, but there’s no denying that Messrs Corbin & King (The Wolseley et al) seemed to have weaved their magic once again with this nexus of fashion, society and the arts.
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