Following a refit, the ground floor of this 1840s Chelsea pub has been reinvented as a family-owned Italian bar and restaurant. Pristine in sage, pine and beige, it’s smart, comfortable, grown-up and decidedly unstuffy. Drop in for daytime coffee and pastries or reasonably priced cocktails such as Rossini, Negroni, Espresso Martini or After Eight (a rather nice concoction of rum, chocolate and orange juice).
To eat, eggs Florentine, pancakes and a fruity goat’s cheese salad appear among various weekend brunch staples, while the main menu is big on boldly flavoured Italian hits. Start with aubergine parmigiana or scallops in a wine and butter sauce served on a quenelle of potato and butternut squash. Follow with silken calf’s liver in sage and butter sauce, sea bream ‘purgatorio’ (with capers, olives and white wine) or chicken breast with mushroom and asparagus in rich brandy cream sauce. A dozen traditional pastas and risottos plus failsafe Italian desserts such as tiramisu and pannacotta complete the food offer.
Meanwhile, Chelsea Corner’s seasoned sommelier is on hand to guide diners through a global wine list that’s strong on indigenous quality – from highly affordable Puglian Primitivo, via classy Campanian white (from 100 per cent Fiano grapes) to stellar Sangiovese (a top-flight Tuscan with a correspondingly toppy price tag).