Part of the Hippo Inns group, The Builders Arms in Chelsea is a quintessential gastropub, which has an upbeat vibe at any time of the day thanks to its wide-ranging clientele – a true cross-section of the well-to-do neighbourhood, including young families, local residents and nearby office workers.
Stepping inside The Builders Arms feels a bit like visiting your wealthy friend’s country pile, thanks to the tasteful dining room’s mix of upholstered chairs, wooden tables, colourful fabrics and shelves piled high with books and curious trinkets. Stop by for lunch or dinner when you can kick things off with snacks such as a black pudding Scotch egg or beetroot falafel balls with a refreshing tzatziki dip. For starters proper, tuck into the likes of homemade soup of the day or peri-peri calamari, before moving on to your main course: pan-roasted sea bass with truffle potato gratin perhaps, or maybe the signature stacked Hippo Burger?
You can round things off with tooth-achingly sweet desserts such as a s’more chocolate brownie or sticky toffee pudding with honeycomb and salted caramel ice cream, while those who prefer savoury delights can order the Great British Farmhouse cheese board, which comes complete with crackers and chutney.
As the day wears on, the bar and pavement fill up with local office workers and homeward-bound residents, who sup real ales and explore the commendable wine list. If you are in need of hard liquor though, there is also a more than adequate selection of spirits, as well as a few house cocktails.
Come the weekend, pub goers make the most of The Builders Arms’s outdoor terrace, which is covered and heated for when the weather isn’t playing ball. As for the sumptuous roasts served with all of the classic trimmings? Well, they are more than enough reason to get out of bed on a Sunday.