The Chelsea Pig is not your average neighbourhood pub. Nestled in the heart of Chelsea, this historic gem dates back to 1892 and has been an iconic SW3 landmark ever since. Tucked away at the quiet intersection of Old Church Street and Paultons Street – a few doors down from the flat the Middleton sisters once shared – The Chelsea Pig has been a longstanding favourite for the locals in the know. However, since a major facelift, it’s been on everyone’s tongues and it’s easy to see why.
The Chelsea Pig reopened in November 2021 after a major refurbishment, courtesy of internationally acclaimed furniture and interiors guru, Timothy Oulton. Not content with owning 40 stores around the world – including New York, Moscow and Sydney – he decided to add to his already impressive resume by diving headfirst into the hospitality sector.
Perhaps fitting then that I am greeted by ‘Derek the Diver,’ a quirky but very cool aquarium centerpiece with Derek himself wearing a diving helmet and suit. The pub itself is a work of art and the attention to detail is as impressive as it is fascinating. In true Oulton fashion, the interiors are eccentric yet sophisticated, complete with a black crackle timber bar, reclaimed Turkish oak beam flooring and natural leather banquettes.
Upstairs, The Trophy Room features its original wall panels juxtaposed against reclaimed mahogany parquet flooring. The walls are adorned with a jaw-dropping collection of 400 vintage trophies gathered from various corners of the world. With its bold, dark, and distinctly masculine aesthetic, it sets the stage for an unforgettable evening ahead.
And etched into my memory it certainly is. The gorgeous interior aside, the food is exceptional. Head Chef Fionnan Flood has crafted an all-day dining experience that celebrates British classics with a creative twist, emphasising the use of seasonal British ingredients. Starter highlights include Glamorgan pork croquettes with toffee apple sauce, burrata with burnt pear puree and a truly exceptional beef tartare. The salt and pepper scampi, another showstopper, is fat and juicy with just the right ratio of crispy, golden batter.
Main course options range from Sutton Hoo chicken breast with sausage sage and panettone stuffing and to-die-for candied pecans, beer battered haddock and Longhorn rib-eye. And when it comes to dessert, don’t miss the violet crème brûlée with black currant sorbet.
Sundays at The Chelsea Pig is a treat. Imagine sinking into one of Oulton’s Westminster sofas by the open fireplace with a glass of pinot noir and indulging in dishes like Gloucestershire pork belly with toffee apple sauce or Hereford beef rib-eye with horseradish cream. Vegetarians do not fear, they’ve got you covered with a delicious cauliflower steak with red wine sauce.
In a city with over 3,500 pubs, Londoners are truly spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a watering hole – but if you’re after a quintessential Chelsea experience, The Chelsea Pig is where it’s at.
35 Old Church St, London SW3 5BS