10 Aug Afternoon tea at Fifty Cheyne
There are few things more quintessentially English than fresh scones, afternoon tea, Pimm’s with strawberries and cream, followed by a stroll down Cheyne Row in the heart of Chelsea. No Fifty Cheyne sits close to the Thames, bathed in the shimmering twinkle of Albert Bridge. It is a complete makeover of what used to be the Cheyne Walk Brasserie, originally built in 2004 by theatre impresario and owner of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Sally Greene. With a total of nine months for refurbishment, it has transformed into an elegant, developed safe space with ambition and great meticulousness.
Here they’ve created a space that feels like an embodiment of high Chelsea-style with leather banquettes, parquetry floors, dark wood marble tables and paper wall lamps, striped curtains and upholstery, chandeliers hanging of high ceilings and statement flowers. Still, it’s all liberally spread out and far-off from being over-powering. It is optimistically comforting with soft jazz bringing it all together.
The downstairs area remains a 70-seat restaurant serving the likes of chicken liver terrine, indigenous lobster, snail and black pudding vol-au-vent, and a 14oz chateaubriand to share from head chef Iain Smith. Upstairs is a burgundy-colored, snug, windowless cocktail bar with a paneled, decorated, sofa- distributed salon to the right of this to enjoy afternoon tea featuring home-baked scones, a selection of irresistible fancies and savory open sandwiches with picturesque views overlooking Cheyne Gardens and the River Thames.
A perfect sanctuary to settle in for a drink with a selection of light bites from the Upstairs menu. No afternoon tea is whole without supplementary tea and pick-me-ups. The top hospitality and food in such a sophisticated and warm interior make it a perfect place for afternoon tea upstairs. The hustle of the immaculate staff, led by manager Benoit Auneau, were cheerful, punctual and inconspicuous allowing for a comfortable atmosphere and a remarkable feeling of settled ease amongst its patrons.
This restaurant is fast becoming a real Chelsea delight and it’s quite a feat to pull off while encompassing a bar, grill afternoon tea lounge but the organisation of these rooms, in what was once a house, fashions an impression of tranquil intimacy, as if the patrons are guests rather than just clienteles.
Nowhere else in London, even somewhat locally, would feel similar as this bright house by the river.