From the beautiful minds that bought us Simmons Kings Cross and Simmons Camden, comes The Chelsea Pensioner. Right next to a football ground – we decided to see if these cocktail kings could hit the spot with their new venture.
A stones throw from Stamford Bridge, The Chelsea Pensioner’s exterior is effortlessly smart and well in keeping with the West London vibe. Doors ajar, letting in the buzz and breeze of Chelsea, the pub has a really relaxed feel. My eye was instantly drawn to the moose head hanging above the pool table, one of the many doses of quirk at this smart pub. With neon signs in the windows and assorted knick-knackery on the shelves, The Chelsea Pensioner is a forward thinking and dynamic London boozer.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
On a Friday evening the pub was brimming over with after work drinkers, enjoying all the quirks and extras The Chelsea Pensioner has to offer. With happy hour not stopping until 9pm, the bar was a throng of cocktail chasers and beer lovers alike, all trying to get their fill before the deadline. Another excellent feature of the pub is the pool table, something I think has been lost in the gastro pub craze to grip the capital. The crowd itself is a great mix too; with the demographic ranging from young groups of girls enjoying a teapot cocktail, to groups of office workers enjoying a Friday wind down drink.
With such a strong track record in cocktail making finery, the owners behind The Chelsea Pensioner were always going to spring a few surprises on me.
We started very simply, with a G&T and a pint of Brooklyn Lager (keep in mind that it's still a pub), just one of the many amazing beers on offer. The barman then suggested we up the ante, so he sent over one of their special beer cocktails called ‘The Lowest Form’ a mixture of elderflower, fresh lemon and sugar, all topped up with Camden Brewery’s Gentleman’s Wit. It was fresh, tasty, and definitely not just for beer lovers. They followed up that success with one of their Gin Fizz cocktail teapots. Fresh, zesty, but with a nice kick, you’ll be hard-pressed to find cocktails like this in any other London pub.
With a pub I tend to focus on a few basic things; the crowd, the service and the drinks. The Chelsea Pensioner has a lovely clientele, varying in age, but friendly, easygoing and fun. The staff were excellent all night, making personalised recommendations on what we should try, which really made the night go smoothly. The drinks themselves were top drawer; for the cocktail lovers, there are a host of combinations to tuck into – and for you old school pub lovers, the beers on offer are some of London’s finest. A great new addition to the West London scene, this pensioner certainly has some life left in it!