Food and drink
The Botanist is rightly revered for its breakfast menu: neat envelopes of crêpe filled with orange-yolked eggs and bacon, puffy discs of pancake served with blueberries and maple syrup. Later in the day a modern European menu struts from steak (35-day aged Aberdeen Angus rib-eye) and chips to confit duck ravioli with braised lentils and duck anise consommé. Flavour combinations are always thoughtful, if occasionally more interesting than delicious. Afternoon teas are pleasingly traditional, with sultana scones, excellent jams from Preston Hall in Suffolk, and a super selection of Jing teas. The cocktail list is huge.
The flora theme works well in the smart-casual dining room. Expect an international local crowd rather than tourists. Daytimes see business lunches and shoppers in for afternoon tea. The bar is lively in an SW1 sort of way, and there are a few pavement tables for people watching.
Intelligent, friendly, knows what it’s doing.
This corner of Sloane Square is very useful for upscale shopping, the Royal Court Theatre, Saatchi Gallery and (in May) the Chelsea Flower Show.
Main courses are £13.50-£28, and puddings a very reasonable £6.50. For afternoon tea you can just have scones (£4.50) or splash out on full set teas for £18 and £25 per person. Unusually for this part of town, there’s a decent choice of wines under £20 a bottle: £16 will get you the owners’ own blends from the south of France.
Open June 2011, the Chiswell Street Dining Rooms offers a similarly smart mix of all-day restaurant and cocktail bar. The group also runs a terrific collection of gastropubs, including the Cadogan Arms down the Kings Road – see www.etmgroup.co.uk for details.
- Business travellers
- Families with teenagers
- Stag / hen parties
- People watching