May 11, 2018
There’s been a drinking establishment on this site since the mid-eighteenth century and, with its church pulpit-cum-DJ booth, teal wallpaper and exposed brickwork, the venue still exudes a sense of history.
The Chelsea pub formerly known as the Goat in Boots has recently been given a dashing contemporary make-over. The resulting venue is divided into several distinct spaces.
There’s a downstairs dining room, an upstairs bar area and, most excitingly hidden behind a wooden panelled door there’s a speakeasy-style space called the Chelsea Prayer Room, an evocative low-lit chamber with a cabinet full of vintage cocktail paraphernalia, a reclaimed fireplace and plenty of draped nooks and cosy corners in which you can recline with a cocktail.
We partook of a drink or two in the upstairs bar enjoying a delicate, pink-tinged Little Tokyo, a mix of Beefeater gin, plum wine, lime, honey, and freeze dried powdered plum. This last ingredient, freeze dried fruit, intense in flavour, shows up in several of their drinks, most notably in the deliciously smoky Santa Fe, a heady blend of mezcal, lime, pineapple, honey, and peach bitters, with a pineapple salt rim.
We were also rather taken with the Spanish Harlem, a complex mix of bourbon, PX sherry, lemon, egg white and plum bitters, a drink of many layers.
While the bar owes a debt to the New York scene, the food menu is a celebration of Italian flavours. The pizzas are the way to go with a salmon and creme fraiche-topped pie our favourite of the night the perfectly fried, grease-fee calamari was another highlight of the meal and we chased our peanut butter cheesecake down with a couple of kicky espresso martinis.
Service was friendly throughout and there’s a sense here that everyone cares about the drinks served and the atmosphere generated. Our only regret was not trying the Rhubarb Bellini. Next time, next time…
Main photo credit: Goat Chelsea Official Website