Perhaps the pinnacle of craftsmanship and heritage, the Oulton name has long been synonymous with style. It was back in 1976 that Major Philip Oulton opened Halo Antiques in a bid to provide a good education for his two sons.
Fast forward to today, and Philip’s son, Tim, stands as one of the most sought-after names in the world of fabulous furnishings and out-of-this-world design.
Having established the Timothy Oulton brand back in 2008 when its first gallery opened in LA, the eponymous label has since gone on to pop up in Harrods and open numerous galleries worldwide with its lavishly appointed Chelsea flagship at the helm.
Now run under the creative direction of Tim’s son, Oliver Oulton, the brand counts a global empire under its wing, and before passing the reigns on last year, Tim branched out into hospitality.
The jewel in the crown is undoubtedly his first pub, The Chelsea Pig, which resides a stone’s throw away from the Kings Road flagship store.
Originally established in 1892, the pub is very much an icon amongst the Chelsea set and, following an extensive renovation, reopened in November 2021, offering an all-day dining menu and impressive drinks list against a backdrop immersed in Oulton’s signature style.
The design-led space exudes the eccentricity of the Victorian era whilst maintaining the authenticity of a gastro-pub with a neighbourhood feel.
On entering, the focal point is a rather unexpected yet very welcome aquarium filled with a diver, namely Derek, who stands proudly clad in a helmet and diving suit.
The décor is flamboyant; think leather banquettes and tonal Turkish oak beam flooring to add warmth and complement the whole all-day concept of the restaurant and pub.
Service is unpretentious; it’s just the right level of formality to suit a Chelsea dining institution, yet in keeping with the vibe echoed throughout and the element of fun synonymous with the family design business.
Foodwise, Head Chef Fionnnan Flood has created a menu showcasing classic British fare with a modern flair and focus on seasonal ingredients. Very fittingly, traditional English dishes are championed in a nod to gastro dining, yet there is a sense of theatre to the plates on offer.
Hero dishes to start include terrine of rabbit and duck and a beautifully done Longhorn beef tartare served with a nice smoked crème fraiche and focaccia.
For mains, the lamb breast is a must-try; cooked to perfection, it comes with a minted salsa verde that gives it a nice little kick. For even more traditional pub grub, the beer-battered haddock is a good take on posh fish ’n’ chips and really hits the spot.
Make sure to save some space for dessert, too. The marmalade bread pudding is a particular treat to share, with a nice dollop of cinnamon ice cream, and we quite enjoy the peppermint crème brulee after a hearty meal; it’s a perfectly indulgent way to finish the meal.
Open daily, Tuesday to Sunday, the pub serves its all-day dining menu throughout, with the additional option of a fabulous roast on Sundays – think Hereford beef rib-eye or Sutton Hoo Chicken with all the trimmings.
The Chelsea Pig has also recently launched The Apartment, a fabulous space available for private hire.
Text by Jaz Grewal.