Imagine a townhouse in Chelsea. Then put a restaurant in it.
And what do you get? Much of a muchness, with a price tag?
Not in this case.
No. Fifty Cheyne is an exceptional addition to the West London dining scene, a glamorous little pepperpot of a location which warms the cockles with its sitting-room chic vibes, utterly extra chandeliers, and mish-mash of posh locals on dates and family catch-ups with the Suffolk set.
There's also an open-door policy to the best behaved dogs in London.
The menu is headed by Iain Smith – a Jason Artherton protégé – and the place itself is the work of Sally Greene, owner of Ronnie Scott’s, also known for her restoration of the Old Vic.
The interiors are as sumptuous as any Cheyne Walk home, but with a touch of Country Life magazine about them. That’s until you head upstairs to the ornately dressed salon, more at home in 19th Century Paris - or posted next to a picture of the Annabel’s bathroom on a Chelsea girl’s insta.
Gratifyingly the food execution was faultless, from the melting beef carpaccio to an unctuous seafood risotto that I’ll confidently call the best I’ve had in London this year.
The Eton Mess was a different, fresher take on the traditional dessert, allowing room for the final touch of caramel chocolate truffles on a bed of bitter cocoa chips, easily blowing those infamous Hawksmoor rolos out the water.
Food looks good, right?
Refined as their dishes are, the appeal at No. Fifty Cheyne is the strange commingling of rich sparkle and homeliness.
Try to ignore that famous chef dining next to you and the major A-lister tucked away in the corner with her family, and it’s just a laid back sort of place where ebullient French waiters encourage you to settle into the banquette, order both the fat and skinny chips with your pasta, say yes to that second glass of crisp white, and enjoy a closing whisky in the tiny, eccentric bar upstairs.
With a private dining room for 20 opening soon, this would also make a convivial spot for a milestone birthday, perhaps on birthday boy’s tab.
No. Fifty Cheyne? More like, yes, Fifty Cheyne!
For more info, see No. Fifty Cheyne