Beautiful interiors and beautiful meals are two of my favourite things, so when I was invited down to have lunch at No. 11 Pimlico Road, I jumped at the chance. Describing itself as ‘an evolution of what has been termed over the last few years as a gastro pub’, the restaurant promises to ‘bring a fresher palette and a recognition of true all-day demand from morning coffee to nightcap and everything in between’.
My first impressions were overwhelmingly positive. The space is light, bright, relaxed and buzzy. It reminded me a little of a less-moody Riding House Cafe – no squirrel taxidermy here, but the same easygoing feel, making it the kind of place that can transition easily from breakfast meeting place to Sunday brunch venue to afternoon tea and after-work drinking haunt. The interiors were designed by hospitality specialists Fusion, who worked together with owner Mel Marriott to create a welcoming atmosphere that would work for people of all walks of life.
The design team looked to global trends – such as the relaxed all-day eateries in Australia, and the separate lobby areas in New York which protect guests from the cold – when envisioning the space. They also worked hard to make sure that the details – from the spindleback chairs to the zinc-topped tables – had a residential feel, making it a true home away from home. ‘The aim was for the look to be a reflection of the home, to create somewhere comfortable, somewhere not too prescribed and not cookie-cutter.’ Indeed.
The result is undoubtedly a success. Not sure what to expect, I had dressed up a little for the occasion, but didn’t feel out of place amongst the families and the young couples coming in for a cup of tea after a morning’s run. This might be Chelsea, but there’s no hint of snootiness in the air. Which is an achievement in itself.
Supporting the relaxed feel, the furniture is a mixture of restored and reclaimed. Fusion and Mel sourced a number of chairs, the waitress stations and sideboards from eBay, while local design guru Christopher Howe also provided elements as did The French House, an antiques shop in Parsons Green.
But what of the food, I hear you ask? I’m happy to say that it more than lived up to the interiors. I indulged in the most perfect Sunday brunch avocado, bacon and spinach sourdough bruschetta, while my other half went the whole hog and had a roast beef dinner. I tasted a bit of his beef and was jealous – this is definitely a restaurant that takes its food just as seriously as its ambience. All in all, I highly recommend it – it’s a charming place and you’ll find it suits your needs whatever time of day you choose to drop in!