Ah, Chelsea. Home to the loveliest things.
La Brasserie was London’s first all-day brasserie when it opened in 1972. I can’t speak to the iconic status its website professes, but I can tell you all about how delicious the food was, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
Annemari and I took a quick tube to South Kensington Station and walked down Pelham Street to Brompton Road. I nearly missed the restaurant because I got stuck on the library sign beside it — a sign announcing something called The Library that is not in fact a library at all* — and Annemari had to point it out to me.
* excuse me while I’m baffled that the Google Maps link led me to a store I found out about this very morning via a post on Park & Cube. What.
After having lunch at La Brasserie, we took the four-minute walk to the National History Museum, because that’s what you do when you’re spending time with Annemari in Knightsbridge. The area is really chock full of things to see (and eat).
So anyway, back to the restaurant.
If you’re looking for a French theme, you won’t be disappointed in this one; you’ve got the checkered tablecloths and the comfy chairs, and La Brasserie, at least in summer, keeps its doors open so the terrace and the closest tables to the entrance all get a nice breath of fresh air from the street.
The restaurant was relatively quiet when we got there; there were plenty of people having lunch and drinks, but it wasn’t crowded. It still felt so friendly, almost boisterous in its set-up. I will say with absolute self-awareness of my ridiculousness that it reminded me of spring in Paris, and if my fall in Paris goes well next year maybe I’ll go back in spring to check and update you all on my fantasy-based simile here.
Annemari and I sat at a booth around the middle of the restaurant — better lighting than in the back, warmer than out front.
Here’s an overview of our meal:
We started out with Chardonnay for me and water for Annemari, and took photos of each other while our entrees arrived.
We essentially repeated our starters from Brasserie Gustave; my appetite for snails had opened like the Gates of Hell, and Annemari doesn’t like most things, so she went with another mixed leaves salad with grilled goat’s cheese.
The salad had a softer dressing, if any, which Annemari appreciated, though she found the cheese harder to eat without a base. The snails came in their shells this time, and I had a brief moment of ‘wait, I’ve never used these things to get snails out of their shells’ before I realized it was fucking easy and Pretty Woman was LIES. IT WAS LIES.
Since they didn’t get a chance to marinate in the buttery sauce, they had a fresher taste to them, and I made Annemari try one, even though that meant depriving myself of one. We make sacrifices for those we love, yadda yadda.
After the starters, of course, came the mains. It was relatively early in the morning, so Annemari wasn’t very hungry and ordered a thin steak with fries. Like previously mentioned, I was trying to be all Legit And Things and after the PR recommended the lobster, I couldn’t like, say no. That would have been rude! Also stupid, I love lobster, I just for some reason had not looked at the crustacean part of the menu. What an awful loss that would have been.
I was concerned about the cheese and butter sauce, because I’m not the biggest proponent of cheese, but I needn’t have. It was divine. I can say that about lobster because, whatever, something about Venus and Botticelli. I’m not sure where I was going with this sentence.
Not only was the lobster delicious and the sauce lovely and easy to leave most of in the shell, but it was also all cut up and there was no need to touch it and this is why I like restaurants, they don’t just cook your food but make it so you don’t have to touch it!
God, it was so good.
Annemari liked my lobster too, and my mom was awfully jealous of both the dish and the fact that she couldn’t have had it anyway because she’s lactose-intolerant. Poor mama.
The steak received a lukewarm review by Annemari but she’s not sure her order wasn’t to blame and I only had room for more lobster after I finished my lobster, so I didn’t try her food this time. I only ate two of my fries (and they were good fries, but seriously, so early, so full). I did eat the cherry tomatoes in her salad, though.
Annemari would like me to reiterate that she really liked my lobster. She didn’t say this in so many words but I can read between the lines of her notes, which were bookended by this thought.
No one is ever too full for ice cream, though.
I got to say some French words, which I’d somehow avoided up until now despite eating in three different French-themed establishments and reading the menu out loud to Annemari in our hotel room because I may not be able to speak French but I can read it and damn if it isn’t fun to pronounce their words, however much I mangle them.
Annemari had chocolate and vanilla ice cream again, which I can’t recall if I tried because truly if I had it would have been eclipsed by my dessert.
I picked a coupe belle helène, which was vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate syrup, sliced almonds and several slices of pear. It sounded custom-made for me and it was bloody delicious and I may have had to hold back some orgasm-like noises while I ate it, it was so good. Excellent way to finish up our lunch.
Yummers. Just leave me here to die.
Pricing + Location
Starters are priced at £7.90 to £14.80 per person; mains are £16.90 to £39.20. There is also a fixed price menu — 2 courses for £22.95 and 3 for £26.25. You can find out more on the website.
272 Brompton Road
SW3 2AW London
Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review. I wouldn’t be writing about it if Annemari and I hadn’t enjoyed it.