The Fox and Pheasant, Chelsea
Last year I spotted a new book on Instagram – Great Pubs of England by Horst A. Friedrichs and Stuart Husband. The books photographs looked amazing, and I knew its content would appeal to my husband who, like me, appreciates a good British pub. When therefore Mark, my husband received it as an orchestrated Christmas present, it was more than just a gift, it was the start of a new adventure. Let’s visit each and every one of the pubs!
I love a good English pub. Not just for a drink but for the inspiration and experience. If a pub has all the right elements and designed well, it can feel like home from home– comfortable, welcoming, warm and cosy. Although my home interiors don’t look like a pub, I often take inspiration from them. If I walk into a pub and I get that warm, fuzzy feeling, I look for inspiration of how to create the same feeling at home. It can be attributed to design, paint colour, lighting, accessories or all the above. Sometimes it simply down the buzz and vibe of the people in it. I wish I’d become a pub interior designer. It’s something I feel quite passionate about. Who knows, one day….
London, a good place to start
Fourteen of the pubs in Great Pubs of England are in London so this felt like a good place to start. We were staying in Kensington so a quick walk through Bromsgrove cemetery and into Chelsea lead us to The Fox and Pheasant, accurately described as a country pub in town kind of vibe. It looked appealing from the outside and didn’t disappoint on the inside.
James Blunt is the proud owner of the Fox and Pheasant in Chelsea
Quite eager to experience The Fox and Pheasant, we arrived on the dot of midday. As the first ones in we got a good opportunity to take it all in. The owner, James Blunt – yes, the James Blunt says in the book that ‘his main job was to make this place beautiful’. Well, he succeeded. James and his team have done an amazing job, considering this seventeenth century coaching inn previously had a reputation for being insalubrious and know amongst locals as the Fox and Unpleasant.
Our thoughts on The Fox and Pheasant
We loved The Fox and Pheasant. It felt traditional and welcoming but with a modern twist. It was well curated but not in a contrived way. The pub has a traditional colour palette, not dissimilar to my own home. It has a relaxed and homely vibe, creating a welcoming atmosphere. Discreetly tucked down a quaint and quiet Chelsea street, it was easy to forget the busy, bustling London streets just around the corner.
If the Great Pubs of England book is to be believed, Blunt himself threw himself into renovating his pub, rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty. I would love to sit down with him, and chat about his renovation journey and pub design decisions. Over a glass of wine of course. I’d love to compare notes and pore over colour charts. Looking at the walls and accessories, I can see someone’s been busy collecting art, accessories, and ephemera. I feel we’d have a lot in common.
Finally, the food. It would be remiss not to mention the food. Like the pub, the food menu is traditional with modern pub classics. My family ordered fish and chips, burger and cheese and ham pie which scored 10 out of 10 all-round. As the first pub on our great pubs of England tour, it set the bar high.
So, to conclude, this is my kind of pub. Traditional but not remotely seedy with friendly welcoming staff, a welcoming and inviting interior with good honest, quality pub grub. The next time I am in London I will be popping in again for a bar meal and a glass of wine.
If you love atmospheric photography, and love pubs too, you’ll want to get your hands on a copy of this book – Great Pubs of England by Horst A. Friedrichs and Stuart
You will also love this pub tour video by Tatler – Watch this tour of The Fox and Pheasant with James Blunt
You will also love my other pub tour posts – click here