I started out my journey to Chelsea completely convinced I was going to hate The Pig's Ear. It was too far away from the tube, it was in the middle of nowhere in a suburb renowned for putting style above substance (or flavour). I mean the Kings Road is hardly the epicentre of cool it once was and gastronomically speaking it edges towards High Street chains (My Old Dutch for god's sake).
But then The Pig's Ear isn't exactly on the Kings Road. Its on a charming little street that has a few overpriced boutiques (so THAT's where Manolo Blahnik is) and some of that lovely Chelsea redbrick. A charming pub with an enviable corner flooded with light and mismatched chairs, benches and large tables. We had booked a table but there wasn't quite enough room so our neighbours offered half of their table - so friendly, so neighbourhoody, so unexpected. My only slight complaint is that the benches, which I suspect came from a Church, were a tad narrow and not as comfortable as I would have liked after a few hours.
The food was better than expected but I have to confess we didn't go the whole hog (cringe). Good strong gastropub flavours (no pale imitation then) with seasonal ingredients - pumpkin soup with fired sage leaves, salad (slightly underdressed), potted shrimp on toast was rich and tasty. Generous simply cooked meat and fish main courses and a very plain looking mushroom risotto was reportedly very good . Puddings were (as I sort of hoped) large and gorgeous as well - plum bakewell tart but we didn't actually try them so I am not sure. Wines were not expensive (we had a nice Chilean Pinot Grigio for £15) and the service was friendly.
In a space that you can happily hang out in all day, with good food The Pig's Ear is definitely somewhere I will return to (next time I'm in Chelsea) with my chums.
The Pig's Ear
35 Old Church Street
Ph: 0871 0757477