It may now be a long distant memory but last weekend the sun shone rather gloriously on our lovely city. On such occasions, there is but one place that Londoners head to in their droves: the pub garden.
Whilst the cult status of certain Chelsea Gardens renders getting an outside spot on a sunny day practically impossible, there is more than enough garden space in Chelsea to go around and this provides the perfect opportunity to head to lesser known, but equally as delightful spots.
After trying (and failing) to secure a spot in some of my old faithful outdoor haunts in and around West London, I headed to the Internet on the hunt for a new garden to try. As soon as I saw the whitewashed walls, big comfy sofas and whimsical array of plants dotted around The Imperial’s courtyard garden I knew that it had to be there. So I crossed my fingers and made the call, and the rest is, as they say, history!
The menu is small, but features some really great options, with a slightly more unusual twist on usual pub fare. To kick things off we all opted for the tuna sashimi with black caviar, radish, pickled shiitake mushroom and soy dressing (£9.50). This was a wonderful take on sashimi, with the soy dressing giving the tuna a delicious salty kick, which combined wonderfully with the slightly sour note of the mushrooms.
Main CoursesThe Imperial is home to a delicious sounding selection of seasonal roasts, but what immediately jumped out to us were the sharing roast options. These roasts are designed to be shared between two people and include a whole chicken (£45), grilled veal rack (£60) and a Cote de Boeuf (£60). It being our absolute favourite, we knew it had to be the Cote de Boeuf, which came with all of the classic accompaniments including roast potatoes, creamed spinach, twice cooked baby carrots, Yorkshire pudding and red wine gravy. The meat was cooked perfectly medium rare, with the portion being an ideal size for two hungry people. The huge, fluffy Yorkshires also really impressed.
DessertsTheres always room for pudding, especially when that pudding involves chocolate. When I heard that the special of the day was a slab of warm chocolate brownie served with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream (£9), I simply couldn’t say no. The brownie was delightfully gooey inside, so much so that I finished the entire portion! Across the table the dark chocolate egg with vanilla Cointreau cream and chocolate soil was ordered and promptly devoured, with particular note being given to the wonderfully boozy Cointreau cream.
After several hours sipping champagne in the heat of British springtime, a refreshing iced coffee was called for to finish off a fabulous afternoon.
The Imperial was the absolute perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon. The food was all delicious and we happily spent the entire afternoon there eating and drinking, without ever feeling rushed.
So if you’re in need of some Sunday Lunch inspiration the next time the sun comes out, look no further than The Imperial!
Love, Sophia x
577 King’s Rd, Fulham, London SW6 2EH