To say Chiltern Firehouse is the hottest place to be seen in London right now is an understatement – so what’s all the fuzz about? My first visit was in the opening week, but when I was in London last month I had to come back.
From the outside it doesn’t look like much. But when you do find your way into the cosy court yard full of pretty plants and go inside, you’re instantly met by a cool vibe.
Hotelier André Balazs turned the old firehouse (hence the name) into a hotel and restaurant which opened it’s doors earlier this year. He’s also the man behind legendary Chateau Marmont in L.A., The Mercer in New York and The Standard hotels. This is his first European spot – judging by the success of his other establishments, it’s no surprise that this will be (and already is) as well.
The kitchen is run by Michelin starred Nuno Mendes who gives the menu a Peruvian twist. That said, the food is casual and very delicious. Don’t miss their bar snacks, especially the famous crab donuts – they go perfectly with your pre dinner drink (the bar menu changes seasonally). The food is great, and you’ll find both fish, meats, salads and fries on the menu.
But what’s really special about this place is the atmosphere. The dining room is big, with an open kitchen in the middle, but because the seating areas are divided you get a very intimate dining experience – perfect for a romantic dinner or a fun night out with friends. You might even rub shoulders with a few celebs.
Don’t miss a trip to the restrooms, look for the Cigarettes and Men sign – it will take you to the secret smoking room downstairs.
I can’t wait to come back, hopefully staying the night the next time.
Chiltern Firehouse, 1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone.