Last Updated on September 11, 2021
A timeless classic in Shepherd Market, Mayfair – The Chesterfield Arms
Tucked away just off Curzon Street in the heart of Mayfair, Shepherd Market, a cobbled set of lanes that goes nowhere in particular, is part of London that is perhaps best known by Londoners. There are plenty of quirky restaurants there that have been there for as long as I can remember – a French bistro called ”L’Artiste Muscle’, a Polish Mexican wine bar and more. The Chesterfield Arms though is newly refurbished and has retaken the name of the pub that opened here in 1769, in the same building, dating from 1735.
Downstairs there’s a classic cosy bar area. Upstairs, a classic, light and airy dining room.
We turned up to check out the food and made ourselves comfortable at a table by the window. Obviously, the first thing to do was to pick something to drink. Apart from a selection of beers on tap, there’s a decent wine list that offers bottles starting at £25 for a Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and rising to £160 for a bottle of Dom Perignon. I’m actually impressed that in this sometimes rather expensive part of town, the wine list hasn’t been pushed to stratospheric levels. There are plenty of options by the glass too. We chose a Picpoul de Pinet Grange des Roc at £28.
In addition to a classic menu of starters, mains and sides The Chesterfield Arms offers three rather excellent sounding sandwiches until 5pm – I’ll definitely be popping back for the roast beef with horseradish, watercress mayo, dill pickle relish, gem lettuce and chips. And, there’s a decent dessert menu too.
My companion started with a beautifully plated dish of goats curd mousse, beetroot, pickled walnuts, olives and lemon honey. She thought the beetroot and olives were a little overpowering but loved the light whipped goats cheese and delicate dressing
Meanwhile, my generous plateful of sesame tempura squid with teriyaki salad was spot on, although it’s worth noting that this is the kind of place where ordering two starters rather than a starter and main will not leave you hungry!
The chicken kiev ordered by my companion was a testament to that and although she found it delicious, following on from our generous starters and with bowls of mixed leaf salad and of truffle, parmesan and rosemary chips on the side, she was defeated by the cauliflower cheese and sweet potato rosti. The side dishes were really rather good too – maybe it’s just hard to turn down truffled parmesan fries for cauliflower cheese;).
Ordering grilled plaice with sea greens, brown shrimp with caper and chive butter sauce was a wise option – this kind of fish dish is light, delicious and compelling. It was well executed – plaice can be watery if overcooked but this was firm and succulent. The picpoul was an excellent pairing too with saline notes that complemented the plaice beautifully.
Despite already having overindulged, we were tempted to try the desserts. Autumn berry parfait with honeycomb and toasted almonds was light, delicious and packed with fruit, while the tangy lemon meringue cheesecake with shortbread made an excellent end to the meal.
Service was smooth and efficient and the food was impressive, well-plated and full of flavour. There was very little to fault with the evening and I’m now adding The Chesterfield Arms to my favourite Shepherd Market haunts. I will be back. And, I’ll make sure I arrive hungry!
The Chesterfield Arms
50 Hertford Street
London W1J 7SS