With the forthcoming coronation of our new monarch, there’s been quite a lot of chat about kings lately, so it seems that King’s House – a multi-faceted venue on King’s Road – really couldn’t have picked a better time to open.
This new venture from Master Chef winner Dhruv Baker and long-reigning emperor of the London bar scene, Clive Watson, throws open its doors in an attempt to tick all boxes. It’s a brunch venue, it’s a Basque-inspired restaurant, and it’s a trendy late-night bar with a slightly aloof female DJ in a fabulous coat.
The vibe is pretty relaxed. The ground floor bar is simple. Neutral shades meet red banquette seating and looming portraits of Georgian forefathers in gilt frames. It’s comfortable, but most importantly, versatile… presumably to carry them through from brunch ‘til dinner.
The upstairs loft bar is painted in a vibrant shade of royal blue, with psychedelic artworks that are part 70s record sleeve part magic eye painting.
It is, however, the garden that is the jewel in King’s House’s crown. In fact, it’s so well appointed; with bamboo seating, plenty of heaters and luscious foliage – that it almost made me wish I hadn’t quit smoking so that I might linger a little longer beneath its leafy bowers.
The cocktails are superb, the bar staff are well-trained and pleased to be there. The blackberry negroni is not to be missed. The wine list has something for everyone from Whispering Angel to a Skin Contact Orange Wine from Spanish vineyard Dominio de Punctum – that’s sure to lure in local wine lovers once word gets around.
The crowd was a mixture of well-dressed-young-things with great skin and Chloe handbags and trendy older intellectuals sipping Tempranillo at the bar.
The venue boasts four menus. A brunch menu, serving all the usual suspects, but with a nod to Latin roots through the addition of sobrasada in the Eggs Gallinero. The lunch menu is a collection of small and large plates, featuring some basque favourites – the delicious ex-dairy cow tartare, crispy Jamon croquetas and (bang on trend) basque cheesecake. Dinner is a similar affair, but with slightly more choice – the all-day menu appears to be a roundup of their best-sellers.
Whether going to a pub for what is essentially breakfast in an area already crammed with perfectly good brunch spots will prove counter-intuitive, we will have to wait and see. But I’ll definitely be back in the summer for a cocktail and some croquetas and I won’t be surprised if I have to elbow my way to a seat in that beautiful garden.
541 Kings Road, London Sw6 2EB
Open Mon-Weds 12pm-11pm, Thurs & Fri 12pm-2am, Sat 11am-2am, Sun 11am-11pm