Open Mon–Wed midday–11.30pm; Thu–Sat midday–midnight; Sun midday–10.30pm
November has seen the eagerly anticipated return of a Chelsea favourite; the Hollywood Arms has had an extreme makeover and now feels glamorous with its sumptuous furnishings and luxurious décor. With double doors opening out onto pavement drinkers, the embellished pub offers three distinct seating areas in which to enjoy the large selection of drinks and the new ‘traditional with a twist’ menu. The Aviary Room at the back would be perfect for a leisurely lunch or even a romantic meal with its distinctive conservatory-style ceiling and curious birdcage-inspired chairs. My guest and I had a more informal meal in The Shelby Bar with its vintage mismatched furniture and ornate mirrors. Upstairs, The Blanchard Room boasts utter decadence – elegant floor-to-ceiling sash windows, a velvet upholstered chaise longue and a huge dining table for those wishing to work together by day or dine together by night.
Despite having re-opened only a couple of weeks ago, both the restaurant and bar areas were packed. The atmosphere was buzzy – dictated by a mostly local, young professional crowd. The fabulous blonde highlights and elegantly trendy dress code is definitive of the SW10 neighbourhood and clearly serves to compliment the pub’s new facelift.
Along with many pubs of this ilk, The Hollywood Arms’ menu is led by a modern English theme. My guest had Grey Goose vodka-cured salmon – tasting perhaps too much of the vodka, to start while I enjoyed an artichoke and beetroot salad, sprinkled with walnuts and fruity dressing. The basket of homemade bread made for excellent catch-up nibbles as my dinner guest and I hardly paused for breath. My guest followed with a hotch-potch of British Isles seafood. Having spent a week as a vegan recently (another story), I delighted in the Elm Farm rib-eye steak accompanied by triple-cooked chips. Dessert was a sharing affair and we both agreed that the treacle tart was much more fun than the mean-on-the-crumble apple crumble.
The drinks list would satisfy any cocktail enthusiast or wine aficionado. The house cocktails include The Hendrick (my favourite gin combined with Cointreau, lime, apple juice, cucumber and mint), The Sloe Royale (sloe gin, champagne and a rather fabulous pear, mint and vanilla mojito) and Dark ‘n’ Stormy (for those who prefer Goslings rum with lime floated on ginger beer). The wine list is extensive and many are available by the glass. However, I was tipped off that true bon viveurs should enquire about The Hollywood’s secret cellar.