'Great for filling your boots; not so great for a date'

No. 11 Pimlico Road

Open Mon–Sat 9am–midnight, Sun 9am–11pm

The blurb:

Slap bang in the middle of Belgravia is a bistro that looks so inviting that whenever I walked past it I would make a mental note to pop in ASAP. No. 11 Pimlico Road is an independent neighbourhood bar and restaurant that offers a casual dining and drinking experience with a mix of classic and contemporary British-French dishes on the menu—a winning concept in most Londoners’ books.

The style and crowd:

The homely interior and liveliness make a promising first impression; the ambience is welcoming and there is a real buzz to the place. Given the location, a stone’s throw from Victoria, it’s not surprising that the clientele early on a Thursday evening was mainly groups of businessmen and office workers enjoying after-work drinks and nibbles, with a few couples and families tucking into supper.

In spite of it not being a huge space, the cacophony of voices, laughter and music, amplified by the high ceilings, was quite overbearing. Some thought should be put into softening the acoustics.

The food and drink:

Our waiter had a hard time hearing us due to the noise level and as a result the ordering process was far from seamless, but after some deliberation we opted for the moules marinière with crusty bread and fries, and the beetroot and barley risotto, along with refreshing elderflower and watermelon cocktails. The mussels were delicious and the risotto was okay but unexceptional. The portion sizes are huge—my friend arrived hungry but only managed half of her risotto—and the food is very reasonably priced (mains range from £9 to £17.50).

We didn’t stay for dessert, and frankly didn’t have room for any, but if we had we might have been tempted by the coconut chia pudding or the raspberry posset with orange blossom and pistachio crumble.

The weekend all-day brunch menu looks equally good, with triple cheese truffle and avocado toasties, coconut pancakes with caramelised banana and jugs of elderflower and Earl Grey fizz providing plenty of motivation to get out of bed.

In a nutshell:

Great for filling your boots; not so great for a date.

The details

No. 11 Pimlico Road, 11 Pimlico Road, London SW1W; www.no11pimlicoroad.co.uk; 020 7730 6784

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