The Phoenix: A cosy country pub just off the Kings Road
At a brief glance, it is easy to mistake The Phoenix, with its plain wood and brick exterior, as a run-of-the-mill pub that sits unostentatiously on Smith Street, a small walk from the Kings Road. But as one of the Geronimo Inns chain’s newest successes, it achieves the stylish yet modern country pub feel that the brand is known for. The bar area is instantly more colorful. It almost resembles your parents’ living room, with slouchy couches and rustic bookshelves which make you want to bring a blanket and have an afternoon read. The wooden floors and tables, mismatched chairs, higgledy-piggledy vases and chalkboard menu all add to this homely atmosphere. The vibe is different from the usual trendy Chelsea gastro pub in that it actually feels more like a local haunt with people coming in for the odd pint rather than large after-work regroups.
Yet in a separate section at the back of the venue, the restaurant, with its menu changing every week, makes it so that even the regulars refrain from ordering ‘the usual’. The food observes summer flavors that compliment the fresh and modern interior. It varies from light dishes such as chilled red pepper and tomato soup with Greek yoghurt or ham hock, goat’s cheese and broad bean salad to more substantial plates of steak frites or wild boar and apple sausages.
It is clear that the food is the usual British celebration, adhering to fresh produce and preparation. So far, it all recalls a feeling of coming home for a Sunday lunch, yet the drinks are surprisingly cosmopolitan. From Caipirinhas to Pisco Sours, the cocktail menu has a distinctly South American taste in honor of the World Cup as the drinks, like the menu, are constantly in revolution.
A cool environment for summer but surely just as welcoming in winter with the restaurant’s open fireplace roaring into life. Familiar yet exciting, The Phoenix offers the delights of home with a few foreign twists to give a relaxed but refreshing experience.