The Hangout Loved by Celebs

Owned by André Balazs (of LA’s Chateau Marmont), Chiltern Firehouse has been the talk of the town since it flung open its doors back in February. Frequented by everyone from Cara Delevingne to David Cameron, it is the place to be seen in. But it is really as good as we’re led to believe? Ellie Craig finds out.

The Restaurant: Chiltern Firehouse

Location: 1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London W1U 7PA

First impressions: An old fire station, as the name suggests, Chiltern Firehouse is an imposing red brick building that towers over its chic Marylebone neighbours. Accessed via large black gates, guests are greeted by helpful staff and ushered through the tranquil courtyard towards the main building. Once inside, impossibly good looking staff lead you towards your table which varies from a plush leather booth for larger parties to smaller, more intimate tables for those of four or less. The décor is luxurious, decadent but still slightly rustic. Think polished tables, lots of greenery and soft velvet benches.

What we ate: Those of you who have already been drawn to Chiltern Firehouse’s website, desperate for a sample menu, will know that their homepage is surprisingly barren. So much so that there isn’t even a hint of what food you can expect to feast on, which we begrudgingly have to admit adds to the drama. When we sat down at 11am last Saturday, we were expecting to be presented with a menu full of beef hash and pancakes, similar to the one we had finally managed to glimpse on a food blog. Instead, it was much more savoury. When asking our waiter he politely told us that the one we had seen was ‘breakfast’ which is served Monday to Friday, and we were here for ‘brunch.’

Don’t think that means it isn’t a breakfast menu, there are still classics like Eggs Florentine but it has much more of a savoury edge. Think spiced crab omelette, lobster noodles and sirloin steak. We opted for smoked salmon with a herbed potato cake and poached eggs and heirloom tomatoes with burrata, basil and nut crisp. The burrata, which is meant to be a starter but is perfect for brunch, was everything you would expect from mozzarella’s richer cousin. Creamy and delicious, it was perfectly offset by the plump tomatoes and fresh basil oil.

The smoked salmon was perfect for a weekend treat and although it looked slightly small, the size was perfect. The rich hollandaise complimented the smokiness of the salmon while the herbs added a fresh edge. The dish that really got our attention though was the cornbread fingers served with chipotle-maple butter. Served warm, they were crispy yet soft and worked perfect with the smoky but sweet butter. In short, they were utterly irresistible.

What we drank: Despite being there before midday, we threw all caution to the wind and opted for an Asian Spice Bloody Mary. Decorated with strands of lemon peel and curled celery, it had the perfect level of heat while still managing to be refreshing. A selection of teas, coffees, wines and champagne cocktails were also on offer.

Need to know: Unless you’re Miss Delevingne, Chiltern Firehouse is not a place you can just swan into. Instead, you will need to book at least a month in advance.

Verdict: It may be a lot more pricy than your local caf, but boy is it worth it. The perfect place for a special occasion (i.e. every time you feel hungry), Chiltern Firehouse ticked all of the right boxes.

The damage: Expect to pay around £60 for brunch for two with a cocktail each, sides and service.

What to wear: Take things up a level and pick out your smartest shoes, even if you’re going on a Saturday morning.

Leave a Reply