A beautiful sunny Sunday lunchtime, so where better to have a roast than on the Chelsea embankment?

Festooned with flowers, this corner location is impossible to miss. It was first a pub, many decades ago, and then the Cheyne Walk Brasserie. In that previous life I remember proof reading the menu at the design agency. Small world

Sally Greene (founder of The Old Vic Theatre and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club) took it over and relaunched it in 2019 and she is here this Sunday greeting arriving guests. Also here is Executive Chef Iain Smith, previously Head Chef of Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House, so you know he has pedigree.

The downstairs room seats a surprisingly large number of people, despite dedicating a fair bit of space to a grill that reminds me of the grills found in Basque country restaurants. Big and manly and dedicated to the best fish and meat.

The room itself is more delicate, more feminine, more Provençal. Tables are laid properly with crisp linen, fine silverware and proper attention to detail. It’s certainly not a pub anymore.

Being Chelsea, the clientele are internationally well-off, with quite a few gorgeous looking people sporting the kind of tans you only get from regularly basking on a yacht. Some children are here too, all as well behaved as the dogs that are also welcome, and almost as charming too. Normally I detest children at Sunday lunch, especially when their dozy parents let them run riot. Parents here though control their children well.

Chef Iain has obviously stuck to the rules of Sunday Lunch for mains, but feels he can be more creative for starters. 

Truffle arancini with crème fraîche and herb pesto is delicious, as is Isle of Wight Asparagus and Cornish Crab Mayonnaise with pea and mint purée, pickled cucumber and blood orange with Sherry vinegar jellies. This is fancy stuff brilliantly handled and if this is an example, the weekly menu must be a treat.

So to the main event,  roasted herb Cumbrian chicken breast for P, and the 36 day-aged sirloin beef of old England for me. Good sized platefuls, thankfully not swimming in gravy, and with a crisp Yorkshire pudding that is in proportion and not an oversized monster.

The beef is ‘cut with a spoon tender’ and the chicken plump and moist. We both like the grilled cabbage half, which prevents the problem of water leaching onto the plate, and the carrot too has benefited from its deep roasting. Bread sauce is fine, but I would have preferred a coarser horseradish which is here mixed with cream so it’s a little bland.

The roast potatoes are a bit hit and miss. Some are so large that they have not cooked through properly, and by leaving the skins on the chef has missed out on getting the exterior fluffy enough to really crisp up properly. Roast potatoes are a challenge for any restaurant and here they still need a bit of work.

Still it’s a tasty plateful otherwise, and it’s good that much of the wine is available by the carafe. We have a 50cl of Italian red that has an excellent body and brick-like colour.

It only remains to do desserts and an Alphonso Mango and Vanilla Cold Rice Pudding with coconut, lemon curd and shaved white chocolate is brilliant. Alphonsos are the very best mangos money can buy, and are much softer and smoother than usual mangos. Delicious and cooling on this hot day.

Crème Caramel with Sauternes jelly and blistered raisins is also superb, the creme caramel wobbling without being spineless. I love it, absolutely gorgeous.

We left very happy. With charming and attentive staff, a gorgeous location and. if our potato malfunction was just a one off, we give Sunday roast a ten out ten at 50 

 50 Cheyne Walk, London SW3 5LR