Although many traditional pubs have gone the way of the modern gastro, The Rose may have gastro-style food, but it certainly doesn’t have any of the attitude.
This isn’t a pub you’d ordinarily stumble upon; it is set in a calm residential area just off the King’s Road, between Fulham Broadway and Imperial Wharf stations. It sits quietly, without making much fuss or drawing too much attention to itself, but its subtlety makes you want to investigate further. On the inside it’s all wooden fixtures and the walls are painted a pastel olive green. It’s a soothing and sophisticated place and the general feeling is welcoming.
At the front of the pub there are wooden pews and pine tables for you to have drinks and some home comfort food. As you walk around there are red felt armchairs and other antiquated furniture, giving it again a very homely feel. The addition of an indoor lavender window box fills the pub with a soothing scent, which is a nice touch.
The bar is semi-circular and you can order from all sides. There’s even a brass bell dangling above for last orders. On the other side of the bar are more places for you to sit and bigger tables for people with groups.
The greatest asset to this pub is its wild beer garden. For starters it is a proper garden, with bushes and trees leaning over you. It is simply stunning and is superb in summer.
Being near to Stamford Bridge, you get your fair share of Chelsea fans coming in before the game starts, so on match days expect to see – and hear - footie fans. When there are important sporting tournaments on, the TVs show the sport but this isn’t a sporting pub, it’s a pub to hang out in. However, typically it is a local crowd who enjoy chatting with friends in a supremely relaxed environment aided by the dedicated and friendly bar staff.
When it comes to the food, the aim is to serve fresh, British homemade food and they do so with ease. The starters range from £5-£7.50 and include salmon and smoked haddock fish cakes (£7.50) and penne pasta (£6.50). The pasta is soft with a luxurious homemade tomato sauce with two dollops of lightly melted mozzarella placed on top. It is a generous portion, so watch out if you have a small appetite. The shreds of basil placed on it go very well with the sauce, as does the parmesan.
Mains are priced between £10.50 for a char-grilled chicken Caesar salad to £16.50 for the rib-eye steak. The Caesar salad will convert anyone who wouldn’t normally pick the dish, as it is very well constructed and unbelievably tasty. A poached egg is perched precariously on top of the salad and once you pierce it, the yolk spills out excitedly onto the bright green lettuce leaves, creating a beautifully colourful scene in front of you. The chicken is juicy and the parmesan shavings give the salad depth and flavour. Instead of little garlic croutons, you instead get one large thin crispy piece of garlic soaked bread which is utterly divine. If you fancy something a bit more substantial, then the burger (£11) is definitely worth a try. The bun is made on the premises, as is all the bread, and it is very soft. Your meat is cooked to order, it’s juicy and the cheese salad filling is mighty. The fries also hit the spot, being well seasoned and offering just the right amount of crispiness.
All desserts are £5 and include banoffee crumble, raspberry parfait and bread and butter pudding. The banoffee crumble is deconstructed and crumbled up into a glass. If you are a fan of banoffee treats then you’ll be very impressed with this dish as it is well balanced with a light toffee flavour and flaky biscuity base. The vanilla ice-cream and swirl of raspberry coulis served along side it, complements it well.
A good selection of draught beer is on offer, such as Beck Vier (£3.40), Staropramen (£3.60), Addlestones, Heineken, Guinness (£3.50) and bitters (£3.10), to name a few. When it comes to the wine list, it is fairly big, quite well thought out and very reasonably priced. The house a French Vin de Pays d’Oc is £14 a bottle, £3.50 a small glass and £4.70 a large. The house red is an easy drink and not too complicated. For whites there is a 2008 French Viognier (£21/£7/£5.30) and a 2008 Reisling (£31.50) and the reds have a South African Cabernet Sauvignon (£17 per bottle) and a 2007 Rioja (£22). For sparkling options there is a Prosecco (£18), Charles Mignon Champagne (£35) and Laurent Perrier (£50).
The Last Word
It’s unusual to find such a laid back and friendly pub without any pretentiousness just off the King’s Road, but this is what The Rose achieves. With homemade food and great surroundings, this pub is a real asset to the area.