Chelsea Prayer Room, GOAT, Chelsea

  • DATE #276
  • Written by Gloria Parakeet (Guest Author)
  • 4 years ago
Get your Goat, you've pulled

The Vibe

In a City obsessed with hidden gems, where every fridge, nook and cranny seems to be home to a sneaky watering hole, I’ve taken to whispering passwords at pretty much anything these days – toilet seats included, and knocking for hollow walls. So the Chelsea Prayer Room upstairs at The Goat has a tough act to follow, but holds its own against fierce competition. Say you’re there to “repent for your sins” and get a secret code that opens a hidden door into a den of opulence. Inside, it more than meets expectations; reaffirming why the speakeasy is such a popular first date choice: flattering candlelight, sofas to sink into side-by-side, vintage charm aplenty and dare I say it – jazz. There are plenty of conversation pieces around to help with general ice-breaking; the menu comes in an old hymn book, cocktails arrive in beautiful crystal glasses – even the shot (on the house no less) came in an antique shot glass, not to mention the potency of the beverages themselves. We are not breaking any new ground here, but the formula ain’t broke. Anyway, it’s about time that Chelsea caught up with some of the Hackney staples (vintages touches and tattooed staff). The only giveaway that you’re still in the Royal Borough is the well-heeled crowd. Famously, the artist George Morland had to pay his bar bill here with a painting.  Today’s drinkers don’t look like bills are a problem.

The Order

The drinks have as much substance as style. Get the Little Tokyo (plum wine and egg white), which is different and effective. Tread carefully with Death in the Afternoon (champagne, absinthe, lemon). The food hails from the pub downstairs.  This is New York diner fare with a gourmet flourish – fries here are made from polenta and drizzled in truffle oil and are delicious. The burgers are a safe bet, though not the easiest first date fodder, but perhaps wise if you favour the Dutch courage approach to dating. The best thing we had was the ‘Nduja (spicy pork) pizza, which I’ve been craving ever since.

The Game

Get the timing right as you don’t want to arrive too early. Start the night with dinner downstairs (or outside if it’s still warm) and then head here for a more intimate drink if things are going well.  You leave by the back stairs so you needn’t worry about staggering a little after the absinthe-laced cocktails – or getting a little frisky. It’s perfect for a cosy winter date with extra cachet, and a welcome addition to the repertoire of the West.

The Faults

The Chelsea crowd, though great for people watching, do clash a bit with the trendy, shabby atmosphere.

Sex Factor

4 – Unique, potent cocktails in a brooding environment will leave you repenting for another day and it is absolutely worth it.


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