We’ve all read about it, seen the pap pics and tried desperately to book a table for dinner but why is Chiltern Firehouse so hot right now? Is it just public relations puff or is there real substance behind this stylish new restaurant? Allow me to give you the run down…
Firehouse is a cool new hotel/restaurant in London’s Marylebone which occupies the building of an old fire station. It is the brainchild of hotelier Andre Balazs and is now part of his restaurant portfolio that owns glamorous Chateau Marmont in Hollywood and the Mercer hotel in New York. Originally one of London’s first purpose-built fire stations, the Grade II listed gothic Victorian building has been transformed into a swanky New York-style brasserie with high ceilings, hanging light fittings, large mirrors and a busy open kitchen. Guests are greeted by attractive top-hatted doormen and escorted through a pretty garden courtyard to their tables.
Since opening on 20th February 2014, the restaurant has been awash with A-list diners including Simon Cowell, David Beckham, Kate Moss, Adele, Bill Clinton, Bradley Cooper and Orlando Bloom.
The publicity drive has been incredible and there is clearly a savvy PR agency behind the launch which seems to be going from strength to strength. Chiltern Firehouse is THE place to have dinner in London…even David Cameron paid the place a visit last week!
Media coverage may be coming through thick and fast but eventually the hype will die down and it will be interesting to see what strategy their PR consultants implement to keep the buzz and popularity alive.
Nuno Mendes, formerly of Viajante, has created an American inspired menu with dishes including chargrilled Iberico pork, cornbread, fried chicken, crab-stuffed doughnuts, Firehouse Ceasar Salad and blackened salmon with sea kale and trout roe. Mains start from around £25 per person but you’ll pay close to £40 for a steak. Wine starts from around £19 per bottle so, between friends, it’s not too balance breaking, especially if you’re rubbing shoulders with Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora!
Reviews have been mixed (more on the positive side) but this is a risk any restaurant takes when inviting journalists to critique their food. From what I can see, there has not been a review that warrants any kind of crisis PR support and let’s hope that remains the case!
Balazs seems to have struck gold here with the balance of tasty and stylish dishes that can be enjoyed at fairly reasonable prices.
Tom Parker-Bowles recently reviewed the restaurant and described it as ‘hotter than the surface of the Sun, where even God would have to wait for a table’. With that in mind, you may struggle to get a table but if you are lucky enough to nab a seat at this glorious new restaurant, I suspect it will be worth the wait!