Dining out with the Grand Old Duke of York

Tue Jul 7, 2009 12:14pm EDT
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By Julie Mollins

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Historical intrigue abounds in London's legendary Chelsea neighborhood, and now visitors can dine right in the heart of it in Saatchi Gallery's new Gallery Mess restaurant.

Chelsea has attracted royalty and soldiers, housed the rich and famous, and inspired the careers of pop stars and artists since it was first established as a village by Anglo-Saxon settlers attracted by its handy location on the River Thames.

The likes of author Oscar Wilde, artist John Singer Sargent, musician Mick Jagger and Thomas More, beheaded for resisting Henry VIII's reformation of the Church of England, have been residents of the area.

Over the several decades since the "Swinging Sixties," Chelsea has become renowned as an upscale shopping and dining area.

Gallery Mess adds to the mix of eatery options with a nod via its name to its historical military setting. The next-door Saatchi Gallery, noted for its role in promoting Young British Artists and contemporary art since the 1980s, moved into the 19th-century Duke of York's Headquarters on the King's Road in 2008.

The licensed 120-seat restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and supper seven days a week. It serves up a mix of meat, fish and salad dishes in addition to ambitious daily specials and desserts.

The Great British Breakfast includes dry-cured bacon, black pudding, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms and eggs. For lunch and dinner, the menu offers an avocado and fennel salad, chargrilled chicken breast or classic burger.

The dessert menu offers a milk chocolate popcorn sundae or knickerbocker glory as well as a rhubarb and strawberry crumble.   Continued...

<p>Saatchi Gallery's new Gallery Mess restaurant is seen in this undated photo. REUTERS/Julie Mollins</p>