Stanley’s is exactly what London needs right now. An all day dining gem in a hidden courtyard, that has the feels of escaping to somewhere far far away.

Stanley's Restaurant Chelsea
Stanley’s Restaurant Chelsea

What magic ingredient does Stanley’s have? It takes nerves of steel to open a restaurant straight out of the covid 19 lockdown. Yet this is what they have done, and it seems to be paying off.

Inside out style at Stanley’s

Sit under huge umbrella’s, fairy lights and a London summer al fresco vibe. With tables set nicely apart, eating outside come rain or shine, it feels safe and at a social distance.

Stanley's Restaurant Chelsea

Tables are dotted around and all at a good distance apart. With the sound of a little fountain, in the morning, you can’t even hear a car. Fresh herbs decorate the tables, water glasses that add a pop of colour against the very ‘rustic’ chic interiors. It has all the feels of Soho House.

Stanley's Restaurant Chelsea
The conservatory at Stanley’s

Head inside for your pop of colour in the loos, which are as wild as they are fun! On the way you pass by the open conservatory, and a lush interior space that has booths to seat groups of 6. For your small family group, you may well want to make use of their private dining room which sits up to 12.

Who is behind Stanley’s?

Stanley’s is the brainchild of Hugh Stanley. A background in hospitality; a stint at Tramp and the last 3 years at the Sydney Arms pub. He saw a gap in the market and an empty space waiting to be revived. His enthusiasm for 2020 goals was real, like many of us on 31st January!

Stanley's Restaurant Chelsea
The bar at Stanley’s

With Covid looming, Hugh responded by making lockdown productive and focused, he designed and adapted the restaurant space. It gave him time to think about all the details without being rushed. At the age of 27 you have to give him credit for this magnificent achievement.

Who is his chef…? Well it is Olivia Burt. A young chef with such an intuitive passion for food you can hardly believe her cv.. from Joel Robuchon in Paris, to sous chef at Claridges in Mayfair. At the age of 23 she was a finalist in 2019’s Masterchef the Professionals.

Stanley's Restaurant Chelsea
Pretty delicious plates

Olivia’s passion for Stanley’s is to use the best of British seasonal food from British farmers. This is her first restaurant and she wants to get it right. She has worked with the best, and knows what it takes to get it right. As we are talking, her eyes are watching every dish coming out of the kitchen, and how it is being presented. She’s on it.

Stanley’s |What did we eat

We started with the Sourdough Crumpet with Cornish crab & Potted Shrimp with Beef Tartare, Pickled Shallots & Smoked Egg Yolk. Both leave an amazing aftertaste, that just want you wanting more.

Stanley's Restaurant Chelsea
This Masterchef dish was described by William Sitwell ‘As one of the finest beef tartars I’ve eaten in a long time.’

Stanley’s Garden Salad is a colourful bowl of goodness. The sort of bowl I want to have in front of me.

Stanley's Restaurant Chelsea

As for the fresh Halibut… simple and absolutely delicious.

Stanley's Restaurant Chelsea

We left enough space for pudding. There was no doubt about which one we were going for. It had to be the plum and custard pot, although I’ve since been back at night and we had the fig leaf & gooseberry dish, and the caramelised chocolate. Both excellent.

Stanley's Restaurant Chelsea.
Olivia’s showstopper for Masterchef. Described by Marcus Wearing as ‘‘…It melts in the mouth as it should’

Verdict on Stanley’s Chelsea

If you WFH, like most of us these days, I will safely say that Stanley’s should be on your radar. Weekends and evenings are a little busier, subsequently noisier. It’s a restaurant that lends itself to tables of two or four, but there are bigger tables for 6 as you walk in.

Stanley's Restaurant Chelsea
Tables for six at Stanley’s

I love the space, and I feel far more comfortable sitting outside at the moment. However, we sat in the conservatory recently, and while we watched the young, quite happy hiding under the umbrella’s in the rain, I was much happier at one of the four tables inside.

Stanley's Restaurant Chelsea
Culinary details, that are as pretty as they are tasty

The food is exquisite. Plates are small sharing plates, with a new à la carte menu this week, there is something for everyone. If you have a large appetite, you may wish for more. I like small portions, so this suits me to the ground. Mr B however, definitely wanted a little more meat on his plate. Leave room for desert – that would be my top tip. There is magic at Stanley’s, but you have to come and see it for yourselves.

Stanley’s Chelsea Restaurant
151 Sydney Street, London SW3 6NT