Lunch on The Green

Occasionally when I decide it’s time to exercise, I walk home from work. It’s a nice 45 minute walk and I walk past great restaurants and shops I vow to revisit. As such, I walked passed Markham Inn on Chelsea Green one day. I had also read about it in an Italian magazine and figured that if they talk about it in Milan, it must be good enough. N.B. I don’t actually speak Italian, so the Italian had to translate as I mostly understood ‘brunch’ and ‘Markham Inn’.

I suggested to go for lunch with Anna, who loves a bit of Chelsea fun. She also loves a bit of Champagne and sure enough, she didn’t fail to order a mimosa first thing. I ordered freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice, which matched my salmon pink trousers of the day. Both drinks were appreciated.

Miss E made it for lunch too and it’s always nice when she joins. As she doesn’t live in the neighbourhood, it’s understandable that she doesn’t want to spend an entire Sunday sitting on the tube. But she made it, and immediately recognised the place as a ‘pub I once went to with my mum’. Actually, the brasserie stems from an 1863 pub, which was (allegedly) frequented by explorers and travellers such as as the secretary of the Royal Geographical Society.

The brasserie style interior with red leather seats would’ve been fit for a photo session with Brassaï, although less raunchy. Chelsea rarely walks on the wild side. I ordered the tuna nicoise, Anna the Eggs Benedict plus buttermilk pancakes and Miss E a classic, grilled chicken Caesar salad. I confess to never have eaten Eggs Benedict before, it simply hasn’t looked appetizing. Therefore, not having much to compare with, I can only say that these were the best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever tasted. I can add, that I think they might be the nicest Eggs Benedict I will ever have.

The tuna was perfectly seared, and came with a lovely vinaigrette that I could buy and store in litre jars in my cupboard. The Caesar salad similarly impressed with its light and creamy dressing. Out of curiosity I just read about the origin of the Caesar salad and it turns out it’s from Mexico. Am I too immersed and indoctrinated in Italian culture if  I thought it was a reference to the Emperor?

The only downside of the meal were the pancakes – and they weren’t even a downside as I didn’t order them. Anna was the unlucky recipient, but I think she liked them. I thought they weren’t as fluffy as I’d liked them to be, so I just tried two bites. I was happy with the lunch anyway and with so many negative restaurant experiences lately (one day I will share the dry quesadilla story with you, but it’s too traumatic to discuss for the moment), I was only too pleased to find a true star hiding on the Green.

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