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Gallery Mess (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of Gallery Mess in Chelsea, London

Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 4SQ
Cuisine: British
Tel: 0207 730 8135 | Email to Gallery Mess | Transport: Sloane Square | Write review

Gallery Mess Review

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Best for: Warmth from the bitter cold, Meatball Monday, incredible wine, post-shopping dinner.

Great: Artwork, service, views over the park, menu choices.

The boss says I’m going to Gallery Mess and he hopes I like meatballs. Yes to the latter, but visiting a mess? No thanks. I’m a Marple kind of woman (without that tight grey perm) so I went straight into investigating this so-called ‘mess’ by tackling the problem head-on. I got the bus.

To start, the definition of ‘mess’: 1. An untidy, disordered, dirty, or generally unpleasant state or condition. 2. The excrement of a domestic animal. 3a. A prepared dish of soft or liquid food, 3b. an unappetising mixture of ingredients eaten together. 4. A disorganised situation resulting from misunderstanding, blundering, or misconduct. 5. A person whose appearance is untidy or whose life and affairs are in disorder. 6. A place where service men or women eat their meals.

Point 1: Untidy, disordered and dirty? No, far from it; the Gallery Mess is smack bang in the middle of Sloane Ranger-ville. With coifs and toffs the order of the day at the King’s Road location, the Mess is in a (without sounding too much like an estate agent) desirable location with an assortment of shops that will have you looking super-chic in no time.

The restaurant has a pleasant, tidy feeling with high vaulted ceilings, beautiful exposed brickwork and a bar, stocked floor-to-ceiling with bottles of plonk – that’s me happy. Through to the back the brickwork continues on one side, and on the other, full-length windows with views of the snow, or more usually the park and houses you wish one day you might live in.

On the walls are modern artwork, some of which could be described as messy, depending on which way you lean in the great art debate. It might just be splodges of paint on a canvas done by a toddler, or genius masterstrokes which evoke intelligence and creativity. But there’s an explanation as to why there’s a bright lit-up neon lady, a fishy friend staring at us from afar, and a giant shoe in the restaurant. The Gallery Mess is at the famous Saatchi Gallery, and all artwork on display is yours to take home; for the right price, of course.

So that’s the Gallery part sussed. Are we getting closer to what the ‘mess’ is all about?

Point 2: The excrement of a domestic animal? No evidence of domestic animals at the Gallery Mess so moving swiftly on...

Point 3a: ah, here’s what the ‘mess’ must be about, a prepared dish of soft food or liquid. A delightful bottle of New Zealand Cloudy Bay was ordered from the vast menu and if anything it made us messy and the Gallery Mess even more appealing.

Point 3b: an unappetising mixture of ingredients eaten together. This was as far from the truth as Bill Clinton was from faithfulness back in the 90s, and I swear under oath, dinner was most definitely appetising.

To start, a five spice duck salad composed of fresh chicory leaves and sweet pear, whilst I opted for the potted smoked salmon which came in a lovely-I-think-I’m-obsessed-with-them Kilner jar that I so very nearly licked clean and took home. For mains, my +1 - a gal who doesn’t mess about (ba boom boom tssssh) - enjoyed a crown of pheasant. I, remembering my bosses earlier question, chose the meatballs. You see at Gallery Mess, Mondays aren’t complete unless there are meatballs involved. Hence, Meatball Monday was invented.

Not the original Italian meatballs that Mama used to make, mind. These are meatballs of the world, well-travelled meatballs with visits to Japan, Thailand and even India. I had the Moroccan variety with cous cous. Two huge rotund delicious balls of lamb with a creamy sauce; devoured wholeheartedly. Why can’t they have Meatball Everyday?!

So my investigation, although enjoyable, hadn’t, by this point, uncovered the truth about the ‘Mess’. It seems I’m more Penfold than Marple.

Point 4: A disorganised situation. Nope, not here; the service was seamless and faultless throughout. The courses were all served in a timely manner and there wasn’t a single thing we would possibly complain about, apart from the snow maybe.

So perhaps Point 5?: A person whose appearance is untidy? Nope, not that either. The waitress floated around like a ballerina, filling our glasses and serving our dinner, while we rabbited on at each other barely noticing her come and go.

Which leads to the last point. Eureka! Point 6: A place where service men or women eat their meals. But wait, where are these service men and women? Long gone, apparently, but once upon a time this mess, as in Officer’s Mess, was where the Grand Old Duke of York (he who had ten thousand men) once fed his troops. And the mess? That comes from the word messuage, an old term for a dwelling place.

So there you have it. Gallery Mess, everything makes sense now. Just call me Sherlock Holmes.
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Customer Reviews for Gallery Mess

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Gallery Mess.

“I've been there for breakfast and lunch and have always been impressed, there's a huge selection to choose from and it's always delicious, especially the afternoon tea. Perfect after a busy morning shopping on the King's Road”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Daisy Spokes, Putney (7 years 8 months 12 days ago)

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Additional Information

Special offers, discounts and deals at Gallery Mess

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Champagne afternoon tea £29.50 per person

Type: Afternoon tea, Fixed price Menu, From £20 to £30, Wining and Dining Special Offer

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