West London


Excellent bar snacks + drinks at this celeb haunt


On Chiltern Street, walking distance from the bustling upmarket Marylebone High Street.


Housed in a former gothic Victorian fire station (hence the name), the main dining is glamorous but not in an over the top way, it actually just looks like an elegant brasserie. We had drinks in the ‘Ladder Room’ which kind of looks like an indoor tropical garden. It also has a fairly large courtyard where guests can lounge.


I didn’t actively avoid Chiltern Firehouse, I just wasn’t that bothered about trying to get into a celeb haunt that hadn’t got glowing reviews for the food. My sister and a few friends found ourselves in the neighbourhood, so decided to go for pre-dinner drinks and nibbles here; the wine and cocktails were great as were the tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, chicken bites we ordered.

Chiltern Firehouse undoubtedly exercise a ‘hire only beautiful people’ policy with the female waitresses clad in Emilia Wickstead garb but the service is professional and charming, so I can’t fault them.

Based on the little chicken delights we had, I would be interested to see how the larger plates fare (now the hype has died down 18 months post its opening and mere mortals can presumably get a dinner reservation), thought it’s still not top of my list of restaurants to visit. However for drinks and nibbles it’s pretty perfect.


André Balazs clearly has a knack for creating laid back but glamorous settings that people want to hang out in. The Standard in Miami was my place of choice to hang out in when I was there earlier in the year.


Drinks were not cheap but the wine and cocktails we had were very good so I didn’t begrudge handing over my sterling. The chicken was priced at £6 per portion. Our bill came to about £30 per head.


I haven’t eaten in the restaurant, so can’t comment on that front but as far as drinks and nibbles go, I’d give Chiltern a big thumbs up.

Cuisine: Modern American

Cost: c.£30 for drinks and nibbles only

Address: 1 Chiltern St London W1U 7PA

Tube: Baker Street 

Reservations: Yes (but you can walk in for drinks if there’s availability)

Hours: Open 7 days a week (see website for full deets)

Phone: +44 (0)20 7073 7676