Sunday, 1 May 2011

Belmont at Chelsea

I didn't dump the trusty cycle in the bushes this time, having suffered yet another puncture a week ago due to tiny berberis thorns.

Instead, I simply chained it to a lamp-post along the railway platform. The 18:23 duly arrived, I paid the pretty blonde conductress the £3.50 for a return ticket to Adelaide halt (within striking distance of the Lisburn Road in Belfast).

I met BP at "Central" station (heaven knows why they gave it that appellation) and we got off at the deserted Adelaide halt on what was really a fine evening.

The Lisburn Road was sunny and quiet. Less than ten minutes took us to the Chelsea Wine Bar, stated to be "Belfast's original wine-bar ... situated among the fine boutiques, art galleries and beauty salons of south Belfast ... here you mingle with the fashion cognoscenti in an elegant, relaxing environment with fine food and wines".

I have to say that I did rather like it. It seems fairly modern in its d├ęcor to me, with modern art, wooden flooring, banquette seating at the sides and very trendy, leathery armchairs which recline if you press your back against them; very comfy.

The waitresses are charming here, wearing smart outfits with aprons. They smile a lot; they are engaging; well turned out; attentive, since they were along in a flash when they noticed our glasses depleted.

The menu is imaginative, too: I had the Hog Roast Sandwich, slow roast shoulder of pork with caramelised onion gravy, served with chips and salad at £8.95. BP enjoyed the fiery Crispy Honey Chilli Chicken, served on stir fry vegetables, egg noodles in a honey chilli sauce, also £8.95.

No complaints about the standard of cuisine at all: My pork was lean and tender with, as stated, an onion gravy, a generous salad and very good little chips served in a deep bowl. I tasted BP's chilli chicken and liked it, too. The chilli was certainly discernible.

Despite the wine-list having over 100 wines to choose from, including Krug at £150, I stuck to Plymouth gin throughout the evening.

It was quiet when we arrived, though patrons, many of them ladies, began arriving and the bar was "buzzing" by ten o'clock. Most of them went upstairs, where live music had begun; and we, too, ventured upstairs after our food.

Unfortunately we didn't meet anybody on this occasion, the last train being at 23:10; though we both agreed that, had we met anybody, we could have got a taxi home.

I think it's a good place and we both agreed that we shall pay a return visit soon.


Anonymous said...

what roughly is the journey time from Sydenham to Adelaide? I presume there is a change at "Central"? Just curious as I travel this route by car a lot and it is a 30 minute drive at the best of times, if NIR can best that I'm keen.

Timothy Belmont said...

I seem to recall less than 20 minutes: It stops at central for 3 or 4 minutes, though you don't change trains. The carriages are fairly comfortable these days, too.

Anonymous said...

that's pretty good, must give it a go. plus much less spides on the trains than on the buses ;)

madpierre said...

26 mins weekdays according to timetable, 23 mins at weekend!!!

Timothy Belmont said...

Pierre, you are a man of rare perspicacity!