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The Phene, Chelsea, SW3

9 Phene Street
Phone: 02073529898

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 4 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Tris C left this review about The Phene

Dating from 1853, this was the Phene Arms. I came here once before, probably more than 30 years ago and recall being joined in the gents by George Best, who could frequently be seen here, propped up by the bar.
A return the other night, to a gastropub which I don’t think is any more posh or expensive than other similar London establishments; the Chelsea Pig up the road is far more dramatic and expensive, the interior here visible on the pub’s website. I didn’t actually see the interior, as I was prevented from entering through not having booked a table. I asked if I could have a beer at the bar, but was told by the rude – and scruffy – doorman, that I still had to book; there were two drinkers visible at the bar, with plenty of space for a third person; for all its aspirations, you don’t get this treatment at the Chelsea Pig, likewise the similarly gastrofied Cooper’s Arms down the road.
If a place insists on bookings, then it’s not a pub, it’s a restaurant. Either way, I’ve no intention of returning.

On 5th December 2021 - rating: 1
[User has posted 1356 recommendations about 1334 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Phene

Attractive - but very upmarket - gastro-pub, with even half the tables in the bar laid up for those eating in addition to the various dining rooms. Also has a side garden mostly under the cover of large umbrellas. With two handpumps on the counter, Wandle and Ghost Ship are normally available, but on this post-Christmas visit to latter had been replaced by a Chocolate & Orange seasonal stout from Essex Street Brewery (with which it has a connection; much more expensive at £5.90, but something different to try).

On 2nd January 2020 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6687 recommendations about 6687 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Graham Coombs left this review about The Phene

You can only speculate that this might once have been a backstreet boozer. However it is now a ridiculously posh place, inhabited by ridiculously posh people (think 'Made in Chelsea'), with a ridiculously posh 'garden' at the side. It does at least boast a couple of handpumps, serving Ghost Ship and Wandle with the latter in very good condition. Oh, did I mention it is ridiculously posh...?

On 21st October 2019 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2479 recommendations about 2424 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Nick Davies left this review about The Phene

From tonight's Evening Standard:

"The Chelsea pub where George Best was a regular for his favourite drink of white wine with ice is to be turned into a large family home.
The Phene is owned by property tycoon and Labour donor Robert Bourne. As the Phene Arms it was frequented by Best for 15 years until his death in 2005 following a liver transplant.
The Bourne family have decided to close the pub, blaming frequent complaints from residents about noise and traffic. If an application to convert it is approved it will become a house with the 60ft by 48ft cellar being turned into a swimming pool and sauna."

On 15th August 2011 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 544 recommendations about 536 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Phene

This pub has now re-opened after having been closed for several years. The name has been truncated to “The Phene” from its erstwhile name of “The Phene Arms”. It’s named after one Dr John Samuel Phene, who championed the advent of tree-lined streets. He built (the obviously tree-lined) Phene St, including the pub named after him. It looks as if it is mainly a restaurant now, but there was no problem with me just having a drink and sitting on one of the cheap sofas at the rear. The main bar/restaurant area is furnished in bright red banquettes, and with normal tables and chairs of course as the main focus is on dining. There are black painted walls, and with mirrors covering the pillars, as well as one enormous floor to ceiling mirror to the left of the bar counter, it has a rather incongruous nightclub look to it.
There’s no real ale on offer, but they do offer the (thankfully) rarely seen keg version of London Pride. I couldn’t face looking at another expensive Chelsea pub/restaurant menu after paying £2.25 for a half of Peroni. I thought that it was worth going in to visit an iconic 60s pub, but I really can’t see any reason for a return visit.

On 14th April 2011 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2593 recommendations about 2507 pubs]