Most South West Londoners have either heard of or been to ‘The Collection’ in their lives, from Chelsea footballers to high rolling city slickers the flaming torch lit entrance has been a beacon of prosperity for over ten years. Sadly for a while times of austerity saw this glamorous hotspot’s popularity dwindle, but thankfully, as Jess and I discovered last week it’s back with a vengeance- revamped, refurbed and looking sleeker than ever.
Imposing as ever the entrance to The Collection makes you feel very elitist; burly bouncers give you the once over before you shimmy down the illuminated catwalk to a tiny door leading to an Alice in Wonderland style playground for grownups. True to Chelsea form a bevy of glamorous hostesses in skin tight bandage dresses are primed to greet you, take your coat and generally make you feel like a VIP. The room is as dramatic as before but gone is the nineties chintzy ‘Asian decor’. The high ceiling is adorned with a contemporary crumpled metallic chandelier designed by Tom Dixon, one of many examples of his innovative design throughout the restaurant.
Having poured over the refreshingly different cocktail menu I opted for the ‘Prince Charming’, a glittering raspberry concoction that was delightfully fruity. Jess enjoyed her usual favourite, an aperol spritz and we began the somewhat mammoth task of choosing some ‘Southern Mediterranean’ small plates (tapas) to start. Head Chef Alex Fanzola has carefully handpicked his favourite suppliers, favouring quality over convenience to create an exciting yet sophisticated menu. We both agreed this would be the perfect venue for a date or special occasion; low lighting, intimate booths and exceptional service make for an informal but very elegant atmosphere.
Guided by the gorgeous Alex himself we ordered an array of ‘small plates’ and two exceptional main courses. The Southern Mediterranean theme encompasses something for even the pickiest of eaters, luckily as you may have gathered this is something that Jess and I don’t suffer from! As an avid fan of Daphne’s, the local SW3 Italian neighbour I was delighted to discover how equally excellent the food at The Collection is.
Over the course of the evening we devoured chorizo with sweet potato and rocket, seared squid with haricot beans, burrata with extra virgin olive oil and chilli and cured scallop carpaccio with cucumber and caviar for our ‘small plates’. Most notable are the delicious Italian imported infused olive oils that they bring to accompany the bread, the truffle oil in particular was really superb. Sticking with the typically girlie seafood theme I ordered the barbecued grouper with samphire and spiced sweet corn for my main course and Jess had the slow-cooked sturgeon with chanterelles, courgettes and basil emulsion. Boys fear not, there is also an array of steaks and grills for those seeking something a little heartier.
We were really blown away by the quality of the food and so felt it only polite to order dessert, in the name of research of course! My refreshing spiced pineapple with chilli, coriander, lemon sorbet and chilli jelly was the perfect pallet cleanser and Jess loved her warm pistachio tartlet with white chocolate mousse and macerated cherries.
The Collection is not a cheap dining option but you certainly get what you pay for, and a little more. The cocktails, food, presentation, service and atmosphere were all 10 out of 10, rich boyfriend or not it is really worth a visit.
264 Brompton Road,