Fox & Pheasant1 Billing Road
See more about this pub on WhatPub, CAMRA's national pub guide.
Under new ownership (so saved from possible redevelopment) and sensitively refurbished and extended during a fifteen month closure, the Fox & Pheasant re-opened in late June 2018, welcoming back drinkers and diners to a quintessentially British and charmingly vibrant country pub on the Chelsea-Fulham border. The two original bars were restored to their original appearance; an olive tree-filled conservatory (with a retractable roof for summer) was added at the rear; and, on the second floor, a secluded, wood-panelled private dining room that seats up to 22 was created. Once inside, you could be excused for thinking that you were in a rural setting instead of just a few yards from the busy Fulham Road and close to Chelsea football ground! You enter a small lobby with an off-sales hatch to the servery and doors to the former public bar, to the left, and the larger saloon bar on the right. The interior is a typical modest pub-fitting from between the wars, now quite rare, albeit more comfortably furnished for the twenty-first century. Built in the late 1840s, at the same time as the canal-worker cottages beyond it, the pub has an unusual curved section dividing the frontage, believed to have resulted from litigation concerning the line of the road. Originally the Prince of Wales, by 1861 it had been renamed the Bedford Arms, then to become the Fox & Pheasant in about 1965. It was licensed as simply a beer house until as late as 1953. Now it offers three real ales which change from time to time; a small range of keg and bottled beers and ciders; and a well-selected wine list and the inevitable cocktails. Whilst the pub still firmly caters for drinkers, for those who wish to eat the pub’s dining experience claims to champion British produce and to be founded on seasonal, sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, all under the care of a Gordon Ramsay-trained head chef. Whilst the kitchen has a break in the late afternoon (except on Sundays), bar snacks are available all day and include classics such as scotch eggs and sausage rolls, alongside more original dishes like buttermilk fried rabbit or sticky pork tacos. Note that the pub is in a gated private road which contrives with the double-yellow lines on the adjacent public highway to make parking nearby very difficult. If you choose to get here via West Brompton station, there is an interesting "rural route" south through the Victorian cemetery (which closes an hour or so before dusk).