Pestana Chelsea Bridge Hotel and Spa, 354 Queenstown Road, Battersea, London

...enviably placed in the trendy riverside area

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Address:354 Queenstown Road
Map:Map & nearby
Nearest Station:Battersea Park
About: The modern, upmarket Atlântico Restaurant and lounge is the flagship dining room of celebrated four star hotel the Pestana Chelsea Bridge. Sandwiched between the leafy Battersea Park and the iconic power station, the hotel and restaurant are conveniently located for the very best London has to offer, moments from the nearest tube shop and a very short walk across the Thames to the well-heeled shopping mecca of Chelsea. Appealing to business diners and locals with a sense of style and a good food seeking radar, Atlântico is decorated in a classic contemporary style, neutral and sharp lined with a chilled, slightly hushed atmosphere, making it ideal for getting away from the streets and relaxing over dinner and wine. In addition to hearty breakfasts and deliciously simple lunches, the Atlântico Restaurant provides guests with a creative take on Portuguese cuisine, with many of the a la carte menu’s specialty dishes inspired by the authentic recipes of the Gentle Land.

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"...enviably placed in the trendy riverside area"

Review Rating: 7 / 10
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Reviewed by Directionless

The Chelsea Bridge Hotel sits as part of the giant glass complex between Battersea Park and the power station, just south of the river. A bit of a walk from the tube (the nearest stop, Sloane Square, is about 15 minutes away) the hotel is nonetheless enviably placed in the trendy riverside area.

The restaurant is situated on the ground floor, separated from the bar by a suave glass wall. The place has a noir feel to it, slightly shady, the kind of setting that might appear in a novelised detective scene.

On entry, the first impression is of a sturdy table of tapas. The Atlantico table tapas are offered as one of the staple starters and are usually followed by the roast of the day. Customers have the option of picking their own from the broad selection, or, if you don’t fancy standing up, the staff are more than happy to design a plate and ferry it over.

The tapas really are good. Peppers stuffed with bree, sweet garlic, mozzarella balls, sundried tomatoes, aubergine, cheeses, salami to die for… The portions are generous, and the taste is great. This isn’t one of those situations of cold, oily food. The flavours have been caught in their prime and the combination is terrific.

The cocktail waiters at the bar are on hand to mix and deliver those all important beverages. The range is good, including classics such as a mango martini made from mango puree and vodka with an apple garnish. You can also venture out on a limb with concoctions such as the in house chilli cocktail – a spiced drink with watermelon, vanilla vodka and chilli. It’s got a kick and is certainly imaginative.

If you don’t fancy tapas, there are a good selection of starters, raging from a simple baked bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil to a more complicated fresh baby squid in chilli tempera.

The mains cover fish, grills and the usual list of house dishes. There’s octopus or halibut, there’s a green pea, broad bean and asparagus risotto. The confit duck leg is very satisfactory, coming with a delicate arrangement of sautéed potatoes and chorizo and lying on a bed of spinach. The Banham chicken is also good, and comes with creamy mashed potato, mushrooms and the straightest piece of pancetta known to humanity.

The dessert list is excellent. Particularly commendable is the vast crème brulee. This comes with four vanilla biscuits and some slices of sugared passion fruit. The Chocolate fondant with mint ice cream and hazelnut puree is also superb.

Overall, the experience is highly satisfactory. It’s what you’d expect of a hotel restaurant in this kind of position. The staff all operate with an exquisite politeness and clearly know about the food they are serving, which is always nice.

Directionless reviewed Atlantico on Tue 21 Jun 2011

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