The Jam Tree, Chelsea
The Jam Tree is a Chelsea joint that rather sweetly references trendier locales, with its edgy Union Jack chairs, Warholian prints and general sense of creative fun in its design. I believe they call it ‘post-modern Rule Britannia chic’ and it’s just delightful. Like any good gastro pub, it’s got a fantastic decking garden, big and well heated, to huddle and ‘smirt’ to your heart’s content. The menu is delightfully schizophrenic, from English hearty fare, to samosas and French gourmet. For a date though, forget about heading there in the evening , it’s all about the daytime Sunday Roast and the longest list of Bloody Marys I’ve seen in London, from a gin version to an oregano-packed Italian one.
You’ll get rather excited at the starter list (scallops, pork belly) but if tackling the roast, it would be foolhardy to dilly-dally with anything before. The portions are gargantuan. The meat comes with duck-fat roast potatoes, 2 Yorkshire puddings, plentiful veg, gravy, stuffing, the absolute works. Accompanying this, go for the Bloody Spicey (a horseradish infused Mary) or the Bloody Maria (a Mary with tequila, quite wrong but rather right).
This is the place for a shared hangover, the night after a third or fourth date. Concentrate on building your strength for a second go in the bedroom, or enjoy the blissful hangover session, where inhibitions are low, the world is fuzzy around the edges, poor jokes are suddenly very amusing and everything imbibed is heavy and comforting. If you can enjoy this hearty brunch with him/her, you’re likely to want to enjoy many more. Nothing like a little bit of nesting.
A hell of a lot of food for a date.
0-5. It may have already happened last night, and this is the post-coital hurrah. If not you’ll have to walk this meal off, find the nearby Eight over Eight for more drinks and make another stab at it 4 hours on, once digested and revitalised.