skip nav  

Builders Arms, Chelsea

back to pub details

user reviews of the Builders Arms, Chelsea

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Called in on a Friday afternoon to escape the Spring snow. Nice enough inside but definitely more of an eatery than a pub. Had to take the first pints back, and the Youngs ordinary that replaced them was nothing special. Friendly staff though.
dan76uk - 3 May 2016 10:00
It has been gastrified but there's plenty of space to relax in the drinking area. A nice warm fire as well.
16jamesdoc - 20 Oct 2013 14:29
Looking for a pub to watch the England game, we called in here... Wrong ! Rather 'jolly hockey sticks' than football. Clean (almost clinical), pint of Pride, well poured, good head, friendly staff but felt out of place in my footie top.
Fuller_Beer - 16 Jun 2012 09:46
Pride, Cornish Coaster and Adnamís Bitter on. This place is all sofas and luxury, but with a few tables and chairs outside mainly for the smokers. Not much like a pub; par for the course in this area I suppose.
RexRattus - 15 Mar 2009 17:40
Very pleasant pub in winter, warm and cosy atmosphere (unless you sit in the strange corridor at the end).
Been there perhaps a dozen times in the last 18 months. Staff at the bar always friendly (though one does not understand why they must give you the change on a plate, after touching it with their hands anyway), staff for the food mostly friendly, beer choice fully in order.

Food is, if you ask me, more than a bit overpriced, but i was never disappointed.
This is not a pub for the weekend, where it is always full to the point of discomfort. A quiet evening in the middle of the week is the best time.
I brought Italian friends there on several occasions, hoping to let them taste a bit of "England" (both atmosphere and food), and they always were very satisfied.

ebenezerscrooge - 22 Jan 2009 01:04
We used to go in this place after work, but the heavy mob were too much to take. It was always: 7pm - menu shoved under yer nose | 7:30pm - "are you eating or just having a drink" (response: just here for a drink) | 7:40pm - "please vacate this table now (and bugger off elsewhere), you are not eating" ... NICE ATTITUDE!

If you're in the area, stick to friendly pubs, like Album, The Chelsea Potter or The Peer.
pubsta - 11 Nov 2008 17:25
I am so pleased that Daniel and Darren bothered to flag how awful this pub is. Many thanks to you both. If you are in SW3, DO NOT waste your time even trying out this place - effin' awful!
davidg12 - 9 Nov 2008 11:55
Went to this pub to meet friends and have some 'great' food before moving on. Bar staff were pleasant enough, restaurant staff totally obnoxious. Arrived at 7pm and asked if we could eat. No problem we were told. At 830 we were finally seated at a table which could have been in a broom cupboard, despite many tables in the main seating area being unoccupied all the while. Waited 15 minutes for a drink. The £16 rib-eye steak was virtually inedible tasting only of charcoal, a £2.50 tomato and onion starter consisted of 1 sliced tomato and a sliver of red onion, no dressing, unbelievable. Starters and sides were grossly overpriced and were left largely untouched. Rib of beef was excellent but should have been at £26 for 2 people. Didn't expect to have to do the carving myself though! No freshly ground pepper was offered at all. Finally left at 9.30, an hour late for our party nearby. Did the staff really expect a tip?
If you have to visit this pub, avoid eating, it will take forever and you will probably be very disappointed and certainly much poorer...
darren_pratt - 9 Nov 2008 10:44
We were completely let down by the management of this pub. In an attempt to arrange leaving drinks for a friend we rang the pub to try and arrange to book a table for drinking and dining. We were told that the pub does not do reserved seating areas. With this in mind we all made our way early to the pub in order to secure a table. Over time the pub filled up, shortly after which we were told rather brusquely by the manager that we would have to vacate the table in one hour as they had reserved that section for a group to have dinner. She even implied that we had removed the reserved sign from the table. We reluctantly moved, but were then told we couldn't stand in the section we were and were shuffled around to the crowded bar area.

After a while people became hungry and so we attempted to order some bar food. However, we were told that this was not possible because only people sitting at tables could order food. When I asked to speak with the manager about this one of the bar staff (not even the one who was serving me) told me I was being rude for making a fuss. We were eventually given food, but quite frankly my friends departure drinks were ruined.

I do not believe the problems with this pub were a one off. I gained an impression that it is very badly managed and that staff seemed unhappy working there.

I for one, will not set foot in the Builders Arms again. All of my friends and colleagues who were with us feel the same.

I hope those people who do choose to visit the Builders have a better experience than I did. It certainly couldn't be much worse.
DanielParry - 10 Oct 2008 17:06
if you want to eat in a pub, this is the best choice for miles around, definitely.
gchadwick - 31 Jul 2008 13:20
dined this afternoon.
service exemplary.
food, top notch
refurb impressive
thebishop - 27 Jan 2007 18:42
Best Chicken and Leek Pie in the WORLD!!! Great wine list and brilliant service. Will definately be coming back for what will probably be another fantastic evening.
aveh - 6 May 2006 12:29
Pleasant place, quirky layout, friendly. I can't quite understand the point of some other reviewers that somehow being in Chelsea a pub deserves a knocking. Surely if it's ok it doesn't matter where it is. I've only lived here for 4 years but I've far less aggro than I did in Kensal Green. And the girls are prettier.
Anyway, this pub is a pretty little place tucked away in quiet road off the Kings Rd. Relaxing.
rockit99 - 9 Feb 2006 23:23
This was one of the great Local Kensington pubs of the 90,s. It seems to have gone downhill a little judging by some of the reviews
deanhouse - 31 Dec 2005 04:32
Good atmosphere. Worst aspect is the incredibly rude and obnoxious manager who epitomises pretentious hospitality at its worst. Shouldn't be surprised given it's Chelsea but you do feel like saying - at the end of the day you're just running a bar mate, get over yourself.
linds2611 - 31 Oct 2005 10:57
Good beer, London Pride if my memory serves me right. Didn't try the good, although it had the ubiquitous Mediterranean slant to it. A pub for the beautiful (and idle) people. Swift and efficent service, but with some pretensions - hand me my change, you lunatic, don't pass it to me on a saucer.....
Lt_George - 30 Aug 2005 16:31
Rah hell when busy, but then it is in the middle of Chelsea so can't really complain.

Good pub for a bite to eat and a couple of pints, but will be sure to wear pink shirt and blazer on my next visit to blend in more.
TheClaw - 27 Jul 2005 12:34
Nice enough, food is pricey if you are just after a snack. Always relaxed. Occasionally get awful service if itís busy.
lupus - 20 May 2005 08:50
Indeed, a most interesting lunchtime pinthouse, that endows the drinker with the ability to soak in the cash drenched rays of the yummy mummies pootling by in their X-5's.
Darth_Insidious - 18 May 2005 15:49
Quieter and less offensive than its contemporaries, the Builder's Arms is a pleasant venue for the lunchtime escapee. Frequented by do-nothing-own-everythings it's typical backstreet Chelsea, but regular sightings of young clergymen ensure that there's more to talk about than the wet-gussetted dog-carrying trustafarians that tease me so.

scott_andrews - 18 May 2005 15:05
Board outside says 12th best pub in the UK! Apart from San Miguel not a lot to recommend here.
Paul - 16 Aug 2004 12:54
great pub. cosy and relaxed. Manages to be relatively quiet even when busy.
tom - 24 Jun 2004 09:47
Wonderful food, very cosy in the winter. Staff always friendly and its off the beaten track.
Kate - 18 May 2004 14:24
good food, nice service, particularly at lunchtime
Ross Taylor - 29 Aug 2003 20:40
Great Food and Great People.
Caroline Kelleher - 3 Jul 2003 16:13

got anything to say about this pub?

Please read our reviews policy before posting.
Only registered users can post reviews. Please log in. If you don't have an account yet, register here.