The Five Fields
8-9 Blacklands Terrace, SW3 2SP
WLC Rank : 55
Glass from : £ 7.00 (175 ml)
BEST FORRhône Valley wines
An eclectic half bottle selection
An uplifting private dining room
Produce from the venue’s own farm
The haven-like, Chelsea restaurant replete with its own Sussex farm is run by chef and wine collector, Taylor Bonnyman.
The comely Chelsea eatery is named after the “five fields” recorded by eighteenth-century cartographer, John Rocque bisecting this once pastoral setting.
“From Vienne to Avignon, my native region, the Rhône, is the perfect region, with its diversity of terroirs, landscapes and grape varieties which, in terms of price and style, can suit everyone,” says Solène Bonhumeau, head sommelier at Chelsea’s The Five Fields.
Formerly of Ten Trinity Square Private Club by the Tower of London, Quay Restaurant, Sydney (a regular on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list), and Cheval Blanc’s Courchevel grand chalet, Bonhumeau aims to create a list which reflects her personality. “A good bottle of wine must have a good level of drinkability,” she says. “And it’s necessary for the list to be equitable with young and mature wines, to suit my guests’ preferences.”
Additions Bonhumeau has made in her albeit brief tenure include terroir-led Champagne, Jacques Lassaigne Les Vignes de Montgueux Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut, low-intervention Chablis (Domaine Alice et Olivier De Moor), and high altitude Montsant (Terroir Sense Fronteres, Vèrtebra de la Figuera), as well as Baden Spätburgunder (Rhini Ziereisen).
Bonhumeau’s current favourite wine and food match is Chignin Bergeron Les Filles (Gilles Berlioz) with the native lobster with ground garlic and curry realised by chefs, Taylor Bonnyman (formerly of Corton in Tribeca, New York) and Marguerite Keogh (Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley). “The Roussanne’s fresh, silky palate beautifully compliments the fleshy texture of our roasted lobster, and the complex aromas of white flowers, ripe peach, quince and almond in the wine combine with the savoury yellow curry sauce creating an explosion of flavours!”
In the interlude between Ten Trinity Square and The Five Fields, Bonhumeau refreshed her palate in Champagne, the Loire and of course, the Rhône. “I am planning to visit the Douro, Santorini, and Italy next.” She also enjoys discovering thought-provoking ferment at Sager + Wilde, Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels and Cabotte.
By Douglas Blyde.
The bijou Chelsea restaurant with cosy, panelled bar and uplifting private room beside the cellar, replaced Spanish restaurant, El Blason, and is named after the ‘five fields’ recorded by 18th-century cartographer, John Rocque.
Anna Botting, former group Head Sommelier and wine buyer for Angela Hartnett of Murano fame, replaced a Moët UK Sommelier of the Year, Mathias Camilleri. Botting, who also worked as assistant Head Sommelier to Jan Konetzki at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, as sommelier de rang at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, and for Sat Bains and Marlon Abela, is ‘a big fan’ of the wines of Sicily. ‘Expect new, exciting editions coming up from producers I recently visited,’ she says.
The list at The Five Fields is composed of 500 bins, ‘based on wines made by small producers from all around the world,’ says Botting. These may include fizz from Hampshire’s Cottonworth as well as Austrian Sekt, and deeply satisfyingly rich red, Psi from Ribera del Duero. Also note the magnums of Sassicaia, arguably too many Sancerres, the swathe of red Burgundy, sometimes rare Rhônes, and curios such as the still Pinot Meunier from Australia (Lethbridge), as well as Chinese wines from the hand of Lenz Moser (Château Changyu), a Slovakian Riesling (Château Belá by Egon Müller) and, from Jerusalem, ‘C’ Blanc du Castel. You need not wait until payday to visit, with many sapid bins rolling in at £50 or under.
Attractive, sparsely explained dishes, such as starter of morels with chervil, wasabi and calf’s head, main of Orkney scallops with asparagus, turmeric and dried scallop, and pudding of rhubarb with lime and Timut (Nepalese) pepper are authored by Taylor Bonnyman, (formerly of Corton in Tribeca, New York) and Marguerite Keogh (Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley) and are likely to include ingredients raised by the restaurant’s own Sussex-based kitchen gardener, Heather Young.
By Douglas Blyde.
Head sommelier Mathias Camilleri (who used to work under 28o-50o’s Clement Robert at Medlar) leads an enthusiastic and knowledgeable wine team who will be able to give you the lowdown on 500-or-so bins.
Burgundy and Bordeaux lovers will find plenty to titillate them here. It’s a sign of the wine credentials of Michelin-starred The Five Fields that it benefits from a private storage cellar for laying down bottles bought en primeur and for extended storage. That doesn’t mean that the list remains static, however; far from it – Camilleri works hard to keep things dynamic, with a pretty high turnover of listings and always a new and interesting vintage to enjoy of cult wines from the Cote D’Or, and left- and right-bank claret.
By-the-glass listings run to about 20 or so and are considerately priced – whites £8-£21, reds £10-£21, with a small selection of icons available by Coravin (at the time of writing, the mighty fine Château-Chalon vin jaune from Domaine Jean Bourdy, 1992 vintage, priced at £40 for 100ml and, for the same price, Philip Togni 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon). Camilleri professes a love for New World Cabs and Syrahs, and German Rieslings, of course. The by-the-glass list changes every three months.
A bit of an ambassador for Champagne, Camilleri also has a special side list of wines from Champagne Lanson – sample Père et Fils, Rosé Label, Noble Cuvée Blanc de Blancs 2000 or Ivory Label Demi-Sec by the glass, or Gold Label spanning 1989 to 2002 vintage by the bottle. The demi-sec is a winner with the foie gras parfait with celeriac and walnut.
The tasting menu would be a great way to work your way through this elegant list – for £150, pairings such as brill, rhubarb and oyster with Stag’s Leap Karia Chardonnay or cod, cockles and clams with Bernhard Huber Malterdinger Spätburgunder are yours to revel in.
One of the key areas Camilleri has sought to expand during his year at the restaurants is the Italian section, which boasts a lovely selection of Piedmontese and Tuscan reds from a good spread of vintages. A Giovanni Rosso Langhe Nebbiolo 2014, at just £55, would be a nice choice if you wanted something a bit classical that wasn’t going to give you a cold sweat when the bill arrived.
As far as glassware is concerned, it’s Riedel as standard with Zaltos for the finer wines. Novelties such as the Jeroboam of Graham’s 10-year-old Port, brought to the table, also add amusement. This is a list well worth delving into.