Where shall we eat in Chelsea?

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The Independent Culture
There was this chap next to us: a well-fed, well-watered, well- paid, irritable chap in a v-necked pully and glasses. Complaining. His beer bottle was too small, he didn't like the people next to him (us), he didn't like his salad and he thought his pizza was the one they offered to me by mistake 30 seconds before. In fact, he didn't like anything, and would no doubt withhold the tip to make his point, if he made it to the end of the meal without keeling over with a heart attack.

This is the one problem with a sunny Sunday: all the beleagured wives of stressed executives drag them out for a casual meal in the hope that it will calm them down. They then spend their two hours' relaxation complaining in a loud voice and getting themselves even more worked up. La Pizzeria in the Chelsea Farmers' Market is the sort of place that should relax anyone. Its generous patio benefits from the afternoon sun, and watching waiters rushing about is one way of making you really appreciate your leisure time.

Now that the weather is closer to predictable, we value places with al fresco tables highly, and this really is one of the best. They also have one of London's better locations, at least for women: just off the King's Road (shopping), in the centre of a the farmer's Market (shopping) and next to the blissful Chelsea Gardener (serious shopping). Our pizzas were bang-on: super-thin, with that really stringy mozzarella that drops onto your chin and winds around the fingers, accompanied by a creditable spinach and bacon salad with a surprise balsamic dressing.

And then we sat back, patted out tummies, looked at the sun and giggled as the voice droned on next door: "I just don't understand," he said, "Why we have to sit in the sun. Look! Those people have some shade. Why can't we be in the shade..."

The bill came to pounds 12 each. La Pizzeria, Chelsea Farmer's Market, corner King's Rd and Sydney St, SW3


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1 Jews Row, Wandsworth SW18 (0181-870 9667) Terrific Aussie cuisine


9 Clapham Common South Side, SW4 (0171-627 0632) Clapham-Yuppie hangout, lovely town garden

The Gate

51 Queen Caroline St, W6

(0171-748 6932) Excellent vegetarian in a churchyard