The Five Fields: Five Stars (September 2017)

Three-quarters of the way through 2017 and I can confidently state that a recent dinner at The Five Fields constitutes the best culinary experience I have enjoyed in London this year. Food, wine and service were all superlative. Small touches are often the most memorable: the occasion for our visit was the birthday of my dining comrade and the menus at our table were stamped with birthday greetings – an easy thing to do, but very gratifying. The restaurant has also remembered that my comrade was vegetarian and her dedicated tasting menu was presented with a flourish from our waiter’s pocket. The champagne with which we began was deep and rich from a boutique grower (Charotgne-Taillet) and our amuse-bouches a great way to kick things off. A tiny tart of snail and black pudding was superbly innovative and packed an incredible amount of flavour for something so simple. Back to the small touches and bread/butter is often a great way to gauge a restaurant. Here, there was a great range (the challenge was not to eat too much before the food proper arrived) and the butter had a melt-in-the-mouth texture. We proceeded to the tasting menus, comprising seven dishes in total. Not a single was a disappointment: from my side, the suckling pig and grouse were absolute stand-outs, while my colleague praised highly her spelt and cep risotto. We opted for paired wines throughout and our sommelier showed knowledge and enthusiasm, taking the effort to engage with us. Things concluded with a small cake plus candle – a delightful way to end. Pricing was comparable to other similar experiences in the capital and worth every penny. If there were one quibble, then it might be the loud voices of some of the well-heeled Chelsea residents seated on nearby tables, which intruded somewhat. Maybe it comes with the territory, but a return visit is undoubtedly in order.