Where better to host an evening of tasting wines from the iconic yet cult vineyard Chateau Musar than at Cabotte? Named after the small huts that Burgundian winegrowers have within their vineyards, Cabotte is a sophisticated venue based almost opposite the City’s Guildhall. Its culinary emphasis is on modern French food with some knowingly British influences, while the wine bias is, unsurprisingly, distinctly Burgundian.
The title says it all. Sketch may have been open since 2003 but it deservedly remains one of the best fine dining locations in London, its two Michelin stars thoroughly merited. A meal in its Lecture Room & Library was my culinary highlight of 2018, and a return visit there on a recent Saturday night reinforced how Sketch could also be in contention for the 2019 award.
Walk two blocks north of Bond Street underground station and you will encounter one of London’s best-kept artistic secrets – the Wallace Collection. Located on Manchester Square, it houses an extensive collection of fine and decorative arts, and is free for anyone to visit. If this were not reason enough to visit, then the restaurant too is worth checking out…
Restaurants with Michelin stars know what they’re doing, right? Especially those that have held at least one since 1993. You would assume so. We, however, encountered one of our least promising starts to a restaurant visit at Pied à Terre. Fortunately, things improved from there. Overall, the experience was positively memorable, if more so for the ambience than the food…
I had formed an instinctive dislike for Serge prior to entering. Located inside the currently uber-cool Mandrake Hotel, the building’s black-clad exterior and imposing bouncer at its front speak of exclusion and exclusivity. Fortunately, once inside the hallowed turf, the experience improved markedly. The waiting staff could not have been friendlier, there was a relaxed vibe in the dining room and the food was first-class.
Last November’s visit to Mere had been one of my dining highlights of 2017, and so it was with anticipation that I returned recently. Mere is, without doubt, a wonderful experience, but (and there was always going to be a ‘but’) not a truly exceptional one.
Dining at Les 110 is an experience for grown-ups. The London sibling of the two Michelin-starred Paris original is housed in a fine yet somewhat austere Georgian building on Cavendish Square. The venue imbues a sense of expectation, but also one of reverence. Full marks for the food and its pricing; less praise for the service and overall ambience…
Fifteen years is a long time, particularly for a restaurant in London. Yet, since 2003, Sketch has remained a unique venue, a cavern of opulence and decadence, which also serves exceptionally good food. It is no mean feat for Sketch still to be almost as trendy now as when it opened and the fact that it is only one of nine locations in London to hold two Michelin stars speaks to the quality of its offering. Diners should be prepared for an experience.
The last time is visited Le Boudin Blanc was a decade ago. It felt dated then, and even more so now. Clearly the place must be doing something right since it was packed when I visited on a recent weekday lunchtime, but to my mind the place demonstrates almost everything that is bad about restaurant culture.
A recent trip to Mere impressed highly. The three members of our party, who dined there midweek, are all sceptics by nature and try as we did to identify shortcomings, we struggled. From beginning to end, the experience is about understated excellence with high attention to detail.
Even when the weather is grey outside, it still feels like the sun is shining in La Petite Maison. On this occasion, as on every other when I have visited, the place was packed, the atmosphere buzzing and everyone seemed to be enjoying what can only be described as top-quality, flawlessly executed food – albeit at a price.
The French do it so well. Unlike the Brits, across the Channel, the idea of the casual all-day establishment where customers can be as at home with their coffee and croissant in the mornings as with their glass of wine later is already well-established. The good news is that Comptoir, the latest offering from Xavier Rousset’s expanding empire, brings the concept to Mayfair – and does it exceptionally well
As one of only two spots in London and four in the UK that hold three Michelin stars (the others being Gordon Ramsey, the Fat Duck and the Waterside Inn), expectations run pretty high prior to a visit to the Dorchester.
It is possible to feel slightly dizzy from the constant rush of new restaurants opening their doors to the public in London. Tyranny of choice sometimes spring to mind. However, based on the success of Portland, which I thoroughly loved when it opened last year (and won a deserved Michelin star), Clipstone definitely merited a visit.
The decision of Xavier Rousset to locate his latest venture on Blandford Street is a good, if not somewhat bold one.
The dictionary definition of antidote reads as a ‘medicine given to counteract the influence of poison, or an attack of disease.’
When I was but a young buck and knew very little about either fine dining or the London restaurant scene, I was amazed when I first visited Club Gascon around the time of its opening in the late 1990s.
Blanchette does a pretty damn good job at making French food cool. The restaurant, located in trendy Soho, is about as far away from one’s traditional perceptions of the gastronomic experience a la Francaise as possible.