Posts for the 'British' Category


Picture Marylebone

PICTURE MARYLEBONE

Picture Marylebone is the second restaurant after the originally named Picture Fitzrovia, an independent restaurant venture serving small plates inspired by British seasonal ingredients. Behind the scenes is a team that previously worked at the Arbutus Restaurant Group, Alan Christie and Colin Kelly who were both head chefs at the Michelin starred Arbutus, and Tom Slegg who was the restaurant manager at the similarly Michelin starred Wild Honey.

With its minimalist interior, Picture Marylebone is a picture of pared back urban chic. For lunchtime dining, it provides a perfectly smart setting. For evening dining, the lights are dimmed for a more intimate vibe, with the dinner menu consisting of both a six-course tasting menu priced at £40 and an a la carte menu divided into three savoury sections (vegetarian, fish and meat) plus dessert.

Reasonably priced, the food at Picture Marylebone was also excellent. We began our meal with a prettily presented ravioli of caramelised onions (£9). This was a very tasty dish decadently oozing with lots of delicious butter, which for some, might have made the dish too rich. However, I really enjoyed it. The pasta was al dente and the onions were delightfully soft and sweet. A nice mixture of fresh peas, lettuce and pecorino rounded off the dish nicely.

Picture Marylebone - London Food Blog - Ravioli of caramelised onions

Picture Marylebone – Ravioli of caramelised onions

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Inn The Park

As the name suggests, Inn the Park is a contemporary British café and restaurant set in the beautiful and picturesque St James’s Park. Surrounded by beautiful views and a lakeside setting, Inn the Park provides a lovely spot for some British dining in the heart of central London.

Inn the Park is circular in shape, and the wrap around wooden-cladding of the exterior allows it to blend effortless with its natural surroundings. There is a rooftop terrace area which follows the swoop of the circular building, offering views of key London landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and the London Eye.

Inn the Park opened in 2004 as an initiative between restaurateur Oliver Peyton and Royal Parks. It is a year-round venture and is opened for all day dining (except Sunday evenings), stretching from breakfast to lunch to afternoon teas and dinner. Overseen by Head Chef Tom Catley, Inn the Park serves an ever-changing seasonal British menu. The café/restaurant is divided between a more formal section where diners can order from the a la carte menu, and a more casual dining area where guests can choose from the ‘Grab & Go’ self-service bar that offers a range of sandwiches and ready-to-serve hot food such as burgers and sausage rolls. There is also a freshly churned ice-cream counter serving a variety of ice cream flavours with all the toppings.

We had an a la carte lunch at Inn the Park on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. St James’s Park looked stunning, brimming with sunshine and warmth and bursting with the energy of happy people out enjoying the brilliant day. We started with a variety of seafood starters including charred octopus with jersey royals (£8), flamed Newlyn squid with a wild garlic emulsion (£6.50), and handpicked Cornish crab with avocado and nashi pear (£7). The octopus was delightful, being fresh and tender with a slightly charred flavour. The potatoes were slightly overcooked, but the quality of the octopus spoke for themselves.

Inn The Park - London Food Blog - Charred octopus

Inn The Park – Charred octopus

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London House

With London House, Gordon Ramsay ventured out of his usual central London locations to set up in Battersea. London House is a neighbourhood bar and restaurant and resonates with suburban chic. The restaurant overlooks the lovely Battersea Square and boasts of a décor that is modern and classy, yet intimate and welcoming. The menu offers a comprehensive range of modern British dishes, but also boasts of a cocktail lounge bar and a beautiful garden for al fresco drinking (and dining) for those who simply want a tipple.

I recently visited London House as part of a bloggers dinner, and the evening began with some tasty canapés of ham hock and Keen’s cheddar croquettes with mustard mayo and veal Scotch eggs with homemade piccalilli. Both were abundant with flavour, well seasoned and perfectly crisped.

Dinner consisted of three courses including some delectable sourdough bread to nibble on before our starter of Wye Valley asparagus with kale pesto, poached duck egg, wild garlic and hazelnuts. This was an accomplished dish, with each element being extremely well executed. The asparagus maintained a nice crunchiness and the kale pesto was alive with freshness. The poached egg was soft and runny, but had not been seasoned. The wild garlic and the hazelnuts were also lovely and added a nice dimension to the dish.

London House - London Food Blog - Bread basket

London House – Bread basket

London House - London Food Blog - Wye Valley asparagus

London House – Wye Valley asparagus

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The Dining Room at The Oakley Court

THE DINING ROOM AT THE OAKLEY COURT

The Oakley Court is a quintessential four-star country house hotel, set in a 33-acre estate in Windsor, about an hour’s drive away from London. Running through the estate is a stretch of the River Thames, which makes the property ideal for long walks or for exploration by bike. The property is well equipped with its own gym, indoor swimming pool, tennis court as well as a 9-hole golf course. Most famously however, Oakley Court has been the setting for many a movie including The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Oakley Court - London Food Blog

Oakley Court

We stayed in one of the Director’s Suites at the hotel, a spacious, comfortable and well-appointed room overlooking the lovely groups of Oakley Court as well as the River Thames. This was as quintessentially country English as you can get with charming antique furnishings.

Oakley Court - London Food Blog - Director's Suite

Oakley Court – Director’s Suite

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Perilla at Platform 1

PERILLA AT PLATFORM 1

Perilla at Platform 1 is a London dining pop-up founded by Chef Ben Marks who previously cooked at the two Michelin starred restaurants NOMA and The Square, and Matt Emmerson who was previously the restaurant manager at Polpo and Polpetto. After a series of pop-up successes, Perilla recently launched a 4-month residency at Platform 1 on the 10th November, a new permanent pop-up restaurant and wine bar in located in the heart of East Dulwich. Located on Lordship Lane, Platform 1 has an informal neighbourhood vibe.

Head chef Ben’s cookery career began at age 15 at One Michelin Starred Operakaellarens in Stockholm. After completing a 3-year apprenticeship at Claridges, during which time NOMA did a pop-up in Claridges, Rene Redzepi took Ben back to Denmark with him. Ben spent about a year working under Rene Redzepi at the two star giant before returning to the UK to join Phil Howard at The Square.

Ben and Matt’s idea with Perilla was to bring fine-dining to a broader market, by making it less formal and more accessible and affordable. Using his Michelin starred training Ben has developed a creative menu full of fun, flair and flavour, cooked with fresh and seasonal ingredients. In the back garden of Platform 1, Perilla has a herb and vegetable area where produce is grown to service the pop-up, both in the cooking and in the drinks.

The six-course tasting menu was sensational value at £35 and began with bite-size canapés of Roasted Kale with Cod Roe and Crisp Chicken Wing Stuffed with Mushroom. The roasted kale was really fabulous. The kale was light and crispy, and beautifully flavoured with the mellow saltiness of the cod roe. The cod roe itself was wonderful. Rather than roe eggs itself, it had been used to produce these lovely droplets of cod roe cream. For added flavour, a sprinkling of mushroom powder had been used.

Perilla – London Food Blog - Roasted kale & cod roe

Perilla – Roasted kale & cod roe

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Masterchef Tony Rodd – La Belle Assiette

I recently attended a La Belle Assiette validation dinner cooked by Masterchef Tony Rodd, one of the 2015 finalists. For those of you who haven’t heard of La Belle Assiette, it is a private chef service company, with the chefs registered on the website being available for hire to cook in your personal home. The chefs take care of everything: shopping, cooking, serving and cleaning up. But before the chefs can become available for hire, their skills are certified during a Validation Dinner where the chef cooks a four-course meal reviewed (and validated) by panel of judges.

On the night of Tony’s validation dinner we managed to get two masterchefs for the price of one. Assisting Tony was Luke Owen, himself a finalist of Masterchef 2014. Both gentlemen were lovely and so much fun to chat to. I love a little bit of harmless gossip, and they shared with us some of the behind-the-scenes action at Masterchef.

The validation dinner was held at the lovely south London home of London-Unattached.com, the acclaimed food blogger. We started the evening with a dish called Textures of Beetroot. This consisted of beetroot served four ways – roasted, pickled, pureed and raw. The dish was lovely, and lightly dressed with a refreshing vinaigrette. Helping to boost the salad were some broad beans, feta cheese and walnuts which gave the dish more texture and dimension.

Tony Rodd - La Belle Assiette - London Food Blog

Tony Rodd – La Belle Assiette – Textures of beetroot

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Percy and Founders

PERCY AND FOUNDERS

Percy and Founders - London Food Blog

Percy and Founders

Percy and Founders, an elegant bar and restaurant, opened in the spring of 2015 and offers a contemporary British menu. Open all day, everyday, Percy & Founders serves everything from a quick morning coffee, to business lunches to a sit down dinner. It has also an eloquent bar area, and is equally ideal for evening cocktails. On weekends, Percy & Founders serves boozy brunches and Sunday roasts.

Executive Chef Diego Cardoso brings with him a wealth of experience having worked a seven-year stint as the Head Chef at Angela Hartnett’s Murano. The menu is seasonally and showcases a comprehensive selection of dishes. The drinks list is also comprehensive and affordable. It includes wines from both small grower labels as well as established producers, and a variety of cocktails, mocktails, bottled craft and draft beers. In the nicer summer months, there is also an alfresco drinks area on the terrace.

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Reform Social & Grill

REFORM SOCIAL & GRILL

Reform Social & Grill has a presence in London and Dubai, with the restaurant in London being housed within the Mandeville Hotel. The restaurants pride themselves in providing a British experience, offering a complete experience of afternoon tea, brunch and an a la carte menu that showcases a number of British classics.

The décor of Reform Social & Grill London was tasteful, taking its inspiration from a traditional British gentleman’s club. There were a variety of photos and prints, eclectic without being impersonal. The seating was comfortable with a mix of tables and chair and dark leather booths. There was punk-era music playing in the background at a suitable volume, non-intrusive until you take the time to notice.

The menu opens with a variety of sharing platter options to suit all palettes: fisherman’s platter, baked cheese platter, butcher’s platter. Starters followed including Crispy South Coast Squid, Chicken Liver Pate and Hendricks Gin Salmon.

Along with salads, classic main dishes including Fish and Chips and Braised Ox Cheek Pie are offered alongside some “Josper Grill” specialties. We feel that people who utilise Josper Grills mean business so we looked no further, feeling spoiled for choice with a range of meats: Burgers, Glazed Beef Short Rib, Minted Lamb Cutlets, Butchers Steak, Rib Eye Steak, and Pork T-Bone.

There was a reasonable selection of wines by the glass on the menu and we started the evening with a couple of glasses of Chapel Down Brut, English Sparkling Wine. We enjoy finding English wine more frequently on restaurant menus, and it certainly holds its own against the fizz from the continent.

Bread arrived at the table and these were nothing special, nor were they a representation of the meal to come.

To start we had the squid (£7) and the salmon (£7.50). The waiter brought a small glass of gin to accompany the salmon which was presented as thin slices with a creative ‘tartare dressing’. The salmon was firm with delicate flavours and, when eaten before a sip of gin, the gin was far more fragrant and palatable than it would be if drunk neat. The ‘Tartare’ was broken down into separate elements: scattered capers, gherkin and heavily whipped cream placed on top of the salmon. The concept had potential, but the cream masked the salmon’s taste. If the cream was infused or flavoured in some way, perhaps this effect could have been dampened.

Reform Grill - London Food Blog - Salmon

Reform Grill – Salmon

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