This blog entry about eating well in one of London's "Grand"
hotels, contrasts somewhat with my last one about globalisation and poverty in Africa.
However the popularity of Gordon Ramsay's restuarant at Claridge's
in Mayfair, is illustrated by the fact that following a
2006 Christmas gift by our children of a £200 voucher for a meal there,
the earliest available booking was 8th June 2007.
The atmosphere in London yesterday evening was bright and balmy
so we worked up a good appetite by walking the 3 miles from
Pimlico to Mayfair. London is blessed with many green spaces
large and small. St Georges Square, The Mall, St James' Park and
Mount Street Gardens to name those which we meandered through.
Its highways and byeways are also full of contrasting activitiy
bustle and architecture and the mood as is often the case on a Friday after work,
was upbeat for the start of the week end
Claridges has the appearance of an old fashioned British
Grand Hotel doubtless catering in generations past, for
the landed gentry. The decor and atmosphere of Gordon Ramsay's restuarant
there mirrors the hotel's history and is cosy with decent spaces
between the tables. I doubt that we were the only non-landed gentry
The service was excellent and not too overwhelming. We both chose
Mr Ramsay's 6 course taster menu. This included exquisitely presented
small gems of dishes, like a cup of chilled consomme with
Sussex tomatoes, black olives and tarragon. A refreshingly
cool soup after our long walk. After the next course,
(on toasted brioche) Mrs maytrees selected some
lamb with bacon kohlrabi,grelot onion fricasse on crushed broad beans
whereas I had sea bass, crushed Jersey Royals, crab roasted salsify
fizzed up with coriander veloute.
There were home made breads, warm rolls, sweet doughs and
what seemed like brown nutty mini baguettes, aplenty
The puddings were a treat. We both chose two but were then presented
with about 8 sample sweets/puddings hot, cold and frozen. Amazing.
The petit fours that followed were too much.
The £200 voucher meant that the wine list too could be enjoyed.
The total cost was high - the whole £200 plus a decent (cash) tip
- higher than I would ever dream of spending on a meal for two,
but fantastic as a present. Thank you.