I am a creature of habit and my security blanket is often when we go out is to choose a place that I know I will be comfortable and relaxed. Sometimes these restaurants are just my local. I love Boudin Blanc in Shepherds market. Every time I am stuck as to where to go its my go to place for the evening.
I am mad about Grouse and I eagerly await the Glorious 12th’ in August. I confess I love the hype and fuss that goes around as to which restaurant will serve it first. In reality its always best to wait a couple of weeks.
This year I went first to 45 Jermyn St at Fortnum and Mason, a room that brings back memories of my childhood and Knickerbocker glory, a concoction of ice cream chopped fruit syrup cream and cherries. I liked the room it was comfortable with leather chairs friendly service. Their Beef Wellington looked rather delicious I had their interpretation of roast Grouse. It was fine but it didn’t really hit all the buttons. My heartbeat sensed that and a few weeks later and booked into one of my favourite places for lunch. The Dining Room in The Goring Hotel. I love this hotel still run by the Goring Family so it has an intimacy.
I really like this place I love the bar in the winter and the terrace in the summer overlooking their garden. It’s a mixture of casual elegance that I like. Yes it can be a bit OTT in service but it doesn’t grate.
The room is large bright with absolute horrendous pink crystal contraptions that I suppose are chandeliers , apart form that it’s a sunny room. Perfect I think for family dining and groups not so good maybe for intimate a deux lunches. Nevertheless I do like it and I will easily spent 2 to 3 hours over lunch.
I think they are hugely helpful in both the wine and food selection. The Sunday menu is set but with loads of options. I started with a beautiful feast to the eyes of coloured tomatoes with crab that was very good. Richard had the watercress soup with Cornish Mackerel and trout roe that eh wasn’t so enamoured with but I loved the colours.
We then both had the grouse and again there was a twist to the traditional with French toast and a foie gras mousse served with cabbage and bread sauce. I thought it was divine. My only teeny complaint was I would have liked more vegetables. The buttery cabbage and roast potatoes were yum but they were extra. The Executive Chef is Shay Cooper who has 1 Michelin star and the sommelier Olivier Clausse who was really knowledgeable and helpful.
We had decided to just try different glasses of wine and I had the Roussann white which is a type of white grape from the Rhone blended with Marsanne. It was subtle complex cool and I though delicious. I wasn’t sure what to try with the grouse and it was suggested we try the Shiraz from Stellenbosch which is near Franschoek the foodie place and wine country that I love in South Africa . One of my favourite favourite places is La Residence a hotel that is simply fabulous.
Though we were stuffed I had to have pudding and we had the warm rice pudding with orange and caramel sticks which was not wow but the strawberry mousse with fruits was yum
I think one of the reasons I like this place is the diversity of age and people that are here. We saw a group of ladies three generations celebrating something a family of 3. While its is traditional I don’t find it overwhelming because they make you feel comfortable and welcome and to me that’s a very strong element in making a place good.
Their Sunday roast is really really good and its the kind of place you just want to go again and again. Don’t miss having coffee or liqueurs in the bar. It has such a nice ambience