Here is my blow by blow account of Claridges London…
We arrived early at Bond Street and went into the hotel entrance (revolving door). Huge marbled reception and they directed us to the Gordon Ramsey restaurant and 1920s style cocktail bar. There were a few black and white pictures of famous 1920s actresses, smoking cigarettes.
To start I had a sparkling water, Will had a Ricard on ice. He then asked if we would like some nibbles which we did. They were 4 cube glass bowls with a combination of sweetened nuts, parmesan cheese crisps, sesame wafer thin crackers, rice crackers.
At 12.15 we were shown to our table. The waiter was chatting and asking us if it was a special occasion etc, then the main French Maitre d’ told us that our table was Paul McCartney’s favourite table and always asks for it.
The bread was a warm long cigar of olive oil bread and a round wholemeal roll each. The butter was served on a square of slate one salted (crushed black pepper on top) and one unsalted.
Before our starters arrived they gave us ‘compliments from the chef’ a carrot and coriander soup with wild mushrooms in a little bowl with a lid.
Then our starters arrived I had carpaccio of beef with blood orange cress salad, radicchio, parmesan crumbs with a honey and grain mustard dressing. Will had froi gras smoked and braised duck with a toasted bread, pear sorbet, rocket salad.
I went for John Dory fish dish with small herbed pasta bows, passion fruit jus, tiny onion rings in a tempura, lemon/butter sauce, cress.
Will had the lemon sole and crab on spinach with a sauce.
WOW. All presented so cleverly, piping hot.
At this point a group of 8-10 welsh rugby guys came in and I heard one say to another diner that his friend was an ex captain of the team and he was lunching with Prince William yesterday. They all had thick necks and broad welsh accents. So could have been famous rugby players?
The waiter then served us another ‘compliments from the chef’ saffron rice pudding topped with blood orange sorbet sprinkled with pistachio nuts served in small glasses.
Then the pudding I ordered was a chocolate wafer tower, pear and vanilla sorbet, poached pear and toffee sauce, served on a large square of slate. Will had a Granny smith apple ice cream, biscuit, shaved red and green apple layered like scales and then cut into a perfect square, black currant sauce and a cider apple sorbet. WOW WOW, the desserts were amazing.
The waiter then came over with a white oval plate with Happy Birthday written in chocolate and a tiny cake with one candle. Nearly in tears at this point.
We were then invited into the kitchen to meet the chefs and ask any questions. I must be getting old because they were all so young, probably in their 20s. The Maitre’d came in and asked the chef for something special for a customer and the Head Chef started talking to us say it was a f ing cheek. We saw the Chef’s table (seats 7 people and you dine in the kitchen, each meal is explained and you talk throughout to the chefs). The photo is of us at the main pass – got the lingo now. Really friendly, everyone spoke to us as if they were old friends.
And theres more…..
We were then shown back to the bar area and our coffees were poured, served from a lovely old silver coffee pot, cubes of sugar etc. Again they gave us a complimentary chocolate with mango sorbet inside. It was served with a small pot with about 6 chocolate liquid toffee balls sitting on coffee beans.
Beautiful meal, lovely relaxing atmosphere, service was superb, building and decor is amazing, felt absolutely totally spoilt!!!!
I would highly recommend it.