The Winner of the Gourmet Britain "Best Restaurant" Award 2012
A 'must visit at least once' restaurant in the same manner as The Fat Duck (q.v.), but run although completely different lines - the history of British food being the common thread of the dishes offered. Dishes are interestingly-dated on the menu listings. A little forgivable leeway is given - as with 'Triple-Cooked Chips' - but all is for the benefit of enjoyment!
Expect wall to ceiling glass walls, giving full view of the chefs in full flow. You can also watch the spit-roaster in operation, at the back of the kitchen. One area of wall displays recipes from 16th century cookery books.
The kitchen is headed by Ashley Palmer-Watt's who shares Heston's love of food and how to bring out the best from ingredients.
Menu's items change with the seasons (although some dishes are fixtures), but starters such as 'Meat Fruit' (c.1500 - mandarin, chicken liver parfait & grilled bread); 'Salamugundy' (c.1720 - chicken oysters, salsify, marrow bone & horseradish cream); 'Rice and Flesh' (c.1390 - saffron, calf tail &red wine) and ''Buttered Crab Loaf' (c.1714 - crab, cucumber, pickled lemon & stone crop) set the style.
Perhaps to be followed by 'Powdered Duck Breast' (c.1670 - with smoked confit fennel & umbles); 'Braised Celery' (c.1730 - with Parmesan, smoked confit cauliflower & apple); 'Chicken cooked with Lettuces' (c.1670 - with spiced celeriac sauce & oyster leaves) and 'Hereford Ribeye' (c.1830 - with mushroom ketchup, red wine juice & triple-cooked chips) amongst the mains.
Tempting desserts continue the theme, with maybe 'Taffety Tart' (c1660 - apple, rose, fennel & blackcurrant sorbet); 'Baked Lemon Suet Pudding' (c.1630 - with lemon caramel & Jersey cream) and 'Brown Bread Ice Cream' (c.1830 - with salted buter caramel & malted yeast syrup) - while cheese lovers are offered a selection of some of Britain's best.
Service is efficient, friendly and helpful - and like the whole operation, runs like clockwork.
Booking is absolutely essential, unless you are very lucky!
- Food Style: British Traditional
- Lunch: all week 12.00-14.00; set L £45 (3 courses); mains about £30 to £49
- Dinner: all week 18.00-22.15; mains about £30 to £49
- Seats: 120
- Wine: an impressive list kicks off in the mid £30's, but there are many temptations for those with deeper pockets
- Wheelchair access: Yes
- Nearest station: Knightsbridge Underground
- Directions: See the map on this page
- Air conditioned
- Rooms available