I really do love living in London. It’s a foodies paradise that’s for sure with the large range of cuisines available and some hidden gems that you wish you had discovered sooner. I discovered one such gem recently when my friend and I stopped off for lunch during a shopping trip.
Quaglino’s is located in the heart of London’s St James and was opened way back in 1929. It was renovated in 2014 and has kept its signature Art Deco style yet has been brought more up to date to fit more with the times. This beautifully large restaurant with gorgeous sweeping staircase boosts a fabulous menu created by the head chef James Hulme.
Serving contemporary European food and having hosted royalty, celebrities this restaurant was even mentioned in Absolutely Fabulous giving it the thumbs up as a top London haunt for the rich and fabulous. Their food is affordable and as well as an A La Carte menu there are also two and three course menus and also as Saturday brunch and Sunday lunch.
Join me on a mini culinary adventure and find out what I thought of Quaglino’s.
As you walk through the entrance and down the first set of stairs you are greeted by reception on your right where you have the option to leave your coats should you so wish, a lovely touch.
The bar area and restaurant were both stunning and really inviting. Everything was covered from the opulent appearance to the first class service.
The minute we arrived at the bar we were presented with a glass of ice water and mixed nuts to tide us over whilst we perused the menu. There was a good choice, options having been created by the various bar staff. Nothing is over looked and the staff make an effort to make sure guests feel comfortable and welcome.
On the left: Fresh as a Daisy.
Hendricks, muddled fresh cucumber, St Germain eldeflower liqueur, apple and lemon juice.
This drink was enormous although allowing for the ice. It was nicely presented with a sprig of mint, cucumber curl and a dusting of icing sugar. The drink itself was extremely refreshing with the fresh mint as the most prominent flavour and a gentle elderflower, apple and lemon background. It’s extremely popular according to Ivan who was serving us.
On the right: 5th Marriage
Pisco (brandy), cachaca (distilled spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice), and strega liqueur (Italian herbal liqueur) with mango sherbet, fresh passion fruit, pineapple juice and amargo chuncho (Peruvian bitters).
This is sweet and fruity. The most prominent flavour was the passion fruit which gave it a lovely tropical vibe. Again beautifully presented and this one had a more alcoholic kick to it.
As we were shown to our table I noticed that the range of clientele was pretty varied from families, groups of friends, a couple of party celebrations even age wise there was a fair mix.
At The Table
Warm bread was served with butter whilst we awaited the starters to arrive. There was live music. A band was playing which is normal for a Sunday lunch time. On that day it was a trio who were walking around and singing. They helped create a lively fun atmosphere. They have a range of live entertainment so if you want to check out the line up make sure you take a look on their site. You will be treated to the likes of Heather Small and Natalie Williams as well as many more.
The wine selection is varied and prices too are varied. On an extravagant evening out then a bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1998 might be what you fancy. They also offer ‘wine flights’ which is a small selection of their most popular wines paired to each of the three courses on the menu.
Salmon tartare, herb, green chilli emulsion, radish and bronze fennel.
This arrived fast and looked lovely and fresh. On eating it did not disappoint. The dish was fresh tasting, light with a mild heat that comes through at the end from the green chilli emulsion. It’s easy to eat and the pieces of salmon are just right, not to small so you can appreciate and enjoy the flavour. Hidden within the dish were also chunks of cucumber and the cutest little capers which added their little bit of flavour to the dish and were a nice addition. This is a simple and healthy dish, we loved it.
Roast Beef with a large Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, green beans and gravy.
This was a great size for a main. The Yorkshire pudding was enormous the roast potatoes perfectly cooked and slightly salted and the beans al dente. For me the beef was just right, it was juicy, tender and delicious. We had a side of wilted spinach with our meal and this was lovely too. The spinach was wilted to perfection so that it was still bright green and nutritious. This was a delicious and filling dish.
It’s quite pretty isn’t it with a selection of 4 cheeses, quince jelly, grapes, walnuts an oat cake and fruit bread. The dish comes with four pre selected cheeses, three goats cheeses and one blue. You could pick another three off the cheese trolley, my friend chose – Morbier, Camembert and a French cows cheese. All the cheeses were lovely and there was such a large selection she struggled to finish this.
Who can resist a chocolate dessert with a melting centre, I mean seriously the chocolate fondant dessert was the star of the desserts that’s for sure. Not only does it look great but it tasted amazing.
The chocolate was of a high quality and this was apparent from the first mouthful. It even smelt amazing. The rich flavour of the chocolate combined with the creamy sweetness of the vanilla ice cream and contrast of the crumbled cocoa pops was heavenly. Yes you read that right “cocoa pops” or at least that’s what we were told after a member of staff quizzed the kitchen, my inquisitive mind just had to know what it was.
As you can imagine by this stage we were pretty stuffed. We had enjoyed an incredibly good meal with wonderful service and fantastic entertainment. What more could a girl want other than a small team of personal shoppers to do the shopping for us.
The service from all the staff here was exceptional like one might expect in Harrods for example. I have to say I was very impressed, nothing was too much and every detail was considered. Drinks were topped up before so they looked like they had refilled themselves automatically – now that would be a good trick wouldn’t it. The staff would enquire but not too often if anything else was needed.
I can honestly say this was a lovely restaurant with the most amazing food. A must try and the perfect place for lunch / brunch over the weekend or an evening out. I would definitely go again and am in talks with friends about when we can arrange to go for a meal. The sooner the better in my opinion!
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I was invited to Quaglino’s restaurant for a complementary meal, but, all opinions as always are my own. If I didn’t like it I wouldn’t feature it – it’s good, go try it!!