Just less than a week before the wedding (the best friend’s – not mine!), and it looks like I have failed in resisting the temptation to indulge in more good food over the weekend.
First up is Cafe Monico, located on bustling Shaftesbury Avenue, inspired by the original Cafe Monico, established in 1877, and serves French-Italian dishes in a traditional brasserie setting.
We were seated on the upper floor where natural light flowed in through the windows, on a table which overlooked the bar downstairs. Our friendly waiter arrived with a basket of warm, crusty baguette with butter. He recommended The Cafe Monico Cobbler as an aperitif, which came served in a silver cup and straw, topped with a slice of peach and a bite-sized flapjack – someone must have known that I was hungry and peckish (!)
My starter of grilled octopus was nicely cooked and well-marinated, served on a chilled salad of potatoes. The steak tartare look appetizing with a bright egg yolk on top, and had a nice texture, although we both found it a bit too spicy – I generally like spicy food, but prefer to add my own marinade to my steak tartare.
I had the lamb chops as my main, which although did not look quite as pink, was actually really tender, served with chickpeas and two flavourful merguez sausages. I would have preferred the dish to be slightly less ‘wet’, but overall the flavours were nice.
The skin on the sea bass was quite crisp and lightly seasoned, served on a bed of black cabbage and a squeeze of lemon to add a citrus-y zest.
The highlight of the meal for me was most definitely the Paris Brest, one of my favourite French desserts, with a light choux pastry filled with rich indulgent praline cream – so worth the calories.
The Crêpe soufflé Grand Marnier was also delicious. I would recommend to save space for dessert- one of my life rules that I strictly live by…
A great location for theatre-goers or those looking for a casual lunch/dinner, after-work drinks…
And after yet another break from afternoon tea, we celebrated Sarah’s birthday at The Palm Court at Sheraton London Park Lane, where they serve the Birdcage Afternoon Tea. The beautiful lounge which features original Art Deco offers a glimpse into the magic and history of the roaring 20’s.
There are 27 tea blends, from which I chose the Elderflower Darjeeling.
As the name suggests, three-tiered trays in the shape of birdcages were placed before us, displaying a selection of delicate finger sandwiches, buttery plain and sultana scones, and a variety of fine pastries.
From the savoury selection, I particularly liked the mini dill and seaweed scone topped with Severn & Wye smoked salmon and caper cream, and the confied chicken curried mayonnaise on basil bread.
The scones were served with clotted cream and some interesting homemade preserves, such as the rhubarb and ginger jam.
The cakes and pastries were really pretty and delicate, and not overly sweet, which I liked.
And to celebrate Sarah’s special day, they also brought out a birthday cake for Sarah which was really sweet of them.
Overall we had a lovely and relaxing experience, and there was also a harpist playing music in the background, which always adds a nice touch.
I will be flying off to Canada in a few days, and will most probably continue posting whilst I’m away – hopefully about something exciting (food and wedding-related!), and not about something unfortunate, like losing my luggage at the airport (!)
It’s okay, I’ve got travel insurance, just in case…
The Cheekster, signing out x