I have always wanted to dine at The Dorchester, and what better time than the festive season to treat yourself to life’s little luxuries. Located in Mayfair, just a few minute’s walk from Hyde Park Corner Tube Station, this iconic 5-star luxury hotel oozes luxury, from the moment you step through the main entrance. After exploring their beautiful Christmas decorations in the foyer and having a peak into The Promenade where they serve afternoon tea, we entered through the doors of The Grill, which had interiors that were equally as glamorous, our eyes particularly drawn towards their striking golden glass chandelier. Known as one of London’s most longstanding British restaurants, first established in 1931, the restaurant was recently relaunched under young British talent Tom Booton, starting a new era as The Dorchester’s youngest ever head chef who has given a fresh spin to the menu.
We ordered a carafe of Albariño that Emma recommended (always handy to have a sommelier friend!) whilst we tucked into the most delicious bread, fresh out of the oven, and an appetizing amuse-bouche. For my starter, I opted for the chicken leg starter which was extremely moist and tender, served with artichokes, tarragon and an avocado mayonnaise topped with delicate foie gras snow. I also liked the pickled onion that had a nice hint of sharpness that cut through the richness of the dish. The other starter that I had my eye on was the mackerel that Emma kindly let me have a taste of – beautifully seared and complemented by a comforting bouillabaisse and fennel jam.
From an equally tantalizing selection of mains, I eventually decided on the Devon duck, cooked medium rare as I like it and thinly sliced, accompanied by some parsnip, puntarelle and juicy cranberries that added a sweet festive touch, all married together by a lovely jus. To add a bit more indulgence to this dish was a side of creamy potato mousseline with confit duck leg – an extremely hearty dish that definitely had my tummy rumbling with satisfaction after. The grilled brill was just as delicious, with a subtle sweet taste and firm meaty texture, served on a bed of brussels sprouts and Morteux sausage that added flavour and a hint of smokiness.
Just as we had finished our mains, we were asked if we would like to proceed on to enjoy our desserts at the Pudding Bar, a new intimate banquette seating concept, of which we agreed to without hesitation. The dedicated Pudding Bar has been designed to add an element of theatre to The Grill experience, allowing guests to enjoy their final course of delectable desserts in new surroundings at the countertop.
We were attended to by the lovely chef behind the counter who kept our sweet cravings satisfied throughout the experience. He first prepared a palate cleanser which was a delightfully refreshing yoghurt sorbet – we were asked to guess the flavour of the ‘snow’, which we correctly guessed as chocolate and beetroot.
We both decided to order the spiced crème brûlée, freshly torched in front of us, topped with sweet dates and a light gingerbread foam. It must have been our lucky day as the chef also kindly offered us a taste of the clementine leaf soft serve ice cream, garnished with finely sliced chestnuts and marigold leaves. And not forgetting to mention the freshly made doughnuts – light as a cloud and the perfect comfort food in this weather. We also had the opportunity to meet the main man himself, Chef Tom Booton, who was really lovely. The petit fours of miniature canelés were the perfect sweet end to a thoroughly enjoyable festive lunch.
The Festive Set Lunch Menu at The Grill at The Dorchester is exclusively available Tuesday to Saturday from 12:00noon to 2:15pm, until December 21st 2019 – bookings can be made via Bookatable, where you can also browse an extensive array of exclusive festive menus and great offers, whether it be in Mayfair, or your favourite local area.