A Birthday Treat

logoLast weekend Mayfair Dad took me out for dinner. We went to The Great British in North Audley Street. It was Mayfair Dad’s suggestion, so with a name like that, I was hoping they’d be offering me a feast of local British produce and maybe even some English wine. I am rather partial to a little of both. I was not disappointed.

In fact, I was so impressed, I thought I’d share…

Location | The restaurant enjoys a central location, just a few minutes’ walk from Selfridges. Proximity to Oxford Street (Bond Street tube station) makes this ideal for a post retail therapy treat. Service was very efficient, though in no way did we feel we were being hurried from our table, so probably the restaurant would also serve you well pre-theatre or cinema.

Ambience | The restaurant had a cosy, intimate feel. Walls were adorned with black and white photos of British musicians and brightly tiled table tops lent colour and a homely vibe. Most of the tables at the front of the restaurant were set for two, with tables for larger groups at the back of the restaurant. The decor made me feel as if we had stumbled on a local treasure. We ate at 7.30 and there were already several reservations and only one or two tables remained empty. We booked on line through OpenTable (previously TopTable) and all went seamlessly.

Service | Friendly and efficient, the maitre d’ immediately welcomed us with a smile and showed us to our table, bringing the menus and offering us some water and a delicious basket of freshly made bread which, served with home-made salted butters and cods roe, we munched happily while browsing the menu. We made our selections and later Mayfair Dad was brought the wrong main course. When he realised (duh!) and mentioned the error, they could not have been more apologetic, offering to replace it. He reassured them that he was enjoying the lamb far too much to give it up and would happily come back for the pork another day.

Menu | The menu (which is subject to change due to their use of the seasons’ finest!) offered a good selection of starters and mains with adequate sides and a flamboyant selection of British cheeses. For those unable to choose, tasting plates were available for both starters and deserts (oh so tempting!). I don’t really know where I found my self restraint.

We both ordered a starter of salmon tartare (Scottish) which was complimented perfectly by the contrastingly hot, peppery horseradish and fresh, cooling beetroot that accompanied it. Plate clean! I followed mine with a plate of grilled lemon sole which was served up with a fishy jus, cauliflower, squid and sea purslane. I almost didn’t want to share but Mayfair Dad and I did swap a mouthful each. He ate the lamb rump, which he enjoyed so much, he didn’t want to swap it for the pork he originally ordered. It was also well cooked and full of flavour, while retaining a hint of pink so suited us both. The vegetables we ordered on the side were lightly cooked and covered with more home-made butter.

Pudding was the warm chocolate variety and served with a salted caramel ice cream (my current obsession taste-wise is anything salted caramel!) and my only complaint was that my taste buds would have liked me to carry on forever but my stomach had its fill by then so alas no seconds.

All our plates went back empty. The portions were just right. Not so big as to overwhelm us, nor so empty we wondered where dinner was. Just enough to see us on to the next course and allow us to go home satisfied.

Value for money | The bill came in at around £30 a head. We were neither extravagant nor abstemious, sharing a litre bottle of water, and a small carafe of house wine (an English white and one of the nicest I’ve enjoyed!), we both had a starter and main and finished with coffees. We also shared a pudding (I was the lion!).

So all in all, this is a restaurant that really does what it says on the tin website: “quality and value for money, with brilliant flavours, great food and really tasty English wines (we promise they do exist) all served up with a smile.”

Please note I received no payment of any kind to write this review or to visit the restaurant. All views and opinions are my own.

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