It was the end of yet another cracking weekend in London , fantastic food , amazing wines and good banter.How could we ever top off the two amazing meals at the Ledbury and Marcus Wareing ? Well, i had two places in mind that might just hit the spot .First choice was The Ritz and second choice The Savoy . Out of the two restaurant menus the Ritz shone through as the finer so i emailed the restaurant to arrange a booking. I also arranged with the Savoy to book in for a saturday lunch as the price was a very reasonable £27.50 for a three course meal , fantastic value for such a grand hotel. One thing that i happened to note was the fact that there was a strict ban on photography in the Ritz restaurant.Such was the grandeur of the establishment that quite strict rules were in place to protect the privacy of the guests eating there.Unfortunately to me this was like a bad dream and comparable to a bird spotter missing out on a once in a lifetime sighting of a rare Zambian tree creeping Goony bird landing in Cleethorpes.I reserved a table provisionally but decided to sleep on it …how could i possibly eat in a restaurant without my Panasonic Lumix glued to my eye ? I thought about it for a few weeks then decided to throw caution to the wind , keep my table reservation for lunch and do a James Bond covert operation and sneak my wee spy cam into the restaurant with me.After all The Berkeley and The Witchery people also frown down on snappers in their restaurants but i managed two visits to each of them without so much as a second glance. If any A-list celebs were there with their secret lovers having a sneaky romantic lunch then i would just blur and frazzle their features on photoshop……Honest.
So 12.30 it was then , Sunday lunch Ritz style and once again i was dining with the Crazy Laird who had this time cast aside his “Bell o the borders” Tartan and replaced it with the `Dapper city gent` look of pin stripe suit and bowler ( A rotundle Charlie Chaplin ).The hotel just oozed class as soon as we walked into the foyer, it was a grand grand place to be.They had a little chocoalte shop selling freshly made pastries and truffles and just along the way there was the afternoon tea clubbers getting stuck into their towering plates of scones and nibbles….it looked awesome and i had a good feeling inside.
The Sunday lunch at The Ritz is £45 per person for a 4 course meal (inc an Amuse) and inclusive of service , a very reasonable price for top class dining in such an establishment. There was an individually priced a.l.c. menu as well as a tasting menu available for lunch.I was absolutely gutted when the maitre`d suggested the Chef recommended we go for the Ritz Tasting menu , it sounded fabulous but after our 21 courses and 15 wines only hours previously at Marcus Wareing i was ever so slightly delicate to say the least. I sent my apologies to chef, perhaps it would be best that we just chose the set lunch and return again for the Tasting menu next visit.
We were both seated in the far corner of the restaurant for lunch.It was the perfect place to take a nosey at all that was happening during service…probably best seats in the house if i`m honest.We both sat in silence taking everything in…we just didn`t need to speak , it was a case of The Ritz working its magic.Within a few minutes a little entourage of smartly dressed young waiters descended on our table “A complimentary starter from the chef”. My eyes lit up , i seen the wonderful terrine presented before me…generous slices of Goose foie gras sandwiching perfectly cooked cubes of Grouse breast and Granny smith apples interleaved with Black truffle….Oh Jeez…This is what fine dining is all about…what a treat. The restaurant was filling up pretty quickly with diners and with eyes like a hawk i immediately spotted two of them with cameras snapping away.I didn`t wait for a second before my Lumix was out and i joined them….what a rebel but at least i could get the beautiful food captured for all to see.
Terrine of Chicken, and it sounded just like that on the menu – As a result i chose not to go for this one and look what happened…it was more Foie gras than chicken , generous slivers of Truffle and beautiful Chanterelle mushrooms…Typical luck for poor ole me.
Another little surprise from the kitchen came in the form of this beautiful warm Native Lobster with Apple , Radish and Grapefruit …and just a little Caviar…It was Stunning and a close eyes and drift away moment….One of those memorable dishes that`s never forgotten…top marks here.
Traditional roasted Sirloin and Rib of Beef , a legendary Ritz classic.
Traditional selection of Ritz Petits fours with coffee.
The entertainment all laid on and the performance about to begin.The couple on the table next to me had the Flambe Crepes Suzette cooked at their table and after careful study i think i managed to pick up a few tips for next time i make it at home.Im sure it was beautiful but give me my Chocolate any day.
So all in all….a truly wonderful ending to a fantastic end of year dining break in London.I had a feeling the Ritz would be something special and as far as Sunday lunches go then it takes some beating.Thank you so much to Executive chef John Williams and Sous chef Adam Smith for the fantastic food and welcome , it was an absolute pleasure and next time…The `Ritz Tasting menu` as our first port of call. Cheers guys.
Photos from the meal can be viewed HERE.