London, Night One

London happened (our trip that is), and it was amazeballs. We ate many times, at many places, drank many drinks, and had much of the fun. A big shout out to my lovely londoners for a wonderful weekend!

One of the places we ate at, that I had mentioned before, was the old school, the glamourous (for realz, I’m talking ball gown and tuxedo adorned clientele here), The Wolseley.

The reason why we went here for dinner on the Friday night was two-fold:

1. They serve dinner until midnight very very late (their last reservations are at 11pm, and we didn’t end up leaving until at least 1.30am).

2. AA Gill wrote a book about it. Ok ok, so it was about their breakfasts BUT, I mean what kind of a restaurant is SO GOOD at breakfast and SO BAD at dinner?

Our flight was delayed. So the beginning of the evening looked a lot less like this

Secretly I am an older woman with a penchant for horn-rimmed glasses wearing gay men.

and looked a bit more like this.

A lady with spoons for hair – an airport ad that was incredibly fascinating and amusing at the time (cue following photo for explanation)

Making friends with zee germans

But I digress.

After a short cab ride through the very fancy part of town we arrived (booming manly voice and trumpets).

This is where the bad iphone photos come into play, apologies in advance to your eyes for grrrainy-ness but The Wolseley does not allow photography (even iphones sans flash apparently, but NO ONE can take away my right to take endless photos of my food! Cringe.)

Anyway, straight to the meat.

He ordered the hamburger, rare, with french fries

We weren’t aiming to be the chicest here, there was too much competition already to begin with – remember ball gowns and tuxedos?

I ordered two starters.

Avocado vinaigrette 

Steak tartare, small, with egg yolk

They came almost immediately, which suited well, because after a 2 hours delay paired with a 50 minute flight, with plenty of wine and beer drinking in between, you often have a hankering for a bit of grub.

Although these dishes were anything but grub. Tsk tsk Aoife.

A hamburger cooked rare you say? Well when it’s seasoned well, and is wonderful quality meat, it’s worth it, even if your table neighbours gawk in horror. The soft texture just lets it melt in your mouth.

Now when I move on and describe my two dishes (particularly their texture) I want to make it clear I am not an old lady who has no teeth and enjoys the chance to sample soft food (despite my earlier confession above).

My avocado vinaigrette was delicious, the avocados were ripe and soft (see what I mean) and the vinaigrette was an emulsion that although it had a creamy texture had the great tangy elements of lemon and balsamic vinegar that complemented the simple avocado flavours.

My steak tartare was (cue pretension) the best I’ve had outside of Paris. Egg yolk is important (I don’t understand why they offer it without it) because it binds it all together to allow for it to sit pleasantly on top of the crispy piece of baguette or sourdough. The crunch of the accompanying toast paired with velvety, meaty, wholesome flavours are unparalleled to any other french dish (I think).

Next up came our cocktails.

An old fashioned (left) and A whisky sour (right)

I fell in love with my whiskey sour. Just the right amount of punch, zest, sweet and tang. The old fashioned wasn’t my thang, it had too much of a whoop of whiskey in it for my taste. But I guess that worked out well since it wasn’t my drink.

Then our joint dessert.

Chocolate éclair

The chocolate eclair was a lovely light finish to the meal. The pastry was a little stale (we suspect it might have been ordered in rather than made in house), but the chocolate crème pâtissière was delicious.

Well done Wolseley. No grub here, just wonderful classic french food, nice, snoot-less service, and ZINGY cocktails. Your reputation really does precede you.

The Wolseley, 160 Piccadilly, London W1J 9EB

http://www.thewolseley.com/

Image 2 via

Newsflash

This weekend/TODAY the boy and I are travelling to London for an adventure. What initially started off as a trip just to see the exciting show (I love musicals, big whoop, wanna fight about it?) … MATILDA THE MUSICAL, has now turned into a whirl wind romance with London’s tasty eateries, or so I hope. Can you plan to have a whirl wind romance?

Seriously, I’mma gonna try to fit in SOOO many food experiences this weekend, the two lovely london friends that I am AWESOMELY excited to see will probably only be sharing stories with me across an eating table of sorts. What do you call those again? TROUGHS?

Our list was put together from a mixture of recommendations, a serious need for an injection of some BBQ in our lives, and general wantings of new food experiences. AND SO, here are the places we plan on visiting during our 45 hour stay:

The meaty goodness of http://www.bodeansbbq.com/

Surprises galore at http://www.viajante.co.uk/

Old school glamour, or so I hear, at http://www.thewolseley.com/

Pig for breakfast, and plenty of it, at http://www.stjohnhotellondon.com/

Check back soon for some glorious photos and details of what will have been 2 BEAUTIFUL londonful days!

HOORAY!

Disclaimer: I have since found out that The Wolseley does not, I REPEAT, DOES NOT, allow photography. Total bummer. I’ll try my best guys but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to deliver many, if any, tantalising photos of the sure to be TASTY good times. Sigh.

But let me leave you on some kind of a British “photographic” (read: pretty pictures) note.

Dontcha love a good food flag?

This one I’m not so set on. But hey, we gotta let the Kate lovers rave on, don’t we? At least it’s on theme.