Nestled warmly at a street-lining window, peering down upon hasty shoppers and winter-laden lovers meandering along Jermyn Street in the dark London evening, we sat contented with deep, rich coffees in hand and smiles on our face. Why so smiley? Well, the pair of us – my dining partner and I – had just devoured a delectable three-course meal, complete with wine pairings, specifically prepared gluten-free bread and unrelentingly attentive service.
The kind provider of the aforementioned comestibles, libations and shelter? Mayfair’s Cavendish Hotel. More specifically, its first-floor restaurant and recent recipient of a second AA Rosette, Petrichor.
Scrambling in from the cold we were certainly in need of something to warm the cockles, so naturally we wondered in to The Rosa Lewis Bar, pre-supper consumption, and quickly ordered some Grey Goose and prosecco. Said drinks arrived in the form of a ‘Grey Goose Le Fizz’ and a ‘Hugo’ cocktail, respectively (the former supped regularly at the Oscars and the latter featuring delicate elderflower, mint and lime). Just the trick. The newly refurbished and cosy bar is welcome to all and comes complete with comfy corners in which to stowaway and relax.
With an extensive menu, the bar lends itself well to all manner of congregations; girls night, business meetings, dates… And so, with our glasses empty, we proceeded upstairs into the dining area, aka Petrichor.
Unfortunately I cannot bestow many a favourable word on the restaurant’s appearance, for it was bedecked in that traditional ‘hotel restaurant decor’, you know those carpets, those chairs and so on. But – perhaps more importantly – we were well received and seated by friendly staff.
For me, the highlight of the meal was my starter: sweet Scottish scallops paired with confit of chicken wings with an intense depth of flavour and truffle infused celeriac purée. My vegetarian dining partner found solace in a goat’s cheese and beetroot salad, the sole meat-free option amongst the starters, but heartily enjoyed nonetheless.
Next came a butternut risotto (again, the lone vegetarian option) and, more pleasingly to me, a vision of duck! A graceful swish of bright parsley mash decorated my plate while elegantly crafted confit of duck leg enticed with a ‘spun’ potato casing. Poached kumquats provided the all-important sweet and tart counterpart to the gamey slices of duck breast, which was, sadly, on the chewy side (hence the starter was favoured more so).
Swigging the suggested wines as I savoured each mouthful, I have to credit the sommelier, for each sip was perfectly complimentary to my servings. Finishing with that aforesaid coffee and some smooth sorbet, I had no justifiable cause for complaint. Instead, I resumed peering into the windows of our neighbours for the evening, Fortnum and Mason.
Find out more
The Cavendish London, 81 Jermyn Street, St James’s, London, SW1Y6J Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7930 2111
Written by Jodie Jones
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