A late afternoon train journey took us to London ( back on the last train, home at 1.45 am not so good), for a fun evening to celebrate my son Tom`s birthday. How can I possibly be old enough to have a son who is to be 28!! We hot footed it to the stunning Ham Yard Hotel for a quick drinkie, as I had been dying to see it. We love all things Firmdale-usually staying at the Knightsbridge Hotel, and I am a great admirer of Kit Kemp`s wacky, eclectic styling. We were not disappointed. I have to say that it was shock after travelling through a much more bucolic vista, to be amongst the very airless heat and restaurant smells of Soho on the walk there. Jostling on pavements with office workers keen to get that early doors drink in one of the plethora of pubs and bars was not my idea of fun.
But, Ham Yard. Wow. I was greeted at the entrance to the bar with a “hello darling, how fabulous is this! ” by a gorgeous guy ,who showed us to a great spot ( for people watching ) at the bar. I loved it all. The interiors are colourful, bizarre, hectic, calm, odd and stylish all in one go, but they work. Fantastic lighting. We will be back.
Dinner was to be at Jason Atherton`s Social Eating House in Poland Street. We were meeting a friend as well as Tom, for drinks in the bar upstairs bar-table duly booked, and again buzzy and loud with chat and music. Hot( why did I wear boots) , busy, but fun. I actually had a Marguerita-well two (!),and a bottle of Sauvignon and a Negroni were also imbibed-not by me I might add.
So to the food. So very good. Pretty on the plate .I am not usually a fan of `deconstructed` arrangements-as they tend to look as though they may be others left-overs scraped onto the plate, and if not done well, the food can be , well, too deconstructed. I liked the fact that the menu-pushing the fact that they serve British grown seasonal produce( of course) list it all on the back , noting exactly how many miles it has all travelled; for example, Lamb rump from Romney Marsh 70 miles, wood sorrel from Wales 220 miles, plums from Kent 45 miles, shrimps from Dorset 125 miles. Love it.
The food was perfect. One of their signature dishes , which my husband had,is Wild mushrooms from a bag, cep puree on toast.We all had to taste it. Bliss. As was the Baby linzer potato and Epoisse fondue, Iberico de Bellota shoulder, red chicory and tarragon. Each mouthful bursting with flavour to grunts and murmurings of pleasure ( I think that is know as a `foodgasm`!!!).
Andrew being a tartare fan, chose the Smoked Black Angus tartare, radishes ( boy has this year been the year of the radish!), wood sorrel, horseradish and egg jam. Again we were all digging our forks in. Melt in the mouth. Tom being a serious carnivore had the slow-cooked venison loin, fig jam, cavelo nero, Ryefield goat`s cheese. Sublime. My South Coast Plaice, confit potato, samphire, onions, and brown butter hollandaise was more than delicious and I am going to copy it at home.
We all shared the most divine pudding-Lemon meringue pie, lemonade, black pepper pastry and sour yoghurt, and managed to wolf down a bottle of Barbera Mora( Tom) and two more bottles of Sauvignon Mauzac, but we did shove a cork in one and brought most of it home. They very kindly produce a cute cake box with a chocolately confection in it for the birthday boy, which was lovely , as I don’t even remember telling them it was his birthday when I booked. So a fun foodie, hectic evening, as always came home full of ideas and inspiration.Walked back though a very quiet Carnaby Street to grab a cab and snooze on the train, Kings Lynn bound. Fab.