This meal began with a series of excellent nibbles. A cylinder of red mullet was wrapped in green apple, along with cauliflower and cheese tartlet, foie gras and mead rice cracker, sunflower crisp with artichoke emulsion, and finally steamed brioche with bacon and onion. The latter was particularly enjoyable (18/20).
Green beans came with frozen grated foie gras, cobnut and peach. This was an unusual combination of textures but it worked very well (18/20). It was followed by beetroot and smoked eel garnished with horseradish, a pretty dish where the horseradish nicely lifted the flavor of the eel (18/20).
Fresh milk curd from Hampshire buffalo was served with aged Comte, crispy shallots, mushrooms and onion broth. On the side was Poilane bread with St Nectaire and Australian truffle. The truffled bread in particular was superb (18/20).
Langoustine tail was wrapped in shiitake, with braised cauliflower sheet and pine nuts; the shellfish was lightly cooked and had good inherent sweetness, pairing nicely with the mushroom and pine nuts (18/20). Wild salmon was served with courgette and sauce of lobster coral with Chardonnay butter. Although the salmon was wild, its flavour was not that wonderful, and the dish for me lacked something to cut through the inherent oiliness of the fish (16/20).
Grouse came with a layer of toasted seeds and grain, baked celeriac, girolles and an Earl Grey and foie gras sauce, with the wing and heart of the grouse served on the side along with a confit grouse sauce. The bird had very good flavour, not hung for too long and so not overly gamey, and the celeriac provided a nice earthy balance (17/20). Herdwick Lamb came with salt-baked turnip, kohlrabi, Padron pepper and garlic, the lamb carefully cooked, the pepper working well with the meat (17/20).
Cream of apple and elderflower in vanilla custard was the pre-dessert, very pleasant though for me the elderflower was slightly too dominant (16/20). This was followed by black figs with sourdough ice cream, with the quality of the figs rather letting down the dish; it is hard to eat figs in London after you have sampled those from the markets of the Mediterranean (15/20). Finally, a red fruit tart featured raspberry, red currant, flavoured with basil and pepper. This had good pastry and the fruit was fine, the pepper an interesting touch (16/20). The bill came to £107 a head at lunch, with water and the odd glass of wine. Service was excellent, as it always seems to be here. Overall this was an excellent meal, though for me the desserts were unable to keep up the standard set by many of the earlier savoury dishes.Book