The most successful of Conran’s ventures from a food viewpoint, the Orrery is quieter and less flashy than its larger brethren Mezzo’s, Quaglinos et al. The narrow dining room is peaceful, the service a definite gear up from what one might expect. Above all the kitchen ventures beyond the char-grill and manages some genuinely classy cooking, strong with seafood. The desserts are very good also, for example a fine lemon tart. An orrery, by the way, is a model of the solar system that was fashionable in Victorian times, an example of which sits in the dining room.
A measure of the success of the kitchen is that it was awarded a Michelin star in 1999. However the departure of the chef Andree Garret to the new Galvin at Windows on the World has caused some jitters in the usually smooth delivery, and on my recent visit things were distinctly shaky. They were awaiting the arrival of a new chef in July 2006 and it will be interesting to see whether equilibrium is restored. In the mean time treat the place with caution.