DAD’S BIRTHDAY LUNCH AT THE GRILL AT THE DORCHESTER

First I must tell you that this isn’t a standard Sunday activity for the Eggleton clan. Recently my Dad reached a milestone birthday…okay, it was his 70th…I really hope he doesn’t see this, he won’t enjoy the fact I’ve told you this information. His birthday also happens to be my parents anniversary, which was also a big one this year. They were on holiday on the actual day, so the best I could do is to arrange a cake to be delivered to their hotel room in Italy. Till yesterday we hadn’t got round to celebrate together…but boy was it worth the wait… we did it in style.

My brother is far more financially flush and very generous with it, so kindly booked roast lunch for us all at The Grill at The Dorchester.

 My brother was running a little late, which was no surprise to us if we’re honest, so we had a little photoshoot in front of Hyde Park. It’s not often we are all together and in a state of reasonably smart dress, so we thought we’d make the most of it. It’s about time we update some of the picture frames in our house, far too many featuring outdated clothes and squinty eyes.

I personally don’t think my Dad looks anywhere near 70, after-all he still has all of his hair…and it’s all his, promise! I need to start doing what he’s doing! Probably involves eating more veg… : ( 

After being shown to our seat we were promptly offered some Champagne. As you guys know, I am a non drinker, but it felt rude not to get involved. Everyone else moved on to their second glass pretty quickly, but I nursed my first for the entire meal. I loved the shape of the glasses, they seemed to encouraged the centre of the liquid to keep bubbling.

The room has extremely flattering lighting, making it a very good choice for a date. The use of coppery and rose gold tones makes the space feel welcoming despite it’s luxurious decor. There were less obvious design choices like the extravagant but untraditional chandelier, which added a nice touch of eccentric personality. I adored the display of copper moulds and cooking pans that I had a perfect view of from my tan leather and moulded ply chair.

Lemon Sol ‘Goujonettes and chips’ with tartare sauce was my choice for starter. I’m not actually a fish fan, but I love a goujon, so I thought I’d take the risk. I’m so glad I did, and I spotted envious looks from my lunch mates when my wooden board arrived. The batter was astonishingly light, and the fish beautifully moist and
flaky. The ‘chip’ was an extremely thin crisp with holes in it, that
weirdly captured the taste of a chip even though it was only a couple of
mm’s thin. The seasoned tartare was the perfect accompaniement.

As ardent fish fans my parents and boyfriends went for the Smoked Salmon, and were all united in the opinon that it was the best they’ve tasted, although a lot thicker than they are used to. 

Kate’s choice of the Homemade veal terreane with mustard condiment was another visually stunning plate.

A few of us opted for the Beef roast lunch, with Kate going for chicken and Si choosing pork belly. The beef was cut by the table, which was a very drool worthy sight. It’s little touches like this make lunch feel like a special occasion. It makes the slicing of meat an artform worth gazing at.

I love pork belly, essentially because I love fat. However, I was rather surprised that Si opted for it considering that he always frowns when I choose it off the menu and is currently very concerned about health and the food he intakes. It appears he has one of his panics. He’s done it many times before. Picking something off the menu he doesn’t fancy, or doesn’t even like. He either overthinks his decision, asks the waitress for advice ( who has completely different taste to him), or picks at random when feeling rushed to make a decision. I knew his face would drop when it arrived, not because it was bad, but because I just knew he had a wobble and picked something that he didn’t want. To me, it looked like the ideal pork belly, but he was left needing more meat. I of course obliged passing over some of my lovely pink beef. 

As you well know, I am not one for veg, however there was no denying that it looking utterly beautiful. Look at those colours!

The contemporary Lemon Tart…which really isn’t a tart but was apparently very nice all the same. After breaking through the meringue Simon munched on a bit of actual lemon which made his face contort in an extreme way but once he got over the shocked I think he rather enjoyed it.

I believe a pudding should be about indulgence. I want to feel a bit naughty with my choice from the dessert menu. Others argued that the lemon would be a fabulous post meal palette cleanser…but I wanted to get that inner cuddle that only dairy, stodge or chocolate based puddings can deliver. I went for the bread and butter pudding, an english classic, and a reliable dish for comfort. It didn’t disappoint and was heavy in currents and prunes (I think) – sadly I was too full to complete my mission of devouring.

I wanted to expel an evil laugh when this turned up, as we all got this cream and strawberry palette cleanser to conclude our meals.

 

The stunning lighting in the centre of The Grill 

Simon, hungover but hiding it well…

 

Mum and Dad 

My bro and his beau 

The obligatory photo in the posh toilets…

 There are some amazing fashion pieces displayed on route to the cloakrooms, including these showstopping Giuseppe Zanotti shoes.

Some very subtle and understated floral displays in the communal areas…

Now, I have to be honest. Not all of the elements of the food were as flawless as I expected or hoped. The roast potatoes, although wondrefully fluffy in the inside were on the cusp of being too crisp, some of my beef wasn’t piping hot, and the bread and butter pudding wasn’t the best I’ve ever had. That said, I would still reccommend a visit to The Grill at The Dorchester. As soon as you arrive you are made to feel special and looked after. The service is faultless, but not so stuffy that you are made to feel uncomfortable. Our waitress had a warm smile and kind eyes, and the hosts and sommeliers
were suave, professional but attentive throughout our lunch. That’s the thing with treating yourself to a special meal…it’s not just about the food, it’s about the entire experience. We left feeling like we’d been extremely well looked after and that alone was worth the higher bill.

Leave a Reply