As much as I’m loving this heatwave, sometimes it’s such a relief to get away from central London’s sweltering heat and incessant roadwork racket. So walking through the massive Q-adorned glass doors of Quaglino’s, that’s exactly what I got. Despite the calibre of its clientele – Mick Jagger, Elton John – the legendary Mayfair establishment has had mixed reviews in the 84 years it’s been going, but it’s Great Gatsby-style glamour is undeniable and attractive . In the elegant cool of the lobby, I was met with a very warm welcome from the host, taking my coat and giving me the option of a pre-meal drink at the bar or heading straight down to the restaurant. Within the first five minutes I was already feeling well looked-after, courtesy of an invite to check out the restaurant.
I decided on the pre-meal tipple – unable to resist the subtle Art Deco allure of their Hutch Club pop-up bar. The cocktail menu includes, among other twists, a chocolate old-fashioned and boozy popcorn. I’d say you don’t have to be too experimental to take the plunge, but as long as you approach it with an open mind, your taste buds won’t be disappointed.
But the main event for me was definitely the plate of West Mersea rock oysters. They came served on ice with shallot vinegar to cut through the cool creaminess of the oyster. With each one, I found the thought of the sticky London underground and annoying tourists just melting away. The flute of chilled champagne that came with it was a nice touch, too.
I’m not the kind to indulge in oysters regularly, but Quaglino’s are currently offering theirs – plus the glass of champagne – at the special price of £19.29 as a way of honour the restaurant’s year of inception – and given their ability to maintain a decadent atmosphere, good quality of the food and drink, and lovely staff after all these years, it’s worth the celebration. (Words: Roshni Goyate)
For more info, visit: www.quaglinos-restaurant.co.uk