I was very excited last Christmas when my wife bought
me vouchers for lunch at the famous Le Gavroche
restaurant in London. Le Gavroche has two Michelin stars and is run by celebrity chef Michel Roux Jr. I had been to a one Michelin star restaurant, The Crown at Whitebrook, which was fantastic and I couldn’t imagine how good two stars could be.
I am pleased to say that I wasn’t disappointed. My wife and I went with two friends of ours, who are vegetarians. Despite the fact that it is listed in the Guinness Book Of Records as having served the most expensive lunch, we were delighted to find that it was, in fact, very reasonable. We had the business lunch which was £51 per head, including a half a bottle of wine each. For the more adventurous (and flush!) there is the Menu Exceptionnel at £100 per head and with selected wine for each course at £158 per head.
The restaurant offers classical French food with a modern twist. The decor is traditional and opulent but not dated. The signature dish is the Soufflé Suissesse (cheese soufflé baked on double cream). Although this is not one of the starters on the Business Lunch menu, they were very accommodating and agreed that we could all have it at no extra cost. It was definitely the right decision as, for a very rich dish, it was fantastically light and flavoursome. We then had a surprise special guest at our table before the main course as Michel Roux himself came over to ask whether we enjoyed his soufflé!
Our main courses were of an equally high standard, I had the duck and my wife had the lamb, and our friends the vegetarians, were equally pleased with their choices. Dessert did not disappoint either and the cheese course was a sight to behold as the very knowledgeable waiter talked us through the very wide selection of cheeses, which tempted us into a glass of port.
The food was excellent but what set it apart from me was the service. Despite being such a celebrated restaurant, the staff were not intimidating; they put us at ease and were incredibly attentive throughout the lunch. With the combination of wonderful food and service, this restaurant richly deserves its two star rating.
The location is also very convenient as it is near Marble Arch and Hyde Park, just around the corner from the American Embassy. I highly recommend a trip to Le Gavroche, but be aware that it is so popular that you need to make a reservation well in advance - we booked three months ahead of our visit. Also there is a dress code - all male diners are required to wear a jacket
And if that Christmas present wasn’t enough, Wales won the Grand Slam which prompts me to verse:
‘We won in Dublin but it was tight - then beat Scotland out of sight.
We went to with Twickers with Triple Crown hopes high - and squeezed home thanks to Scott’s great try.
Against Italy we were fitter, stronger and faster... and left them to cry into their pasta!
Just France left and into the trains we did cram - to cheer on Wales to the Grand Slam.
A try from Cuthbert set us on our way- and the boys held on to win the day!’
Watkins and Gunn
(Richard Fisher and Max Boyce are away!)
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