This was simply a superb experience, which many pretentious Michelin starred establishments would do well to benchmark. Every aspect of service, from the welcome, aperitif service, restaurant service, to receiving the bill and saying goodbye, was handled with easy charm and thoughtful non-intrusive attention. Everything here was the way it should be. We were shown to a choice of lounges, picking the cosier fireside option, though some guests were braving the 8C outside temperature to sit on the terrace in the welcome Spring sunshine. Aperitifs were offered and served promptly and 'just right', along with an interesting amuse bouche and very nice olives. There is a fine selection of a la carte and tasting menu options, but we all chose to go with the delightful lunch menu, and what a good decision that was. Every dish of the three course meal was exceptional, and between us we tried all the options except the cheeseboard !
Special mention for the outstandingly tasty yet delicate pollock starter, and also the pork belly main course, which was so good that we declared it the best we had ever tasted anywhere. Portions were just right; small enough to allow two of us to do justice to a fabulous cassis souffle for dessert !
The wine list gave a wide choice, and you do not necessarily have to spend a fortune. I chose a little known South African Sauvignon Blanc (SA sauvignons are really good recently - less 'up-front' than their NZ cousins, but with more French-style sophistication). Anyway, the Sommelier, who was not of the overbearing variety, was pleasantly helpful and able to offer some background on the wine. Beaune by the glass was very good, but a tad pricey, which is a tendency I have noticed in a number of establishments of late. That said, the overall value was very good at £35 for 3 courses, and even the bill, which arrived immediately it was requested, was well and clearly presented.
I should probably add that the timing of the service was just right, with no rush but no undue delays, and always available when you wanted it. Overall this was a classy, maybe slightly 'old fahioned' luncheon experience, and I would be confident that dinner is just as good. Thoroughly recommended, and certainly one of the best.
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