Busy Friday evening, service was attentive and discreet, just as it should be in a Michelin starred restaurant - but so often isn't.
A wide choice on the well constructed menu, surely something for everyone if the surcharge dishes are included, but at £45 for 3 courses the extra charges are not unreasonable.
Cooking was well up to the expected standard - and noticeably better than plenty of 1* places in France, perhaps Michelin expects more for its stars in UK?
The wine list deserves a few minutes of quiet reading, there are some real treats here.
HOWEVER - be careful with the wine service. This is not to accuse La Trompette of anything dishonest, but having ordered an £80 bottle of white burgundy, the Sommelier brought the bottle to show us and then it disappeared with him. He and the bottle were gone for about five minutes and it was brought back with the cork drawn. What happened apart from the obvious in the 5 minutes is an unknown, and although I believe in this case it was 'our' wine that was served, a less expensive fine white burgundy would probably have fooled me, and I have no way of knowing.
In my youth, as a waiter in a less honest restaurant, I have watched a barman fill an empty bottle from a wine box, so perhaps I'm suspicious!
The red wine was a different matter. The £75 bottle was shown at the table, taken away and was decanted - again out of sight of the table. I learned from another of the staff that the Sommelier has adopted the habit of taking a sample to taste for himself, and as this happens out of sight and the decanter is of unknown volume, the customer does not have a clue how much has been taken. This is great for the Sommelier to keep his knowledge of the list up to date, but I see no advantage at all to the customer, AND, for the privilege of funding his ongoing education, there is a 12.5% service charge.
With some wines and very rarely, there may possibly be some justification for the Sommelier tasting the client's wine, but for a 2007 bottle of pinot noir it's neither necessary nor justified. In 60 years of drinking fine wines I have never found a bottle that doesn't taste right which also doesn't smell wrong - certainly when it's been decanted. If it smells good, and the colour is good, then the wine's good and the Sommelier doesn't need to drink it.
I suppose I'd better cross 'La Trompette' off my list for the future after writing this, which is a shame because it's good, so don't let me put you off!
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