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A la Colthard/English’s

It’s been some time since I visited English’s – must be 6 months- and I went there in the week for a variety of reasons. They were rolling out their spring menu, I wanted to congratulate personally the manager Nick Emmott on finishing  third in the Restaurant Manager of the Year competition and I wanted a safe venue to discuss tactics at the forthcoming “at home” by the Rust  proprietor .

I started with 6 oysters. To be totally correct the lunch started with 2 glasses of Albarino sparkling wine. I know Albarino from the Galicia region of Spain is a fave of Algy but its sparkler was a new one on me. Very welcome especially as it was complimentary!!!

I followed this with the 6 oysters. My companion asked me to give him  some tuition in oysters and its typically English’s that the cailler was summoned so to do. After this we had the most delicious lobster bisque en croute. The pastry enclosed the flavour and what flavour! you could taste and savour the lobster and brandy with strands of pastry to accompany.

After this we had fish and chips. The fish was so succulent. I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc but the largesse did not end with the Albarinos but 2 Ports both of which I drank  as my friend was driving.

At this stage he broke the news that one thing I would learn at the gathering was I was to be given one ticket on the  Orient Express trip to Paris at the end of May but the other was going to a male contributor I do not  know. A cabin with banquette beds is reserved so naturally I wondered if I was expected to “go on top” !!!! Still as I’m not paying I must not grumble.

I certainly did not grumble at the English’s bill, just under £100. If  I had to describe English’s in a sentence it’s traditional, quirky in the interior ground floor seating but never stuffy. Next to us was a gay female couple. They had treated themselves to lunch from London, probably on a whim, and the staff couldn’t be more helpful in guiding them through the menu. No computers, no iPads, no slick winsome babes in the 20s with coldly efficient airs but good old fashion service.

Daphne Colthard
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts