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A la Colthard

I had booked the Mango Tree in Victoria for lunch with Les Girls, our first opportunity to get together after Nice. On the Sunday I was called to reconfirm though I find this an unnecessary practice. All the more so as the Mango Tree is a spacious restaurant and only four tables were taken. This presented a problem of atmosphere but at least we ate comfortably.

My problem with high-end Asian dining is perceiving any qualitative difference with more cheaper outlets. In Brighton the Chinese cuisine at Danny’s, essentially a take away restaurant, is every bit as good as more fashionable restaurants three times their price. Many pubs serve Thai food and there is a thriving market now in street food. My scallops in a garlicky sauce followed by sea bass wrapped in lettuce were well cooked and presented but were they worth double the price of a less glitzy place? Probably not. The desserts were better . I had a banana cake with banana ice  cream whilst she the nauseatingly slender Grania piled into 1000 calories of ice dream  and choccy cake .   The service was good but veered towards the over obtrusive .

Olly has booked up our winter holiday in Phuket in Thailand which neither of us have ever visited. Our reserve cleaner is a delightfully animated Thai girl who sends back money to build a temple in her village. They seem a friendly smiling race and no doubt Olly has a naughty massage in mind with some nubile young Thai!!! I wouldn’t mind one myself !!!  Mind you, having met some fairly revolting specimens the wrong side of twenty stone in his golf club boasting of their adventures in Pattaya Beach I feel more sorry for the locals exposed to this.

But back to the food. I had Thai beer to get me into mode as apparently the wine is both expensive and mediocre and the bill came to £60 per person for three courses and no other alcohol. I felt this was on the high side but we were in a superior type of place. Victoria is bit of a restaurant graveyard away from W1 and would it be helped by its proximity to the station and Buckingham Palace with a tourist trade ? I could not see any such diners. We spoke of Nice over lunch and it’s fine restaurants but London has the edge on diversity as I saw no Thai restaurants there

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