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A la Colthard/Imperial Treasure

When I was first invited to Imperial Treasure by a bon viveur in the advertising world he said the restaurant raised Chinese cuisine to a wholly new level.

He could have been talking of the prices but for both he is correct.

The chain, started in China, acquired Michelin stars and perhaps epitomises the new wealth and status of that country. The food is simply delicious but you will do well to get out for less than £150 per head for dinner though they do have a more reasonable fixed price lunch menu.

Last Wednesday, at a reunion of uni friends where we push the boat out, we chose this restaurant.

We went for the £88 menu a veritable feast of duck, dim sun, cream of sweet corn soup, lobster, cubed beef, asparagus and two mini desserts – a jelly and custard concoction.

The only wine under £50 was a rose. It was much better than any Chinese but one of our group observed it was soulless and corporate.

How so?

On the next table was a middle-aged man, with wife and his mother, dressed in blue shorts. I’m not in favour of dress codes beyond the all embracing smart casual but I do draw the line at shorts for evening attire.

The smart Chelsea crowd that I used to see at Alvaro’s La Famiglia, Walter Apicella’s Meridiana and San Frediano are long gone.

Another icon of the seventies – Mr Chow’s in Knightsbridge – had more atmosphere.

Another middle-aged man in the restaurant was necking his companion.  Give us a break!!!.

For fine dining Imperial Treasure is a welcome addition.

I stayed at my beloved Marylebone hotel who upgraded me to a terrace suite.

This had, as the name might suggest, a terrace with awning overlooking the rooftops.

At the writing desk was laid out a scrabble game.

These so-called extras like jelly beans, crayons etc.

I find rather irritating but I could scarcely complain.

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