Just as this week banks have been stress-tested we restaurant reviewers should visit regularly those establishments we recommend to ensure there is consistency of service and standard. This I did this week.
I stayedat my favourite hotel in London, the Marylebone. Once the boxy Clifton Ford, now refurbed and re-branded as part of the uber cool Doyle Collection, it combines location with the friendly efficiency of a family hotel like the Goring, from reception – where a German Annika presides – to the 108 bar run by the delightful smiling Latvian Maya, to Long Voong the ever helpful customer service manager the staff couldn’t be more welcoming. The rooms are spacious, my only criticism of them is the dark lighting but an extra lamp if always provided for me. A girlfriend of mine out for a “naughty” did say that the sound proofing could be better and she heard coital grunting throughout the night from the neighbouring room but that only inspired her to greater things!!! All I could hear is radio 5 at 5 am.
28-50 is in my opinion still serving the best food in Marylebone. I had a scrumptious pumpkin soup and pork belly. My only criticism here is that I fancied a macerated melon and granata mint as a light, refreshing dessert. This was off the menu and the waitress who was rather inaudible suggested an alternative. I assumed this would be similar but it was a Madaleine, a small cinnamon soft cake with creme fraiche, not quite the thing for a waist line struggling to stay within a size 10 Joseph business suit!!
Finally I had breakfast at the Wolseley. My friend who is not just high up in advertising but inthe Advertising industry itself was busy nodding and greeting to fellow movers and shakers, of course with a table in the inner horse shoe. The service was impeccable. My friend favours a Croque Madame which though no longer on the menu is always provided for him and in this case her.
The common denominator in all 3 places is attentive service whilst mastering the basic grammar of their trade and in the case of the restaurants, reliable cuisine at prices which are still sensible.