Savour the flavours of a four course Royal Wedding menu and toast the happy couple with a Kir Royale from now until Friday 18th May. Peter Morrell and his wife start celebrating
A stone’s throw from Clarence House and Buckingham Palace, Quaglino’s is ideally located as a restaurant to celebrate a Royal event or indeed any occasion. I chose Quaglino’s as the venue for my 40th birthday dinner as it has a unique sense of style and sophistication that will add to any celebration.
I was therefore exciting to hear that to mark the upcoming wedding of Meghan and Harry the chefs at Quaglino’s had curated a special Royal Wedding dinner featuring dishes that give a nod to both sides of the Atlantic. The menu is available from now until Friday 18th May and my wife and I were keen to try it immediately.
Quaglino’s was founded in 1929 and soon became the place for the British aristocracy and celebrity set to see and be seen. When in 1956 the Queen ate at Quaglino’s it was the first time ever a reigning monarch had eaten in a public restaurant. This Royal connection continued, there was always a table permanently reserved for Princess Margaret, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Princess Alexandra. So when you eat in the restaurant you are dining in a place steeped in royal history.
Quaglino’s was rescued from a period of decline in 1993 by Terence Conran who completely re-designed it and made it a lot more accessible, it’s now owned by the highly respected D&D Group.
If you have not been to Quaglino’s the décor is highly impressive, a stylish mezzanine bar looks down on an elegant dining space which has a second bar and stage. We started in the upper bar with an aperitif, the mixologists have been hard at work creating a Royal Wedding cocktail list featuring delights like The Crown based on Remy Martin and Talisker 10 year old and The Royal Treasure, a Stolichnaya vodka based drink to share,. We had a rather more sedate Campari Spritz and Champagne Cocktail.
Descent to the dining area is via a regal sweeping staircase and downstairs there is a huge sense of space. Once at our table we toasted the bride and groom with a very well made Kir Royale as we started our royal culinary adventure. The first course was roast chicken and pistachio ballotine inspired by the royal engagement story, Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle over a home-made roast chicken. This slightly more exotic dish was a slice of slow cooked meat with stuffing that was light and delicate, it sat on a bed of pickled relish and was elegant both in presentation and taste.
The next course is a great favourite of The Queen, the Drumkilbo lobster and langoustine with a clear ketchup jelly and quails egg. Served in a flat sundae glass a layer of ketchup jelly was topped with lobster and langoustine in mayonnaise flavoured with ketchup, tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and a dash of cognac. A quails egg and garnish of pea shoots and radish sat on top, it was a subtle combination of contrasting flavours and textures.
From the extensive wine list we paired this course with a glass of Rothschild’s viogner from France’s Pays d’Oc, this white had light aromatic tones of peach and apricots which complemented the food well, the finish was bright and fruity.
The main was a nod to Meghan’s home country, the hickory smoked grilled beef fillet with pommes Anna and morel mushrooms. This dish had some powerful flavours, the meat was meltingly tender and flavoursome, and the mushrooms had a real punch, a morel sauce gave the dish a rich flourish.
My wife continued with the viognier but I wanted a more robust wine to match with this course and had a glass of the altano tinto by Symington from the Douro in Portugal. This had good leather and red fruit aromas in the bouquet with pronounced black cherry and plum flavours on the palate, the well structured tannins made it very smooth and the finish was persistent.
Our decadent dessert, rhubarb and fromage blanc Charlotte with a blood orange sorbet had a cheesecake style base with the royally named Charlotte topping, there was even a round of white chocolate with gold decoration in the shape of a wedding ring.
Although our impressive celebratory meal was at an end the evening wasn’t. At 9:00pm on most nights the entertainment starts. When we were there the talented resident vocals trio, the Bury Street Belles performed an eclectic range of songs, from jazz, blues and soul through to swing and bebop.
Apart from the food, décor, atmosphere and entertainment an accolade must also go to the service team, they were all friendly, helpful and highly professional.
This Royal celebration at Quaglino’s had a real sense of occasion that I can thoroughly recommend, it’s an unmissable experience.
The Royal Wedding menu is available until Friday 18th May priced at £55.00 per person for a Kir Royale and a four course meal. For further information and to book visit the Quaglino’s website
16 Bury Street
London SW1Y 6AJ
020 7930 6767