Friday, 11 March 2011

Mewsing around Mayfair

I first encountered Mews of Mayfair when a good friend of mine had her 21st in the private dining room (unfortunately) a good many years ago now. Although we stuck to a (delicious) set menu and didn't spend much time in the main bar, I was struck by the location of the venue, hidden away in a narrow little side street Mews just off the elegant hurly-burly of New Bond St. I felt like I was entering a tiny little segment of Victorian London and have been back on a few occasions since to visit their sumptuous ground floor cocktail bar.

Having never before visited the main dining room, I was excited when a Toptable Spotlight offer dropped into my inbox advertising a £50 food voucher in return for a mere £20 of my hard earned cash. I eagerly booked in for my birthday dinner and told my boyfriend that my contribution was made, and that he could spring for the rest (well, £50 towards your own birthday dinner is pretty generous isn't it?)

After a drink in the dark, opulence of the ground-floor bar (more on that later) we moved up the first floor dining room, which was a soothing yet chic haven of crisp white linen and leather banquettes. Although the tables are really close together (the space is quite small, but the staff are very attentive about getting people out from behind their tables in a pretty ladylike fashion!) the space still felt luxurious and the service was impeccable. Having splurged our 'free' £50 on a bottle of champagne we settled down for the serious business of ordering. I had the Dressed Crab and Avocado, whilst the boy had Organic Gravadlax with Grain Mustard Dressing (both £8.50). The portions were a bit on the small side but presented beautifully and absolutely delicious. Perfect to whet our appetites for the main course of Chateaubriand, Snail Bearnaise and Portobello Mushroom with a healthy side portions of chips and Spinach (£55 for two people). Pairing the bearnaise with snail was an inspired idea, and the flavour and texture of the portobello mushroom complimented it perfectly. The meat itself was done rare, just as we like it, and was melt-in-your-mouth gorgeous. If the starters were small, they whet our appetites for a fairly sizeable maincourse, which made the price seem more than reasonable.

A note also about the service: our waitress was brilliant. She judged us perfectly, and indulged our (usually terribly) jokes, whilst being terribly good-natured without being obtrusive.

Having enjoyed a really first-rate meal we moved down to the ground floor bar. I absolutely adore this venue. At the centre of the low-ceiling is a huge chandalier, and the banquettes and chaise-longues are oversized and opulent in their dark purple velvet. I felt like I was in a hidden Victorian opium den (in the best way possible). The outdoor seating along the narrow mews road adds a lot of character also and the bar is always buzzing. The cocktail list is extensive and imaginative. On this occasion we drank the Rose and Grape, and the Mutiny Mews. On previous occasions I've also had the Mews Berry - which remains my firm favourite of their selection.

It sounds a silly point to labour (and I have indeed had a Twitter conversation with Mews about this - said I know) but the toilets are great as well. Honestly, the best smelling loos in all of London. Decorated rather nicely too...

Anyhow, the whole experience makes for a really great evening. It feels luxurious - a mixture of elegance and opulence - without costing a fortune. An evening spent hopping from restaurant to cocktail bar to downstairs lounge makes for a very pleasant evening indeed.

Mews of Mayfair
10 Lancashire Court, New Bond St, London W1S 1EY


Mews of Mayfair on Urbanspoon

All images taken from the Press Office Section on the Mews of Mayfair website

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