Tucked away in a charming cobbled courtyard just off New Bond Street, Mews of Mayfair is bustling with the drink-after-work or a bite-after-shopping crowds. It’s winter, it’s pretty chilly and everyone is supposed to be detoxing, but the people here are obviously ignoring any New Year’s resolutions… Almost every table outside is busy and the ground floor bar is heaving with merry ladies and gentlemen downing cocktails since the early evening.
Mews of Mayfair is spread over four floors of two converted mews houses. A brasserie, private dining room called La Cave, Chef’s dining room, a bar on the ground floor and a lounge in the basement – all in one place in central London. You can happily spend an entire evening here, starting with dinner on the higher floors and making your way down as the evening progresses – the lounge is open until 1am.
The brasserie on the first floor has recently been refurbished – cosy and flattering lighting, soft colours and a relaxed atmosphere – the restaurant is beautiful and much less formal that its predecessor.
The Brassiere pays tribute to British delicacies. Chef Richard Sawyer (previously the Executive Chief of British restaurant Rules) has created a menu that showcases some favourite traditional dishes with local ingredients. The sourcing of local produce is taken very seriously here and on the back of every menu one can find a map of the United Kingdom, proudly detailing the areas where different products come from.
The prices are decent for Mayfair and the portions are very generous – my Devon Crab Mayonnaise on toast starter was almost the size of a main meal (£11). My guest Paul ordered Hand Dived Rye Scallops and declared them top quality – they came served with cauliflower purée, roasted penny buns and sultanas (£12.5).
The flavours were subtle and perfectly combined with our drinks – a Sipsmith G&T with cucumber, my English Garden cocktail (champagne, citrus vodka and Elderflower cordial) and a lovely white South African wine (The Journeymaker Chenin Blanc 2012, only £22.50 for a bottle) that I couldn’t stop smelling, tasting and then smelling and tasting again…
We ordered steaks for our main courses and the subtle tastes were changed by the defined and strong aromas of meat. My fillet (£24) was superb – soft, juicy and cooked just as I requested. My guest who grew up in South Africa announced that he is a serious lover of meat and indulged with a really really really big portion of T-bone… And even managed to finish it (just). We found out that the restaurant uses the finest Galloway beef from the Yorkshire Game Company dry aged for a minimum of 35 days.
The best part of our evening was experiencing some of the most friendly and attentive service that I’ve experienced in London. We were in Assistant Manager Gregory Lakatos’s care and somehow he knew what we wanted, and as if materialising from thin air, he appeared at our table to top the wine, bring extra sauces for the meat and offer excellent suggestions of what else we could order.
That’s how we ended up eating Stilton with oatmeal crackers and drinking a fantastic Pedro Ximenez sherry. An explosion of rich sweet flavours that cut through the almost overpowering taste of blue cheese. We also tried some Port and then were happily swinging our way downstairs to the lively party in the ground floor bar for a night cap… The headache was pretty bad the next morning, but the pleasure of the night before was definitely worth the pain.
Concierge tip: Go for dinner, drinks and a bit of boogie in one place in central London.
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