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Friday, 4 March 2011

London - fab

A long gap since my last post, I have been applying for jobs and having interviews and waiting with baited breath for the phone to ring. In the midst of this I managed a quick visit to London and as usual it didn't disappoint - apart from Jamie Oliver's Barbacoa - more of which later.

We stayed in The Grange St Paul's - which is actually across the road from St Paul's - amazing view from the rooms and the bar. We could stroll across the Millenium Bridge and along the Thames Pathway up to Borough Market (as featured in Masterchef) which is really worth a visit - I went three times, twice to browse and then last minute on Saturday to stock up on foodie ingredients and to sample oysters and champagne at Wrights Oyster Bar, we can call that our starter, because we then went to the Oxo Tower restaurant for a late lunch which was wonderful (didn't know it was part of the Harvey Nichols group).

The concierge got us a table at Jamie's new beef restaurant and we had really high expectations - especially when we saw the butcher's shop of the same name, the meat looked fantastic. The table was booked for 9.15, the place was packed and we were eventually seated at 9.45, our waitress presented at 10.00 and told us the specials, then 15 minutes later when she took our order, the special was sold out, they " hadn't had oysters for ages " even though they were on that day's menu, and I ordered cavolo nero which went it came was actually overcooked watery salty spring cabbage. All this together with being seated six inches from the next table, and the bill having two mojitos added to it for good measure, was too much - I took it to the front of house who agreed with all the gripes and said it was going to be sorted, then deducted all our drinks from the bill - it was still around £90 and really not worth it. I was disappointed to be disappointed though - I love Jamie's concepts, I was expecting the best steak ever and it didn't happen. I hope they do put everything right.


  1. Even so...we go out to relax and have fun...they shouldn't over book the place! Jamie should know better! The walks to the market sound marvelous though. Must have been fun to be in the middle of London!...

  2. Oooh I love the OXO tower, their G&T's are the best yuuum!!
    Sounds like a fab trip though despite the Jamie disappointment. xx

  3. How disappointing for you. I hate when things like that happen. Still, at least they attempted to make things a little more financially palatable - but that's still a lot of money to be out of pocket for a so-so meal.

    Am off to investigate your hotel though. I'm looking for something to use as the perfect bolthole for my planned excursions to Lahdan over the coming months.

    Hopefully I'll find something that is inexpensive, easy to reach, and pleasant to be in.

    Will you give his restaurant another go at a later date, do you think?


  4. Did I post a comment?! I thought I did!

  5. Sorry everyone, I crashed my hard drive and have only just got back up and running.Will post a worthy reply to your comments asap

  6. Oh I am a nightmare when I dont get good service, dont know if you know this but the law states you only have to pay what you feel is adequate if you get a bad meal. Being busy is no excuse for bad service - I wouldn't have even gotten seated as I would have left if my booked table hadn't been ready on time.

  7. Susan - I agree it is much better to have a nice time than having to complain about everything

    Ali - I found the hotel on Top Secret Hotels real bargain. I don't think I would go back to that restaurant unless I read some rave reviews, there are so many brilliant places to eat in London

    Pearl - we would have left but were starved and keen to try the amazing steaks - wish we had eaten Dim Sum at Ping Pong instead - we had fabulous Lychee and Rose Martinis there

  8. Oh and Butterly, sorry I missed you - the Oxo Tower was really good and a bargain at £35 for three delicious courses with a fantastic view. Didn't try the G&Ts just shared a bottle of champagne and a bottle of rose (met my brother and his wife there not just the two of us - rapibly building a heavy drinking reputation on the blogosphere!)

  9. ooh how disappointing!! Jamie really should know better.....