Careful not to risk upsetting Mummy on her special day and take some Whistler advice… All of these restaurant recommendations are tried and tested, many times over – trust me with these.
This new venture in Battersea belongs to Michelin star winner Franck Raymond, serving up authentic French cuisine in an adorably intimate dining room. There’s an comforting family feel with a focus on fresh produce and finely sourced wines. Raymond’s producers are handpicked by himself, to ensure the very best quality, including charcuterie from Monsieur Colliard and fish from Mouchet Anythy sur Leman, a fourth generation fisherman. It really shows in the food. Expect slow-cooked meats in rich sauces, beautifully fresh fish with classic mousses & fruit tarts for pudding. Similar to Mummy’s home cooking!
The three course set menu is absolutely cracking value for the quality Augustine offers.
This flagship outlet in Islington is a foodie finatic’s delicatessen during the daytime turn fine restaurant in the evening. The classy cool white interior serves up elegant fusion dishes for sharing, like grilled quail with smoked chilli chocolate sauce, potato, pak choi and sesame. Or for individual recipes there’s such dishes as Seared Duck Breast, Pan Fried Pollock and Braised Octopus. This kitchen’s menu is bound to bring something totally new to Mummy’s plate! Be sure to book ahead, Ottolenghi is a popular man.
These guys pioneered tapas in London and are still way ahead of the game. The menu changes weekly, but expect the finest cured meats, exotic tortillas, simplistic manchegos and to drink – beautiful red wines or for a touch of Basque, the sparkling txakoli. The small, compact two-floor dining room is bustling with energy. I recommend a pre-dinner drink at Charlotte Street Hotel‘s gorgeous lounge just around the corner before you crack onto some of the finest tapas in London.
Although a (small) chain, which I usually have a mild distaste for, I have only ever had brilliant service at the French Cote Brasserie. Smart, well-polished dining rooms with mirrors and French doors, it evokes a touch of traditional glamour. Offering a fabulous selection of (only) French wines, and classic regional dishes such as moules marinières, freshly baked Fougasse, Tuna Niciouse Salad, grilled meats with sauce & frites then Crème Caramel, Praline Crepes and Tarte aux Pommes for pudding.
Bill Granger’s primary UK set up is in the most beautiful location just off Westbourne Grove. Ideal for an early dinner after shopping (especially as you cannot book). Incorporating one large spacious dining room with an impressive contemporary bar, it’s surprisingly relaxing. There’s no booming music or rushed service, it’s all calmness and attentiveness. The global menu offers everything from ceviche to herby pastas to steak and thick-cut chips – fautless feedback from me and many others. Desserts such as Banana Fritters and White Chocolate Pavlova will leave you bursting at the seams – careful with Bill’s generous portion sizes!
Pop round the corner to the characterful Beach Blanket Babylon for a post-dinner tipple to make Mummy laugh!
Treat her well, and let me know how you get on!