Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley

Decided to make a big day of  it last Monday and be a tourist. This involved shopping for a ridiculous handbag, eating and West End theatre; hell I almost felt like a Yank. The restaurant Marcus Wareing is in the Berkeley Hotel. I’m not entirely sure about the room. The walls are covered in rather louche purple velvet and whilst that might work at night, it looks a bit “grandma’s sofa” in the harsh light of day.  Once the food started to roll out however, it became a little less important as I concentrated on the riches before me.

The lunchtime menu costs £58 (cheaper when not a Bank Holiday, of course) but you know that with service and even a moderate amount of alcohol you might as well just double that straight off. For that, you do get rather a lot of food. I did manage to resist the third slice of sourdough, but it was a close run thing.

More recently known for my restraint in all things food, I deviated from the path and allowed myself to order the cheese course (from La Fromagerie, naturally) as well as the three main courses and the lovely little extras they give you before during and after. Of note- my papardelle with herbs and black truffle. I did ask for salt though and it took some time to bring it. I did feel the silent  waves of disapproval from the kitchen but it was needed and I’m at the point in my life where my happiness takes precedence over that of the chef.

I might not have been so bold with my ordering of the cheese  had I known I was going  to get a bonus dessert  and what a dessert it was. Custard tart really doesn’t sound that great does it, but this was ethereal. Light, delicate flavouring; a combination of nutmeg and pink pepper grated over and caramelised slices of rhubarb on the side. Obviously, being well brought up I forced myself to eat it.

In all, it was worth the money. The serving staff were unstuffy and chatty and had a sense of humour and swapped restaurant recommendations.  Last time C was there (without me – the cheek of it) they showed him round the kitchens. I loved it, and you will too. Unless you don’t like food or have no tastebuds.