Five minutes from Piccadilly, this four star, 15-storey hotel boasts a restaurant with bustling views of London’s streets below it. The restaurant at The Cavendish is an understated, elegant affair. Floor-length curtains and plush fabrics soften the room, which has been furnished with dark wooden tables and studded throughout with vases brimming full of flowers. As we sat down for the lunchtime menu, we were able to spy on the diners at Fortnum and Mason’s across the street from our window seats. You can only watch other people eat for so long though, and as our stomachs were protesting at their emptiness, our eyes turned to the menu.
Head chef David Britton has turned out a modern British menu with seasonal produce at the heart of it. Lunchtimes (which run from Monday - Friday) at The Cavendish Hotel, offer up traditional English fare such as Black Spot ham hock terrine with celeriac & grain mustard mayonnaise, and purple sprouting broccoli & English stilton soufflé. We rationed ourselves to two courses, to avoid the post-lunch slump and opted for the roast belly of Wicks Manor pork with garlic cream potatoes and grilled baby leeks, and the pan fried sea trout, served up with Jersey Royals and a poached quail egg. The pork came in cylindrical slices sitting on top of a scoop of garlicky mash, and tasted full of flavour and decidedly juicy. The sea trout meanwhile, made for the perfect balanced lunch, served up with vine tomatoes and green beans.
Our thoughts soon turned to the dessert list, which continued the British trend with puddings such as rice pudding, black treacle tart and an organic, British cheese board. After something light but indulgent, I opted for the lemon posset which came served up in a wine glass with shortbread slices tucked into its creamy depths. One mouthful and I was hooked - a perfect dessert to end lunch on, with its zesty lemon tang and silky folds of creaminess. Just the thing. Amazingly, despite its indulgent texture, it wasn’t so rich that I couldn’t manage the whole glass without feeling a little challenged. The crumble meanwhile, hit a lunchtime comfort spot, complete with its own scoop of ice cream, served sitting on the pudding’s golden top. With a menu that changes every month, this is the place to come for a lunch light enough to let you back on your feet with ease, but big enough on flavour to leave you feeling suitably satisfied.
Lunchtime menu: 2 courses for £14.95, 3 courses for £19.95
Pre-theatre dinner menu: 2 courses for £14.95.
The Cavendish Hotel: 81 Jermyn Street, St James’s, London, SW1Y6JF.
Reviewer: Helenka Bednar