My mum was in London again, and we both really wanted to try the much-talked about Berners Tavern at The London EDITION Hotel. It is incredibly popular at the moment, and though difficult to get a booking, we managed to squeeze in the end of lunch service.
Located in Fitzrovia, The London EDITION is a collaboration between Ian Schrager and the Marriott chain of hotels. The partnership of the two was intended to combine the intimate and unique design skills of Schrager with the scale of the Marriott. When we entered the gorgeous lobby of the hotel it certainly didn't feel like a generic Marriott. Marble flooring, stately columns and colour pops gave the hotel a traditional yet modern feel which was also far removed from the other Schrager designed London hotels, The St Martin's Lane and The Sanderson. We agreed that they'd succeeded in fusing the two brands into a beautiful and innovative design hotel.
Michelin-starred London chef, Jason Atherton is at the helm of the Berners Tavern, as well as The Punch Room and Lobby Bars. Mr Atherton is certainly the man of the moment in London, his 'Social' restaurants being some of the most popular in town! And rumour has it he's set to open more.
The Berners Tavern dining room was absolutely stunning, perhaps one of the best I've seen in London.
Again, the look of the dining room is a beautiful juxtaposition of old against modern. An array of framed pictures line the walls giving a 'cluttered cool' look. One of the most stunning features of the room is the ceiling, which I assume has been restored from the original. A high vaulted roof with beautiful hanging chandeliers, gave it the feeling of a decadent ballroom. Unlike other hotel lunch hours, there was not stuffy formal feel to it, the room felt alive and vibrant and there was a view into the busy kitchen.
The menu is contemporary British, and Atherton makes use of the the very best produce that Britain has to offer.
The bread placed on the table was fresh from the oven, warm and delicious!
My starter was Orkney scallop ceviche, with avocado, radish, baby gem, jalapeno and lime ice.
The plate of food was a pretty picture and I love the way that Atherton played with the textures, the crunch of the baby gem with the soft scallop and the silky avocado. The best bit was the quenelle of lime sorbet in the centre which was gorgeously refreshing. I thought it could do with a touch more citrus flavour; my mum thought there was too much citrus!
Each to their own I suppose!
Her starter was beetroot cured Luch Duart Salmon with beetroot horseradish and watercress.
Another beautiful plate with perfectly cured pink salmon and not-too-sweet beetroots. A little beetroot jam on the side was a lovely accompaniment. There was also yellow beetroot on the plate which neither of us had tried before. We pronounced the salmon our favourite of the two!
For main course, I chose pan-braised Atlantic halibut, squid ink risotto, crispy squid and rainbow chard.
I usually prefer sea bass or bream to halibut, which I find can be dry, but the Berners Tavern version was light and buttery. The creamy risotto was gorgeous and faintly cheesy, the crunchy squid making the perfect accompaniment.
A warning!! Don't choose this dish on a date or a business meeting, though delicious, it dyed my mouth black!!!
Apologies for my mum's fairly mundane choice. She was keen to choose the most low calorie item on the menu. I'm afraid it's just a chicken salad.
It was a good chicken salad though! Definitely not too dry, with juicy tomatoes!
Continuing on the low-calorie road we chose not to have dessert but instead a coffee and a small 'nibble.'
Mini macroons fit the criteria perfectly.
The green are lime and mango; and the brown, coffee and chocolate.
Coffee and chocolate was, of course, pronounced the firm favourite. It was like a little coffee flavoured oreo!
Lunch finished we headed to Harvey Nic's to buy make up for the wedding!
My mum and I thought Berners Tavern was lovely. The food beautifully done, the surroundings gorgeous with an atmosphere that was not overly formal or pretentious. I will have to return in the evening as I'd love to see the ambience of that beautiful dining room at night.