London Memories and Grace Notes

May 5th, 2012 § 0 comments

Best restaurant in the world was the restaurant in London’s Connaught Hotel (it was right up there with Le Pavillion under the reign of Henri Soule).

The Connaught Dining Room

HG gathers that the cuisine at the Connaught has changed but HG likes to think about it during its glory days. HG and BSK always lunched there during visits to London. Superb smoked salmon sliced paper thin and served with brown bread, butter, capers, etc. (HG once remarked on the perfect slicing. A captain explained: “James has been slicing salmon here for 37 years”). A mixed grill with souffle potatoes or perfectly de-boned, grilled dover sole with savory butter sauce. Stilton and port to finish.

Once, the HG/BSK table wasn’t ready as per their reservation. HG and BSK were ushered into a lovely chintz and old oak ante room. With graceful apologies we were offered glasses of chilled, dry sherry (on the house, of course).

Another London favorite was J. Sheekey, the seafood restaurant in the theater district. More casual than the Connaught and the perfect place for oysters and grilled fish. Once, a waitperson spilled a drink at the HG/BSK table. The wet table cloth was whisked away and replaced by a new one. Once more, graceful apologies ensued and (with a flourish) a bottle of very good, gratis champagne appeared. Nice memories of English grace and generosity.

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