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London trip report

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Hi,

Thanks so much for all help planning my London trip.

We had two lunches at Hinds Head in Bray. Really good pub food with a hint of Heston, who actually was at the pub when we ate.We had the peasoup, oxtail and kidney pie (which was exellent). The triple cooked chips was really good the first day, and absolutey amazing the second. I prefer to sit in the pub section instead of the more restaurant like room. Much more heart, and some great local ales.

We ate and slept at The Waterside Inn, and I had pre ordered the Canard à la presse, which probably brought us the best table at the restaurant. If you like the classic french cuisine, go there. And discuss the menu with Diego, its part of the experience. He knows everything about french gastronomy (and everything else it seems). The duck was great, pure theater, with a fantastic sauce. Classic food and wine.

In London our first restaurant was Hedone. It just blew me away. Fantastic ingredients, the sweetbreads was the best I ever had, the bread as well. I`\m norwegian so I could talk to Mikael in my mothertounge. A man who dont compromise. Alain Ducasse had been the week before, and said the bread was maybe the best he ever had. We sat at the bar, very nice. After service Mikael went straigth to the bar and started eating. Great guy, great restaurant, and a really great sommelier. Maybe the restaurant who made the biggest impression for me on this trip.

The Ledbury. Everthing has been said already, very friendly. We were invited to the kitchen afterwards to a chef who was just as much interested in hunting as in cooking it seemed. Showed us his last victims on his Iphone. Small kitchen, impressing. They made us a dessert on the spot. I really liked the food, modern and vey clean taste, perfect meal in any sense.

So, I had to cancel some reservations, to have a reasonably clear head.

Terroirs, I dont know. Bad day for them, bad day for us. But had some great ox hearts.

St.John. Have I`ve been living in London I would have eaten there often. So much has already been said. Fantastic place. After the meal I litally bumbed into Fergus Henderson in the street, so I had to thank him for a great meal, and also that they serve things like seagull eggs and smoked roe of cod. Things I`ve eaten all my life. Short conversation, nice guy.

Alyn Williams. I had been drunken all too much beers at Cask Pub and Kitchen the night before. Great pub, if you like Mikkeler they had and amazing collection. And many many others, and you can buy all their beers to take home, even the casks. Back to Williams, its something about these hotel restaurants that I dont fancy so much. But we had a great meal, due to the night before we had the wine menu, but we had a smoke beer to ..., some pig course. Last meal a little bit tired, and one should have some fun too!

Had a great time, so thanks everybody. Written in a hurry, excuse my english.

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  1. Fantastic trip -- I always forget about Hedone, and will try to make it there asap on your suggestion.

    1. You should here is the menu, the wines were great. I`ve could have mention all these courses

      Poached Cornish rock oysters, Granny Smith, shallots
      Josmeyer, Pinot Blanc, Mise de Printemps, 2011

      Umami Flan
      La Bota de Manzanilla, n°32, Equipo Navazos, NV
      Lubéron green asparagus, wild garlic, pistachio mayonnaise
      Goisot, Sauvignon de Saint Bris, Corps de Garde fié Gris, 2010

      Scottish langoustine tail, crustaceans jus, herbs and flowers
      Stephane Tissot, Côtes du Jura, en Barberon, 2010

      Hand dived scallops, potato skin emulsion, lemon tapioca
      Eric Texier, Côtes du Rhône Brézème, Roussanne, 2011

      Liquid Parmesan ravioli, Roscoff onion consommé, mild horseradish
      Radikon, Ribolla Gallia, 2006

      Veal sweetbread, baby carrot, basil, Jerusalem artichoke
      François Carillon, Puligny Montrachet, 2010
      Roasted leg and breast squab, beetroot five ways
      Digioia Royer,
      Chambolle Musigny Les Fremieres Vieilles Vignes, 2004

      Fresh raspberries,
      mild horseradish cream, aromatic vinegar, cinnamon ice cream
      Rousset Peyraguey, Sauternes, 2005

      Braeburn apple Millefeuille, caramel ice cream
      Domaine Leduc Piedimonte, Ice Cider, 2007

      2 Replies
      1. re: jorn77

        Hedone is great isn't it. It really is the "must eat" restaurant in London at he moment. I second your comment about the sommelier, she knows the food well and isn't slow to redirect your choices to achieve better pairings to make certain the wine complements the food.

        1. re: jorn77

          Fab menu!

        2. Thanks very much for your report Jorn, sounds like you had a great trip.

          Hedone is booked for my 30th in September, going to have a real blowout there.

          I know what you mean about Alyn Williams, what gets me with hotel restaurants, even 3* like Pierre Gagnaire and Ducasse, is the trip to the bathroom is miles long and also takes you completely out of the atmosphere of the restaurant. Alyn Williams is far far from the best in London imo esp set up against your other choices, it is probably the best value fine-dining for the budget conscious though and I will continue to recommend it.

          The Waterside Inn sounds stellar - it's the main UK restaurant I've never visited but I really must do sometime.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ManInTransit

            You really must do the Waterside, MiT.

            It's a stunner of a classic formal restaurant. We celebrated our 40th anniversary there last year (evening before at the Royal Oak at Paley Street - as we couldnt get into the Hand & Flowers - and lunch following day at Le Manoir)
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/863270

            1. re: Harters

              You're absolutely right John and I remember the report well.

              The main thing that has always stopped me is that the cost of train and accommodation goes a long way on a wine list if you go to the Square or Marcus Wareing instead but I think I need to get over that. I might do it for the 30th.

          2. Nice, Hedone is a tad far for us, we stay in the City. Enjoyed St. John's and bought the vol 1 of the cookbook. I asked if there was a signed copy available and they said "no, but stop back by, he's here a lot." Guess you were lucky!

            1. So glad that you enjoyed Hedone - excuse my smugness but only a10 minute walk for me!
              Someone said "a bit far for me" - if you are in north London, from Stratford and all pints west via the overgound line to South Acton is really close.

              1. Glad you enjoyed your visit, and thanks for the reviews. No need to exceuse the English, it's better than most English people's English.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lord Brazing

                  And certainly better than most British people's grasp of Norwegian :-)