7 of London's Most Intimate Tasting Menus
✨ MELANIE FULLBROOK
I am obsessed with food. I took a whole month and a half off work last year to train to be a chef at the Ashburton cookery school in Devon and without a doubt my two favourite ways to spend my time are either hosting or attending dinner parties (invites always welcome) or eating tasting menus at restaurants. I find that good people, good conversation, good wine and a slow series of beautifully presented plates of food landing in front of me makes me a very happy lady... so; until I find the time and budget to invite you all Chez Melanie for dinner, here are my top tips for intimate tasting menu experiences in London.
1 - 🍴Carousel🍴
Quite simply one of the coolest restaurants in London - the brainchild of one of my old flat mates Ed Templeton. At lunch you can sample the cooking of younger brother Ollie Templeton: a brilliantly creative and accomplished chef. With the lunchtime tasting menu costing only £25 per person it is an excellent choice for a business meeting or for those lucky enough to be able to socialise during the day! In the evenings the restaurant plays host to incredible chefs from around the world who come for one week only and provide their signature tasting menu, always with a snazzy drinks pairing option. I have been a lot of times and always had a spectacular evening - I actually bumped into my now boyfriend there last year, ten years after we'd met at university, so it will always hold a special place for me. I've eaten menus from Iceland, Spain, Japan and several different North American States. At only £39.50 per person at dinnertime, it really is incredible value for money; and as the chef is constantly changing you can just keep going back. The restaurant is set up with a really warm communal dining experience - two long wooden tables edged by some bar seating - and all tables are served the same thing at the same time with the chef often coming out to tell you about each course and what inspired it. The restaurant is also connected to some brilliant event spaces that can be hired for personal use but that also host a series of pop up exhibitions and craft events.
Well worth a visit.
2 - 🍴Trinity🍴
This Clapham based restaurant always gets booked up and for good reason too. The list of ingredients on their current menu is enough to make any foodie salivate, boasting all of the following across their four course selection (please imagine this read in the sexy M&S advert voice): smoked bonemarrow, Oscieta caviar, Big Eye Tuna, Boutrais oysters, whipped foie gras, truffle, roast langoustine, Lake District Lamb, Roast Orkney scallops.... And the list goes on and on and on.... Yummy! They also have a lovely outdoor dining area for some Al Fresco dining in the summer months.
Monday to Sunday
Two Courses £30
Three Courses £40
Four Courses £50 *Dinner*
Three Courses £55
Four Courses £68
3 - 🍴Picture 🍴
This relatively new restaurant opened in Fitzrovia in 2016. Having taken a friend for their birthday for the Spring menu and then been taken by friends for my birthday for the Summer menu, I can safely say that Picture is an amazing option for a casual and modern dining experience. Their six course tasting menu is simple and delicious - making the most of seasonal ingredients. It works out as excellent value for money at only £45 and it always has a very cool, central London buzz despite being a relaxed and peaceful place to eat and drink.
4 - 🍴Pidgin🍴
This Hackney based restaurant offers an inventive weekly changing 4 course menu for £49 with an option to add a drinks pairing for an extra £40. The founders Sam Herlihy and James Ramsden pride themselves
on the fact that in three years they are yet to repeat a single dish - so again it is a place you can keep returning to again and again. Their sister restaurant Magpie just off Regent Street is well worth checking out too, offering a more casual version with a few options per course on the monthly changing menu, as well as a selection of sensational bar snacks. Their wine lists include one of the largest arrays of wines on tap in London as well as a very experimental cocktail menu including a Szechuan pepper oil negroni and a clarified pina colada.
5 - 🍴Marianne🍴
This intimate restaurant in Westbourne Park was founded by Masterchef contestant Marianne Lumb and offers a 4 course lunch menu with a glass of wine for £48 and a 5 course dinner menu for £75 - always sampling the best seasonal ingredients. I am yet to eat here but hope to soon and have heard great things from those who have. Let me know what you think if you get there before me!
6 - 🍴Gauthier🍴
A firm favourite with two of my closest friends - the chef actually catered their wedding and the restaurant has hosted them for many anniversary dinners and was my most recent birthday treat. An elegant, simple and classic menu all cooked to perfection. My highlights were the lobster and caviar ravioli followed by a black truffle risotto - and always ending with the signature chocolate Golden Louis XV dessert.
A much more formal dining experience than the other restaurants on the list with full white table cloth service, their lunch time deal still comes in at only £45 per person with the options of a drinks pairing for an extra £35. At dinner the prices increase to £75 but for 8 courses. They also boast an impressive vegan option at both lunch (£45) and dinner (£65).
7 - 🍴Kitchen Table🍴
The set tasting menu of contemporary British cooking will set you back £125 but it consists of 12 courses, which change daily focusing on the freshest produce and guests can enjoy watching James Knappett and his team prepare and serve in their open kitchen area. Awarded a Michelin star in 2014, this tucked away restaurant on Charlotte Street seats only 20 people per evening Wednesday to Saturday. This is the second on my list that I haven't actually managed to eat at, but I cannot WAIT for when I do. If anybody else has been, please tell me all about it. I can live vicariously through you!
If up-close and intimate dining is your kind of thing, take a look at our up-close and intimate theatrical offerings! Revels in Hand offer a unique service where we bring West End quality theatre productions into the comfort of your own home. Want something truly unique to round off a special dinner party, or looking for an entertainment opportunity to wow the guests at your corporate Christmas doo? To learn more, visit our main website or read our first ever blog post, which explains why we think intimate theatre is the best!
Happy Tasting everybody.