The Colony Grill Room, Beaumont Hotel, Restaurant Review.
The glamorous Art Deco Colony Room restaurant in Mayfair’s Five Star 73 room Beaumont Hotel serves up the most elegant of 1920s dining.
This restaurant is sheer, sophisticated joy from start to finish.
The best way to start a night in this exclusive clubby environment is in the American bar. This is where diners sit at low lit low tables with exceptional service and an enticing, exciting cocktail list that includes traditional drinks and a few new tempters.
This restaurant (and hotel) created by Jeremy King and Chris Corbin (whose restaurant portfolio features London’s best and includes The Ivy, The Wolseley, Le Caprice and Delaunay ) is being talked about all over London. The two main men have created some of London’s best and most famed dining experiences. This is their first foray into a hotel, and after a 3 year build, converting a (rather large) garage into a hotel, it is stunningly discreet and classically British.
A unique feature of the building is an Antony Gormley designed sculpture hanging off the facade. Certainly turns heads.
Their 100 seater Colony Room restaurant (and bar) takes diners on a journey back to the most glamorous nights of the 1920’s. This is old -school at its very best. The room which joins the bar has a touch of movie star glamour everywhere you look. It’s the type of venue that makes you feel like you too want to sit up straight but be stylish and just a bit overstated to be there.The feel is masculine and there are no windows, ok at night, not sure how it fairs for lunch.
Diners are greeted by a grand setting, with white tablecloths, elegant art deco interiors featuring a low ceiling and no windows (not a negative here, trust me). There are lines of black and white movie star icon images adorning the walls, and brown leather booths. It all sits in a sweepingly large dining room which is spacious and with staff who are warm, knowledgable, and clearly love what they are doing. Greta Garbo would have fit right in here.
It doesn’t have the high end modernity of some of their other venues – The Wolseley or The Delaunay. An example of this is the low lighting and lack of windows. And the menu (thankfully for me is not Austrian inspired like the other two afore mentioned venues) but is an American Grill style.
The old fashioned menu is inspired by the clubs in both the USA and London of the 1920s. It features everything from macaroni cheese and hot dogs to oysters or fresh raw tuna tartare, whole dover sole, chicken pot pies, a list of steaks of every size and description and omelettes.
One thing I might say is don’t let the retro menu put you off. Frankly I am not a hot dog or macaroni cheese type of girl, but plenty of the food on offer here is super sophisticated. And when served, the food is absolutely sensational, and defies the menu’s simplistic, old fashioned descriptions.
There are homelier dishes too like chicken pot pie, a humble cobb salad or classic caesar salad.
We started with French bread and glasses of Pommery champagne. The night we dined, the sommelier had actually created the list of wines by the glass, and she knew every single blend, grape and vineyard they had come from which was a gift. We couldn’t stop chatting – and selecting different glasses with every course.
I enjoyed the fresh raw tuna tartare for my entree with a fresh glass of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc. The tuna was fresh, a generous portion and delicious. This was a dish to be savoured.
The list of steaks was impressive. That topped only by the waiter’s exceptional knowledge and guidance to ensure I ordered the type of steak I actually do like, as opposed to randomly taking a shot in the dark. The American rib eye had just the right amount of fat in the middle, and a delicious sweet flavour. An Argentinian Malbec was the perfect accompaniment.
The cob style salad, and creamed spinach were delicious sides.
The dover sole was a daily special, and irresistible to my dinner companion. It was a huge fish and came de-boned with fresh vegetables. The flesh was fresh, tasty and soft.
We ate slowly, savouring the meal.
But the dessert was the clincher. This is one of the best places for upmarket desserts (or puddings as the British do like to say).
An example of the surprises here was when a note pad was placed on the table to tick the boxes and select a bespoke sundae by selecting flavours and toppings including flakes and coloured smarties. It would have been adored by my twins. As grown ups we were also smitten but at the flambeed bananas in rum, which created some theatre and fun at the table, as the chef came out and flambeed them in a pan right before our eyes.
We couldn’t help but also order a Sunday which was so much fun – and tasted amazing. Our inner child quickly surfaced.
In conclusion, I think if a date had have brought me to this restaurant, it would have been one of the best restaurant nights out London has on offer. The theatre of it, the fun, and the flavours just kept entertaining and surprising.
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*We ate at The Colony as guests, but I’d happily pay to eat there again The prices are reasonable if you avoid the pricier seafood and caviar dishes.
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