When we planned a trip to London the set lunch from Fera at Claridge’s was too good an opportunity to miss. We are both fans of chef Simon Rogan so were keen to give it a go without breaking the bank.
I don’t think I’ve ever been to Claridge’s before and it really is special. The foyer is all Art Deco loveliness with an abundance of fresh flowers and a quiet old school air of luxury. We were directed the entrance of Fera and I had to laugh. As a fan of Twin Peaks, the tiny entrance area with red curtains immediately made me think of the Red Room of Agent Cooper’s dreams! Bizarre as it was so unlike both the hotel and the restaurant.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0YI_eHg3Aw]
Once through the curtain Fera welcomes you into a sumptuous Art Deco room with hints of nature with trees and more fresh flowers. Our table was very near to the lit archway on the most beautiful textured wall leading into the kitchen. Perfect for me as I could watch food coming out and staff busying around there all day.
Our waiter was happy to get the bar to create me something non alcoholic (off it) and non elderflower (disagrees with me) and Andrew was impressed with the range of beers – although the price of the latter was really ridiculous at £9 for a can of Beavertown.
As we waited for our started these tiny little chickpea wafers with a blue cheese mouse whetted our appetite. I always say I don’t do blue cheese then something like this comes along to change my mind!
Bread and whipped butter
As Simon Rogan builds his menus so much on seasonal produce, the dishes I chose depended a lot on the vegetables and they didn’t disappoint.
To start I had mackerel with pickled mushrooms and chicory. Before I mention any of those items let me draw your attention to the ice lettuce in the picture. Tiny leaves which look like they’ve been sprayed. I thought this was some creation of Rogans but it turns out it is something that grows like this. Brilliant and add crisp crunch to the dish. The mackerel was charred and just cooked (as fish should be) but the teeny pickled mushrooms won the day for me.
Andrew had spring velouté which was poured at the table over the bowl of other ingredients much in the same way his soup at Mr Coopers was served.
A vegetarian main was a bold choice for me but it paid off. It might not look much but the hay baked celeriac was so tender and flavourful that I didn’t miss the meat at all. Again with the winning mushrooms, along with the hazel its they seem to have been roasted. Tiny, transparent slices of baby beetroot had a sweetness to them and the horseradish made it feel like a Sunday roast! I wasn’t privy to any of Andrews main course of chicken, but those barbecued carrots were a winner.
Smoked chocolate, peanut ice cream, a chocolate peanut brittle, and caramel. Oh my days! Smoked chocolate every day of the week please! It was the perfect dessert.
We left Mayfair and headed home knowing that we’d had something really special that day and worth the trip to London for lunch alone.
Fera at Claridge’s. Brook Street, Mayfair, London. W1K 4HR