Kellie Erm visits the iconic Quaglino’s for Sunday lunch with bottomless booze, live jazz performance and a heavenly seafood platter
Stepping into Quaglino’s feels like travelling back in time to the streets of New York, during the prohibition era. Hidden away in a little street in Mayfair, the search starts to feel like we are all in on one big secret.
You descend the stairs and find yourself on a mezzanine overlooking the grandeur of Quaglino’s, with a talented live jazz band playing at the end. The décor is bold, and screams of art deco, with a golden bar in the centre of the restaurant.
As mentioned, Quaglino’s transports you to another era, to the point that we receive menus without prices, as before, men would be the ones responsible for paying the bill.
We are offered a choice of bottomless bubbles, rose or white wine, which is a wonderful change from the rest of London’s bottomless brunches only serving bubbles. We choose the bubbles as it just felt right to drink something a little more decadent with these surroundings.
We try the duck liver parfait with cranberry chutney, which pleasantly breaks off the heaviness you can usually experience with a pate. It’s topped with Ras-el-hannout nougat, a crunchy caramel and served with a slice of fluffy toasted brioche. The hand-chopped beef tartar is beautifully served with a smoked rosemary ailoli and sea salt crackers that created a lovely balance of textures.
Quaglino’s has just launched their seafood platter, and how could we say no to this? A beautifully large roast turbot is presented before us, which was then filet by our lovely waiter, Ricardo. It’s buttery and silky, with subtle hints of fennel, which has been cooked with the fish.
The fish is served with a number of sides, such as devilled oysters with vermouth gratin and lemon and thyme crust, garlic prawns, new potatoes, ailoli and hollandaise. Safe to say after the seafood banquet, there was sadly no room for dessert. We did fit in a quick little coffee to prepare us for the rest of the day, as you tend to forget time at Quaglino’s, kind of like when you visit a Las Vegas casino.
Quaglino’s is a great place to visit if there’s the feel to do something a little different and a little more glamorous on a Sunday, definitely a great place to take friends that are visiting London.
The fact that you feel like you are travelling back in time, with impeccable service and live music makes you want to come back for more, and you somewhat expect to see Al Capone, sharply dressed, smoking a fat cigar in the corner.
Make it happen
Where: 16 Bury St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6AJ
Bookings: Click here to make a reservation