Tucked away in a cul-de-sac in London’s Mayfair, lies a Georgian town house with a hell of a history. The St. James’s Hotel and Club has been the haunt of the rich and famous for over 150 years from Churchill to Sean Connery. But tucked away inside the tucked away hotel is a success story that has taken just 12 months to emerge; Seven Park Place by William Drabble.
This one Michelin Star restaurant might well be small in stature, but it packs a mighty punch when it comes to the culinary arts. As they say, good things come in small packages. William Drabble is no novice though, having succeeded Gordon Ramsey at Aubergine and winning it a Michelin star during his ten year tenure.
Drabble frowns upon the current trend of continental foams and reductions and relies more on the flavours of high quality English sourced ingredients to fly his flag for him. And it works perfectly. It’s unfussy and informal, letting the food speak to the extent that each individual flavour was clearly apparent to me.
An amuse-bouche of beetroot Carpaccio with horseradish cream was a perfect opener. My starter dish of roasted morsels of chicken wing meat, gnocchi, asparagus and morel mushrooms was delicious. But like a good starter should be, the best was yet to come; an epic dish of griddled sea bass fillet with stuffed courgettes, warm tomato and basil dressing and a black olive puree.
I will remember the cheese course until I die, mainly because the stinking bishop was without doubt the stinkiest bishop I have ever had the misfortune to taste. But even this was made palatable by the heroic master class of pairings from Sommelier Marco, a wine magician whose insightful palate matched wine to food with impeccable timing. It was pure genius.
And that, in a nutshell, is what in my view makes a restaurant stand out. It’s not just about the chef and the food, it’s about the front of house team too, and the way they engage with the their diners. The team out front at Seven Park Place delivered Drabble’s creations with aplomb, the delightfully cheeky Paulina being the pick of the bunch for me.
Seven Park Place by William Drabble is a tucked away gem of a restaurant. Miss it at your peril.
Images (c) Andy Mossack
I want to go to this restaurant, how much will it cost me?
For those of you who prefer a tasting menu, the six course Menu Gourmand is a highly entertaining journey of culinary discovery at a very respectful £72. And with matching wines £126
Set lunch 2 courses: £25.50 3 courses £29.50
A la Carte 2 Course dinner menu £55 3 course dinner menu £61
Seven Park Place by William Drabble. 7-6 Park Place London SW1A 1LS
Tel: 0044 207 316 1615