Sure, Mayfair has a reputation for being one of the most prestigious places to enjoy a meal, especially with the rich and famous. But thankfully, there are establishments in the area that somewhat dispel that myth; one such place is the Mews of Mayfair. Situated opposite a favourite bar of mine, Cartizze Mayfair, in Lancashire Court I was looking forward to seeing how well the food in the lived up to its exemplary reputation.
The property is in itself huge. Occupying four levels, every need is catered for here and the sprawling number of rooms means you'll probably never see everything. In the basement is an exclusive feel lounge bar where DJs spin their tunes while the ground level cocktail bar is the place to be seen. Upstairs is the relaxed brasserie, and on the top floor is a sumptuously decorated private dining room. The brasserie itself is a swanky space, decked out in pale cream leathers offset by dark woods, mirrors and hanging lanterns.
You'll likely be greeted by a member of staff downstairs before encountering the friendly maitre'd and being shown to your table by another smiling waiter; but don't worry the formality for us ended there. While fancy – and undoubtedly luxurious – the dining experience was accessible and relaxed. The lower levels of the venue are better suited to casual drinkers, while the restaurant had a softer level of ambiance that made conversation easy.
Every time I've visited Lancashire Court the atmosphere has been buzzing, and while the first floor restaurant was quiet at the beginning of the evening it was soon full of chatter as couples sat down next to families and clusters of business men enjoyed long lingering dinners.
Food and Drinks
The food menu here champions the best of British produce and classic British cooking. Happy to take recommendations, we left the ordering in the capable hands of the manager. As it turns out, each dish we dined would contain some form of surf and turf; making for a divine evening of contrasting tastes and flavours. We started off with some fresh artisan bread, closely followed by melt-in-the-mouth Scottish scallops with pancetta and a portion of raw Hereford beef with sprinklings of anchovies, parmesan chunks and crispy chicken skin (£11). The manager happily selected wine for each course, with the first recommendations being an oaky French chardonnay and a fruity pino noir from New Zealand… life is good.
For mains, the meat eater will love the tender pork belly with parsnips a whole langoustine (£29) on the side, just because. While those who like a bit of everything should definitely order the perfectly cooked roast Atlantic cod with squid ink tagliatelle, ox cheek and fennel (£23). Pair this with a rich Bordeaux and a fruity Italian Gavi di Gavi and you'll be in heaven. If you still have room, order two glasses of dessert wine and try the star of the dessert menu; the incredible two-person banoffee pie.
This smart, sophisticated restaurant serves modern and classic fare that delivers on every level. While it felt ideally suited to those looking to splash out on a special occasion, it was also perfect for anyone who simply wants to enjoy all the creativity, quality and class of a Mayfair restaurant, but without the snobbery that can preside over restaurants in this postcode.