With the inability to handle the heat let alone the mugginess of London on a warm July evening, it was a nice relief to spot Inn The Park situated slap bang in the middle of St James’. To say I was excited to get a glass of wine down my neck was an understatement.
Walking towards the restaurant, you could tell it was designed to blend right in with the woodland backdrop, it nestled in perfectly. With floor-to-ceiling windows, a modern wooden exterior and in a peaceful setting, you wouldn’t think you were still in London. The only giveaways were the London eye off in the distance and Downing Street less than a stroll away. A simple, natural, and effortless restaurant perfect for people watching, a family meal or for a few summer drinks with friends.
As the weather was typically British the day I visited, Inn The Park was still relatively busy but with a more chilled “I just had a manic week, pass me a drink so I can relax” vibe. On a boiling day, when the park is in full swing with sun bathers and dog walkers, you can tell this place gets busy very quickly. Sitting outside to eat, it really bought the ‘Friday Feeling’ around. The peacefulness of the location is second-to-none, with families and couples enjoying the start to their weekend. A nice break from the hustle and bustle of central.
The Food and Drink
Keeping with the theme of simplicity and approachability, the menu sounded extremely enticing. I wanted it all. Starting with drinks (of course), we decided to share a bottle of the house red wine (Donkeyjote’ Garnacha, Vinicola Corellana, £23 for a bottle), although the options for other drinks were not short. This included a selection of London distilled craft spirits and craft ales which are perfect to sip whilst overlooking the lake.
Being a prepared diner (a.k.a someone that doesn’t stop thinking about food), myself and my boyfriend already knew what we were going to tuck into. I decided to go for the Handpicked Cornish crab, avocado & nashi pear (£7), which are flavours I would have never thought to put together, but it was really a delicious mix of sweet and savoury on a sizable bed of salad.
Having eyed up other people’s food while waiting for the main (let’s be honest, who doesn’t do that), I was excited for my choice of the Dexter steak burger, maple cured bacon, Mayfield Swiss (£15.50) with a side of chips and coleslaw. Medium rare and juicy, the burger really hit the spot. If you don’t like your burgers medium to rare, I would request it well done. But for me, it was cooked perfectly.
I’m not really a dessert person, as I’m normally stuffed by the time this course comes round. But it was too tempting and my ‘dessert stomach’ made a rare appearance. The chocolate pot and pistachio brittle (£6.50) was by far my favourite course, which was a hard decision to make. The chocolate was moreish and the pistachio brittle was the perfect crispy crunch this pud needed. If you’re a chocolate fan, this is the dessert for you.
If you’re looking for a restaurant to escape the rat race, this is the place to go. Rain or shine, the food and drink selection make it the ideal venue. I will definitely be returning, if anything just to have another Bruce Bogtrotter moment with the pudding.