Could this hotel be the most decadent in London? With interiors designed by Jacques Garcia, who counts Marrakech’s luxurious La Mamounia and the swanky NoMad in NYC under his belt, L’Oscar has high stakes in the super sexy décor sweeps. Deep purple hues and plush seating contrast with wooden beams and gold details. But would the restaurant be just as striking?
Taking its name from the former Baptist church that the hotel occupies, The Baptist Grill at L’Oscar is a grand grade-listed eatery. Expect an unusual space, with an octagonal chapel featuring a ground floor bar and restaurant above. Sandwiched between The Hoxton and Rosewood, this West End retreat is a far cry from the brightly lit, Insta-baiting interiors of its neighbours.
Opulent aesthetics meet seasonal ingredients and classic menus at this Holborn hideaway. Warm bread arrived with a raindrop-shaped glob of caramelised yeast butter, while cocktails from the bar menu were divided into Old Testament and New Testament sips; with the former compromising of ‘heavenly’ spins on old classics and the latter inspired by the seven deadly sins.
Still feeling the effects of a deadly night out, I went off-menu with a bloody mary while the other half, Josh, opted for Kindness (£15) from the heavenly section. A twist on the legendary Hanky Panky which was invented at the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar, this bold blend of gin and vermouth was topped with a slick of Branca Menta ‘air’ for a bubbly finish.
Food leans towards classics; think half a dozen Lindisfarne Oysters (£18) teamed with seared scallops (£18) which were mouth-wateringly meaty and intertwined with sweet onions, pink grapefruit and caramelised chicory. Steamed Cornish cod (£42) was draped over Jersey royals, cucumber, lovage oil and watercress sauce for a light touch. The ribeye (£42) was given a French twist; with snails, garlic and bordelaise in the mix. Perfectly cooked, this steak hit the spot.
Always hoping to end on a high, we had to leave room for dessert. Josh went for the rosemary and buttermilk pannacotta (£9) layered with blood orange sorbet and white chocolate, while I crushed my way through a dome of ginger snap crumb which gave way to a luscious custard and rhubarb sorbet (£9). With wines perfectly paired to each meal, we couldn’t fault a thing here.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Quite possibly the sexiest space that I’ve ever dined in, The Baptist Grill is the perfect date night spot. It's not the cheapest option, but delicious courses and incredible service make it a great choice. You might not be a hotel guest, but you’ll most definitely be treated like one.