Piccadilly’s a weird place for dining. London’s consumer epicentre is a restaurant mecca at both ends of the spectrum, where uber-casual kitchens jostle for window space with some of the city’s most elite eateries. Over on St James’ Market however, The Beau Brummell is filling in some much-needed middle ground. A gastro-pub with an upscale sensibility, it's the latest venture from the Cubitt House group, whose other restaurants include The Alfred Tennyson in Knightsbridge, and luxe Marylebone spot The Coach Makers Arms.
Named for one of the area’s original fashion dandies, it makes sense that The Beau Brummell would bring its A-game on the style front. A bright dining room dressed in buttery yellows and forest greens, the restaurant spreads out across the ground floor, with an upstairs mezzanine and alfresco seating. An attentive but relaxed house team makes for an equally zen clientele, and on the weekend we visit there’s a contented buzz from a handful of friends and family groups getting their Sunday roasts.
The spiced lobster scampi (£15) is a stand-out dish from the off - a plate piled high with chunky fingers of buttery battered lobster, held together by globs of lobster mayonnaise. Paired with a glass of Taittinger (£11), it’s a very decadent start to proceedings. I have to force my companion to scarf down a nugget or two alongside his wild mushroom scotch egg (£10), which itself is no measly mouthful.
You certainly won’t go thirsty at The Beau Brummell, as their drinks list runs from casual craft beers and cocktails, to a wine list fronting a plethora of bottles from Britain, Europe and further afield. We opt for a lighter sip in the form of a Valpolicella (£14) in order to ease the weight of the massive roasts that have just crashed down in front of us.
The heritage carrot, smoked almond and chard Wellington (£18) leaves those well-worn veggie options in the dust. A hefty slice of chopped almond filling, studded with jewel-coloured hunks of sweet, smoky carrot and a scatter of pomegranates proves an inspired take on the basic nut roast. While traditional breed beef sirloin (£23) arrives as the most perfectly pink morsels of rare-cooked meat, sliced thin and packed with juice.
The mark of a good roast is always the trimmings, and The Beau Brummell comes up trumps on this account. Firstly, they add that lesser-spotted king of the Sunday roast sides - cauliflower cheese - as standard, alongside roasted root veg and Yorkshires. But it’s the duck fat potatoes that tip the scale, with skins so crisp you’ll need to crack them like eggs to get at the soft spud inside.
By the time we get to dessert, we’re almost ready to call it quits, but their signature pud, a Bramley apple pie (£8), puts us back in the game. Served fresh from the oven and topped with pecans, vanilla ice cream and salted caramel, it’s a treat of semi-sweet pureed apples all tied up in its own individual parcel.
If you ever find yourself in Piccadilly, I’d strongly urge that you plot a course for The Beau Brummell. Their Sunday roasts alone make this flash but friendly pub a destination worth elbowing your way down Haymarket for, but there’s plenty more to explore across their seasonal weekday menus and wine lists.