London seems to be going crazy for Burns Night this year – we’ve been inundated with press releases declaring a haggis fuelled fun time is to be had by all. So, if you feel like getting in on the action this year (it falls on the 25th of January) we have just the place.
Boisdale of Mayfair, the latest restaurant from the group, is situated in a Grade One listed building just off of Park Lane, originally used as a stable and now decorated in distinctive red and green checked carpet. Boasting a shellfish bar and a cigar terrace, this is a real boy’s club. Start your evening downstairs in the 20’s inspired Old Fashioned Bar where the attentive waiters will make you your cocktail of choice. We loved the punchy Mexican Stand-off with smoky mescal, tequila and blood oranges (but they do make a bloody good Old Fashioned too!)
Spread over two Mezzanine levels, the comfortable main dining room features a beautiful lantern-glazed ceiling and a balcony overlooking the Stable Bar and ground floor. We sat in the cosy lower level which is dimly lit with a romantic ambience. The menu is quite the monster, with whole sections dedicated to British Tapas (smoked artisan sausage anyone?) Welsh Rarebits, Shellfish, Burgers, even Eggs. Yes, they really do have something for everyone. Except perhaps vegetarians. This isn’t the place for you.
Strongly reminded of upcoming Burns Night by the checked carpet underfoot, we opted for the haggis scotch quails eggs to graze on before our starters arrived. The rich haggis was perfect in these bite size morsels – especially if you’re new to the Scottish delicacy.
To begin we ordered a small (still very generous!) portion of the mussels in a fragrant coconut Thai broth. However, the real standout dish of the night was the scallops, served alongside crispy venison croquettes and bitesize cauliflower florets.
Full on comfort food prevailed for our main courses. Braised shoulder of wild Highland venison was cooked long and slow for a tender flavoursome dish served in the prettiest copper pot. Served alongside braised red cabbage, we’d highly recommend a side of the delicious mash potato with this dish. Having never come across a ‘tournedo’ steak before, we were intrigued. The dainty 7oz Aberdeenshire beef was similar to a fillet and was cooked to a perfect medium rare. A side of the fat chips with truffle, parmesan and rosemary are a must-order.
If after all that you still have room for dessert get someone to share a cheese plate with you. With one of London’s largest selection of British cheeses, it’s a real treat.
Throughout our meal we were treated to the sons owner on the piano, a complete natural – he didn’t even need to read any music. If conversation dries up there is plenty to keep you visually stimulated. The restaurant is covered with an eclectic collection of classical and contemporary artwork, chandeliers and even a stag’s head popping out to say hello. Staff were wonderful, we trusted them to pair each course with wine and weren’t disappointed.
Book now for their special Burns night menu (which they’ve extended to cope with demand) or bear in mind next time you have ‘business’ to conduct with the boys. The selection of hand-rolled Cuban cigars is sure to impress that crowd.