The London Restaurant Festival ran from 3rd to 17th October this year. The third year it has run, in my opinion, it was also the best Festival we had to date. It has grown from previous years and is now a real celebration of what British restaurants have to offer.
|Shaved fennel, endive, pink grapefruit and apple salad, mint|
|Cinnamon, allspice and brown sugar rubbed “chauvinistic” pig slow roasted with sweet potato gratin and watercress|
Wishing on a chocolate moon pie
I thoroughly enjoyed this night out, and discovered then that Covent Garden Hotel hosts a regular weekly Saturday night film club, to which I will return. This includes either afternoon tea or a two course dinner with a glass of premium wine and the movie for £35 per person, with films starting at 8pm. Movies vary from classics to latest releases. Forthcoming films include Woody Allen's 'Midnight in Paris' on 26th November, 'It's a Wonderful Life' on 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th December, 'The Help' on 14th January, to name just a few. For a full listing and booking details, click here.
After the tour, we were taken back to the hotel, where together with Martin and his sous-chef, we cooked a three-course lunch. This was a hands-on cookery class, in a state of the art cookery demonstration and events suite which the hotel has recently built, and which looks stunning.
For dessert, we headed up to the mezzanine Indigo Restaurant for a blackberry, elderberry and sloe gin jelly, clotted cream ice cream and blackberry mousse. This was outstandingly good - not only were the flavours of the mousse, jelly and ice cream delicious, but there was an excellent contrast of textures imparted by a crisp caramel coating for the blackberries, and a peanut brittle between the jelly and mousse.
The Festival was a great eye-opener for me, showing me that not only are there some great restaurants at One Aldwych, but also that the hotel offers a range of interesting foodie experiences. The Tasting Club includes a variety of activities, such as cookery classes, Axis Seasonal Dishes - a 12-month calendar of seasonal dishes by head chef Tony Fleming's 'Food Hero' suppliers, and "Moet Movies" each weekend, with a glass of champagne, a movie, popcorn and a three course dinner all for £42.50 per head. There is also a regular 'Ten after Ten' option of a late night or post-theatre sweet fix at Indigo, after 10pm, for a choice of dessert with a glass of dessert wine for £10 per person.
|Selection of Cornish Cheeses with Pickled Celery, Fig and Apple Chutney, Sesame and Poppy Seed Crackers|