If you’d been having a gander at Instagram a couple of weekends ago you may have spotted a snap or three of the most wonderful lobster you ever did see – sorry about the rhyme, couldn’t resist – and that, my friends, was because I had the pleasure of dining at Wilton’s. I have to admit, when Wilton’s invited me in to check it out I’d never heard of the place. It’s not the kind of OTM establishment that has four month waiting lists for a table at 6pm on a Monday night, is frequented by celebs and makes frequent appearances in the Daily Mail as said celebs stumble out in the wee hours. No, I suspect the very idea of such a thing would send a shudder down the spine of all who work there. Founded in 1792 and nestled among the tailors and cigar emporiums of Jermyn Street, Wilton’s is the very epitome of old school British refinement. The interiors are an traditionally elegant affair, think stately carpets, rich green velvet benches, mahogany wood panelling and some pretty serious art works on the walls. The staff themselves are similar, traditional, elegant and so utterly charming and attentive to your every whim it was all I could do not to give them a hug which would have made everyone thoroughly uncomfortable. As for the food… I have almost no words.
We kicked things off with champagne and Dorset Rock Oysters. Ordinarily I like oysters, I don’t love them. These were a whole different ball game and I could have probably eaten about fifty of them. Flavoursome, rich without being sickly and exquisitely presented with an array of accompaniments in case you fancied spicing things up a bit. Me and Michaela polished off the lot in about thirty seconds and washed them down with an equally scrumptious gulp of champagne. In retrospect that probably wasn’t exactly refined of us.
Dorset Rock Oysters
Up next, the starter. If scallops are on the menu, it’s rare for me not to order them and on this occasion they were about the best decision I could have made. Served with peas, girolles and succulent golden raisins they were hands down the finest scallops I’ve ever tasted. If I’m honest, Michaela’s Avocado Pear & Crab Salad totally paled in comparison but then I can’t think of many dishes that could have provided competition.
Scallops with Peas, Girolles & Golden Raisens
Avocado Pear & King Crab Salad
Wilton’s is famed for being the ultimate in British fine dining thanks to their use and immaculate preparation of wild fish, shellfish, game in season and meat sourced from the country’s best farms. I wanted to try one of the dishes the restaurant is most known for so I opted for lobster. Also how often do you get to order an entire Grilled Native Lobster to yourself? Not often and I wasn’t about to miss out on the opportunity to do so. Michaela went for the Wild Grilled Salmon and between us we ordered a coterie of tasty sides such as Leaf Spinach, Garden Pea Puree and Truffle Creamed Potatoes. They were delicious, of course, but nothing could possibly have held a candle to my lobster. Fresh, tender, fleshy, light and oh-so-flavoursome, it was my absolute favourite thing I’ve eaten in a very long time and proved exactly why Wilton’s has been around for over two centuries. Michaela assured me her salmon was awesome too (I was way to busy tackling the lobster to taste it) but I maintain that I made the best menu choices probably ever that evening and still feel pretty pleased with myself just thinking about it.
Native Grilled Lobster
Grilled Salmon with Tartare Sauce
By the time the lobster had been conquered, we were both unsurprisingly a bit too stuffed to order pudding. That said, we did manage to force down a couple of cappuccinos and the dainty (ish) selection of macaroons and gourmet chocolates our charming waiter brought over. As I probably don’t need to tell you at this point, Wilton’s was an utterly wonderful dining experience. From the restaurant itself to the service, food and incredibly fine wines expertly chosen by the sommelier, it was just utterly lovely. It is not, however, somewhere you go for a party or to get raucous. Perhaps give it a miss if you’re more fussed about knocking back the cocktails and spotting a few famous faces than really fantastic food food but if it’s a gastronomic treat you’re after – and have money to burn, it is not cheap – get yourself straight to Wilton’s.
Wilton’s can be found at 55 Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6LX and you can visit the website here.
Love Ella. X
Images by Michaela Peker & c/o Wilton’s