It’s been a fair while since my last wining & dining post so I’m very happy to be sharing a recent rendez vous to Blakes London with you! Perhaps not quite the same level of pure jubilation that I felt after checking out the menu online in advance (who doesn’t do that) and seeing tuna tartare there, but it’s a close call. Writing that sentence just made me extremely hungry, which is very annoying because obviously my fridge is empty except for half a tin of sweetcorn and definitely less than half a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Damn my inability to do anything remotely resembling a weekly shop. Anyway, let’s talk Blakes…
I cannot believe I’d never been to Blakes before last weekend. The place has been around since 1978 and is literally ten minutes away from my home FFS! But while I may have got acquainted with Blakes regrettably late in the day, I can say with confidence that I’ll definitely be back and recommend that you check it out too. Tucked away within a maze of Chelsea townhouses and decadently bedecked in low lit black lacquer throughout, Blakes London is literally designed for the kind of elegantly executed, behind-closed-doors debauchery that is so quintessentially British. It was one of the first boutique hotels in London, if not the world, and remains every bit as desired today as when the first glamorous guests to grace Blakes’ shiny barstools toasted its launch. On the night I visited, the hotel was packed to the max with drinkers, diners and three private parties. All of whom I’d feel confident to assume, even if I hadn’t witnessed a fair bit first hand, would have had a very good time. Despite the polish and the prices, Blakes is the kind of place that feels relaxed. Somewhere you feel comfortable letting you hair down and the Sancerre flow… Speaking of Sancerre, obviously that was the first thing I ordered upon arriving at our table – practically before my tassled behind even hit the seat – and it was very, very good.
I’m really boring and predictable in some ways. There are certain things I love and will inevitably always gravitate towards, especially when it comes to food. And I have no shame in that so when two of my all time faves were on the menu at Blakes I indulged. As you’ve probably guessed, one of those is Tuna Tartare AKA the dish I’d been psyching up for all day. The other is Beef Carpaccio which also just so happens to be on the cards – or rather dans la carte (sorry) – at Blakes London. To say that made me happy would be a major understatement and obviously I ordered it for my starter.
Oz went for the Jambon Iberico to start and it was utterly delicious, which I can say with confidence having swiped at least half of it off his plate… I mean, how could I possibly write a thorough post on a restaurant without trying every dish we ordered? Or at least, every one that appealed to me anyway.
As you’ve probably guessed, I got the much anticipated Tuna Tartare (pictured above in all its glory) for my main course which came accompanied by avocado and yuzu dressing. It’s actually on the starter menu at Blakes so I toyed with asking for a double portion but was glad I didn’t because that was some rich, flavoursome tuna. Oz chose the Black Cod with Courgette Flower, Miso & Tahini which I didn’t try but was apparently delicious too… As was the brandy he ordered afterwards which I did try so can confirm was delicious. The only possible complaint food wise would have been the fact that with Blakes’ restaurant menu, there’s a risk of ordering too many rich dishes. But that could be easily avoided by asking for, say, the side spinach without tahini. Aside from that non issue, everything was flawless from the food and drink to the impeccable service, decor and ambiance.
Last but definitely not least, let’s talk clothes. In most bars and restaurants and at most parties, you can pretty much wear whatever you want, within reason. With the exception of places that have official “no trainers/no jeans” etc policies or those with unofficial but infinite more stringent “wear a sparkly dress and everyone will mock you” codes of asshole-ness. But as I said, most leave it up to the customers discretion, including Blakes London. Like most people, I’ve experienced the terror of wearing something innapropriate for a situation and looking stupid as a result. Which explains why I added several pairs of very questionable high tops and a shit ton of American Apparel hoodies to my predominantly floral wardrobe during my teenage rave going years. Nowadays I truly DGAF and will happily (and frequently do) wear a lace bodysuit or silk cocktail dress to the pub. But I still always consider what kind of look would would for the environment I’ll be spending time I’m, largely because it’s nice not to be stared or laughed at as you swish past in tassels and fur pom pom silk mules. Well, if you too love tassels and impractical fancy footwear then get yourself to Blakes London! I teamed both of those fabulous things with an embellished mesh sleeved floral top, Stella McCartney octopus-slash-alien clutch and mega glam (if not so mega professionally applied) makeup and was still far from the most dressed to impress person in the room.
I wore: Rebecca Taylor top, Rebecca Minkoff skirt, Agent Provocateur shoes, Stella McCartney clutch, YSL Beauty lipstick
There’s really nothing left to say but a big thank you to Blakes London. Not only did they give me the opportunity to enjoy three of my all time favourite things in the world, they also introduced me to a new place where my instinctive way of dressing (see above) is entirely fitting… I can’t wait to go back and definitely will soon. You can find out more about Blakes here.
Love Ella. X