First I must apologise for the sporadic nature of my restaurant reviews of late (yes, again). But I’m sure you’ll agree, Berners Tavern is worth waiting for. I’ve been waiting to go for months myself having been repeatedly impeded by tedious university related things. I would say that the experience was all the sweeter for this but frankly, I’d be lying. Housed in The EDITION Hotel on Berners Street, the place is a marvel, the food incredible and it was an absolute treat to spend the evening there that I’d repeat twice a week if I could.
This won’t be the first time you’ve read about The EDITION on LPA and I suspect not the last by a long shot. Mere seconds after opening its doors last September, the hotel was decreed the place to see and be seen for fashion folk and celebs alike. Unapologetically decadent in an over-the-top was that somehow manages to flirt with flash but not quite go there, for me it was lust at first sight and love at first sip of Passionfruit Martini. Over the past couple of weeks I practically moved in, not that that’s anything to be particularly proud of. And despite the fact that Harry Styles is also meant to frequent it’s Rococco halls, I’ve never spied him there (not I was looking, honest) but we’re not here to talk about that huge haired, teenage lothario – come on, this isn’t the Daily Mail – we’re here to talk Berners Tavern. Firstly, the room itself, nothing short of spectacular. After sashaying through The EDITION’s marble pillared hall you’re ushered into a vast, impossibly luxurious space with stucco-work ceilings, antique chandeliers and gold framed paintings covering every inch of the walls. Having been greeted by the charming maître d’ and ushered to our seat (in prime people watching position, score) Laura and I were immediately presented with glasses of champagne, got thoroughly over excited and lowered the tone by taking about fifty selfies.
I could have happily lounged around for hours, revelling in the luxuriousness of it all but I’d heard great things about the grub and couldn’t wait to try it. To start, I went for the Orkney Scallop Ceviche with Avocado, Radish, Baby Gem, Jalepeno and Lime ice. Naturally the presentation was par excellence, Berners Tavern is a place where no detail, however small is overlooked. More importantly (well, ish), the taste. I love scallops but they do run the risk of not being the most flavoursome of mollusks especially when served practically raw but these bad boys were practically bursting with tantalising, ever-so-spicy deliciousness. Laura decided against the scallop in favour of Beetroot cured Loch Duart Salmon, Beetroot, Horseradish and Watercress. She assured me it was fantastic but wouldn’t let me try much, the big meanie.
Orkney Scallop Ceviche with Avocado, Radish, Baby Gem, Jalepeno and Lime ice
Beetroot cured Loch Duart Salmon, Beetroot, Horseradish and Watercress
Before we go on to the mains I have to raise one of my favourite aspects of dining at Berners Tavern, the service. I’m not one for rough and ready East London establishments where you share a splinter-tastic wooden bench with fifty bearded strangers and help yourself to booze from a communal jug which always seems to be at the opposite end of the table. No, I’ll take a “no trainers” dress code and the opportunity to be treated like a Princess while wearing something fancy over that any day. Given the high fash n’ sleb quotient, I suspect Berners Tavern might make allowances when it comes to footwear but the service was on par with that at the of the most impossibly posh restaurant you can think of. Only better because you don’t feel mildly terrified whenever a uniform clad waiter comes near you. In between every course the oh-so-attentive sommelier was on hand to offer guidance, something I enjoy almost more than I can even describe. Suffice to say, we drank some seriously fine wines that night with my personal favourite being the Sancerre ” les Boucauds”, Domaine Claude Riffault.
The meal had something of a maritime theme, with both me and Laura also choosing fish for our main courses. After a short squabble over who was getting what we decided that she’d order the South Coast Cod with Braised Puy Lentils, Smoked Bacon and Charred Calcots Onions while the Roasted Cornish Sea Bass with Brown Shrimp, Samphire and Kale with Whole Grain Mustard had my name on it. The idea was that we’d share but the second each of us took our first bite we decided that wasn’t happening. I’ve eaten a lot of Sea Bass in my time (it’s kind of my default) but this, this was above and beyond virtually any I’d tasted. Lighter than light with a medley rich, luscious flavours exuding from the other elements, it was quite simply perfection. Judging by the fact we both basically inhaled our meals in about thirty seconds (chic, non?) I’d say Laura’s was pretty good too.
Roasted Cornish Sea Bass with Brown Shrimp, Samphire and Kale with Whole Grain Mustard
Despite having ordered relatively light dishes (not gonna lie, the mega steaks were tempting) we’d committed the cardinal sin of fine dining by eating rather a lot of the mouthwateringly good bread and found ourselves pretty stuffed by this point. We did however, find room for cocktails and macaroons which came exquisitely delivered in a miniature antique wooden chest at the gloriously grand bar. Passionfruit Martini for me, Espresso Martini for Laura, perfection.
If you haven’t guessed already, I utterly adored every second I spent in Berners Tavern. The food was flawless, the service impeccable and the whole place so unashamedly fabulous yet gratifyingly non intimidating it would be hard not to have a very good time there. Admittedly, it ain’t cheap, but not mind boggling expensive either. If you’ve got a special occasion coming up then book yourself a table toute suite.
Berners Tavern at The EDITION Hotel can be found at 10 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NP. Click here for more information.
Love Ella. X