Peaceful and relaxing. Two words you wouldn’t normally use to describe hectic central London. Well, that’s unless you’re having lunch at Bond & Brook – aka an oasis of calm on the second floor of Fenwick.
Inside is like a foodie spa – white, decadent and fresh, with mesmerising music seeping out of hidden speakers. Splashes of colour are found in the artwork and fashion books, hinting at the department store setting.
The restaurant itself is the brainchild of critic Fay Maschler and journalist Simon Davis, who devised a menu made up of brunch, main plates, desserts, afternoon tea and the ‘Collection’ – oversized appetisers served in threes as a main, or alone as a starter. This is the concept that tempted us at lunch today. This…and the puddings.
I ‘fashioned’ my meal with Lobster Thermidor, Seared Benison Tataki and Devon Crab Cakes. For The Boyfriend, it was Scotch Salmon Tartare, Carpaccio of Scotch Beef Fillet and Line Caught Tuna Ceviche.
When our plates arrived, they almost looked too pretty too eat. Each one was decorated with delicate flowers that added a special touch to the already exquisite presentation.
The fishcakes had the intense flavour of crab with a manageable kick of chilli – definitely my favourite of the group.
The thermidor was made up of a horseradish crumb sitting on top of a piece of lobster, which then lay on a bed of new potato. An interesting take on the traditional recipe that had a suprisingly light and subtle flavour.
When it came to the venison, I would have preferred it a little rarer, but the overall combination of rich meat, smooth parsnip puree and sweet Japanese dressing almost made me lick the plate clean.
Across the table, The Boyfriend was happily munching on his three choices. Stand out for him was the ceviche, which had a strong zesty flavour. He did mention he’d need pudding to feel full, so I couldn’t help but wonder if he’d have been more suited to the steak frite enjoyed by the man next to us, leaving the ‘Collection’ to us ladies who lunch.
Pudding was Orange Creme Brûlée for me and Winter Mess for him. My Creme Brûlée was special. Crunchy on top, its taste was intensified by the added segments of orange and buttery, lavender shortbread.
We both agreed that we preferred good old strawberry Eton Mess, but the fragrant, seasonal combination of chestnut puree, crushed meringues, chantilly and cranberry sauce didn’t stop The Boyfriend polishing it off.
Price wise, three plates from the ‘Collection’ came to £17 and each pudding was around £7. Not cheap, but let’s face it, we were in Mayfair darling.
If I’d known it existed, I probably wouldn’t have waited five London years of my life to go. As someone who loathes crowds, queues and crazy red-faced shoppers fighting over the last pair of jeans, Bond & Brook will now be my perfect hideaway.
Bond & Brook, Fenwick, 63 New Bond St, London W1A 3BS