The Handbook
The Handbook

Capital New Ventures

By | 5th January 2010

This year two of London’s most exclusive hotels are welcoming new blood. The Dorchester Hotel and The Mandarin Oriental have both invited new talent into their kitchens.

First up in April, Park Lane’s The Dorchester Hotel is welcoming a very special guest from across the pond for a five day sojourn. Yes, fresh from LA, The Dorchester’s sibling, The Beverley Hills Hotel’s legendary Polo Lounge will be setting up shop at The Dorchester’s Promenade, bringing with it trademark LA-infused cuisine, service with a smile and good old-fashioned Hollywood glamour. In homage to its Beverley Hills namesake, the Promenade’s Polo Lounge will feature flower displays and subtle touches in that famous pink and green, while Executive Chef Alex Chen and his team will prepare Hollywood classics from his renowned menu.

Breakfast will include such delights as waffles, cherry pound cake and huevos rancheros (also available to take-away!) while lunch and dinner menus will feature classics such as the McCarthy Salad, Tortilla Soup and Steak Tartare. Meanwhile, guests will be able to enjoy a selection of Polo Lounge cocktails in the bar – a favourite pastime of legendary screen siren, Marlene Dietrich, no less.

To ensure a thoroughly genuine experience during the week, The Polo Lounge’s very own manager and one of its acclaimed hostesses will be flown-in especially to serve expectant diners, while The Promenade’s traditional piano will be replaced by live music from Hollywood’s golden age. And while we can’t promise you LA sunshine, this is surely the next best thing!

Now you’ll have to wait ‘til the autumn for this one but we assure you it will be worth it. The three Michelin starred Fat Duck Group has joined forces with The Mandarin Oriental: Heston Blumenthal is coming to Hyde Park and better still he’s staying! Well you can hardly blame him now can you?

Even if you haven’t ventured to Bray to experience his molecular gastronomy first hand (or to The Little Chef for the diffusion line for that matter), you’ll certainly remember his Tudor, Medieval and Roman TV feasts. Now, however, Londoners with an aversion to the M25 will have the chance to sample the chef’s inimitable style of culinary alchemy for themselves, and as you’d expect, the menu promises to be heavily influenced by his fascination with historic British cuisine.

The restaurant’s interior will be designed by the internationally renowned, Adam Tihany who has been inspired by Blumenthal’s historical references – not to mention his novel approach. Tihany’s creative will highlight traditional materials such as wood, leather and iron, found in the historical roots of British style yet used in contemporary ways to reinforce Heston’s revival and modernization of traditional British recipes.

Seating 140 guests, the new restaurant will serve lunch, dinner and afternoon tea. The kitchen will be headed by Ashley Palmer Watts who has worked with Blumenthal at The Fat Duck for nine years as Group Executive Chef.

We are improperly excited. In fact, we might even skin a dormouse. Vegerarians can always opt for croquet…