I love London and its restaurant scene. I love that some restaurants are just for walk ins, I love that some pop-ups are all that people can talk about and I love that some restaurants are all about the extra orders. You can also read this in reverse, I don’t like that you have to queue for hours to get in and can’t reserve, I don’t like a pop-up being so crowded you could be forgiven for thinking you’re entering a game of sardines and I don’t like it when you have to order everything as extra.
Sometimes you don’t want experimental, you don’t want loud. You want civilised, smart, elegant but still with a kick, (which in this case was unlimited Champagne) ultimately you want 34, Mayfair. Situated on South Audley Street, 34 has only been opened since 2011, although you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is much older than that. Burnt orange banquettes, parquet floors, immaculate tables dotted with small lamps, an open kitchen and dramatic bar, give it an understated elegance, you can imagine that Mayfair’s residences have been eating here for years.
You may remember us telling you about 34’s unlimited bottomless brunch and there famous Kate Moss coupe, well sometimes you need to say ‘oh oops yoga/tax return/meeting the inlaws is just not going to happen today’ you throw caution to the wind and go for a prolonged Saturday brunch with continuous Champagne. And before the bread had even arrived (which we didn’t have to order as extra), the Champagne did, we never needed to ask for more, the waiters (who were excellent) kept us constantly topped up, without us noticing, some say dangerous, we said hurrah.
The menu was split into brunch dishes, starters and mains, but you can mix and match – with brunch dishes being about the size of a main portion. For starters we went for a meaty chunk of chargrilled octopus served with chorizo, garlic and peas, and the steak tartare, you had the option of giving it the royale treatment, that’s it topped with caviar…keep up, but we kept it classic.
Whenever my siblings or I use to come home after a long time away, we would be allowed to choose what we wanted for supper and I always asked for beef hash. I thought it was a wonderfully comforting dish, potato, egg, salty beef, onions all mushed together and served piping hot. My Mum on the other hand did not and so I was left to make it myself, although being apathetic I normally just went without. Well you have your way Mum, because I won’t be asking anymore because I have a new favourite, 34’s perfect salt beef hash with a double fried egg on top, it met all my comfort food needs.
My friend stuck with a brunch favourite and was presented with a plate that was covered half and half with scramble egg and smoked salmon and of course grilled avocado, because what is brunch without avocado?
To finish we went for the peanut butter crunch bar, which was actually outshone by the accompanying black currant sorbet which was delicious. We finished with another glass of Champagne that we toasted to indulgence and left happy.
Champagne Lovers Lunch (or brunch) available Monday to Saturday until 5th September