Discovering a new after work destination which although you've passed it by numerous times you've never really grasped its true potential, gives you the same rather smug feeling of satisfaction that comes from shopping your closet and finding a perfectly on-trend combo you'd completely forgotten you'd bought! I almost don't want to share Mews of Mayfair but that would be as selfish as concealing the existence of a new Marc Jacobs. Founded four years ago by London entrepreneur, James Robson, it's tucked away in Lancashire Court betwixt the shopping Meccas of Brook Street and New Bond Street.
I stopped by for dinner with an old friend on an (almost) balmy spring evening last week and we immediately wondered what kind on conspiracy had kept us away for so long.
Set over four floors of an elegant converted mews house, it comprises a glamorous basement lounge open 'til 1am, ground floor cocktail bar that was positively spilling out of its indoor cleavage of Queen Anne chairs and glittering eighteenth century chandelier onto pavement tables packed with people enjoying the last rays of sunshine. Then there's the first floor restaurant to which we were headed plus a top level private dining room. The restaurant feels rather like an exclusive private members' club overlooking the bustling little mews below. Ivory chairs and banquettes, an old fashioned fire place, slate floors and pristine white table linen lend a contemporary ambience of relaxed elegance that's offset with the impeccable yet unobtrusive service of friendly staff.
We both opted with one of the starters belonging to the bargain prix fixe two course dinner menu for £15 – Grilled Tiger Prawn Salad, Ginger & Sweet Chilli Dressing – succulent and well flavoured. And then as we're seafood girls at heart, we chose mains of Pan Fried Cod, Cauliflower florets & Spring Greens and Pan Fried Brixham Lemon Sole, Beurre Noisette & Capers from the Ã la carte. Again we were impressed: simple yet sophisticated cuisine with just enough innovation to hold the interest of the palate without showing off or being over fussy.
My friend was on white and I'm a red girl so we both went New World by the glass – her's South Aftrican Sauvignon Blanc and mine Argentinean Merlot. We shared dessert of Forest Berry Crumble with Clotted Cream – pure gluttony and actually way too big for just one person and yes, admittedly I think I polished off most of it so I should know!
Great food, great service and great atmosphere. We'll certainly be back. Just don't tell too many people or we'll never get a table!