The Handbook
The Handbook

The Wellesley is relatively new in terms of London hotels, when many have been opened for over a hundred years, The Wellesley has only been opened since the end of 2012 and yet already it is known as one of the most decadent boutique hotels.

The décor is inspired by the 1920s townhouse that it is situated in, with a modern twist on  the art deco movement, it is very sumptumous and none more so than in The Oval restaurant.  Having heard that there was a new excutive chef, Michele del Monaco, at the restaurant we grabbed our bags and headed over to Park Lane.

There are three things that really strike you about The Oval, first the huge, sparkling chandelier that  commands all the attention in the centre of the room, secondily the intricate marble floor which is inspired by an elegant luxury sunburst clutch by Judith Leiber and finally it’s teeny, tiny size – there were 16 of us there and any more would have been a squash. It’s intimate but not claustrophobic and most important for us you can still have a conversation about all the most important things in life without feeling like everyone is listening in. 

Michele del Monaco was raised in Caserta and has a global career, having worked in Rio de Janerio and the world renowned kitchens at the two Michelin stared Hotel Il Pellicano in Tuscan. He brings to the table his fine dining style which still keeps authentic Italian flavours at its heart.

We were there to try the tasting menu, highlights include Mediterranean prawns wrapped up in squid ink ravioli with lobster bisque and a wonderfully creamy, cheesy  buffalo mozzarella stuffed in swordfish. Langoustine carpaccio with crab and almond meringue had a somewhat interesting texture and the almond meringue was rather overpowering.  If the dark chocolate fondant is on the menu then order it, you won’t be disappointed, luxuriously smooth and incredibly decadent it was one of those times where you wish pudding was served first so you could fully appreciate it without having eaten 5 or so courses and at least two bread baskets beforehand….

When you think of dining at a hotel restaurant, The Oval might not immediately spring to mind but with Michele del Monaco in the kitchen, you would be wise to think again and choose this teeny tiny restaurant.