It feels as though life is finally returning to normal and with it, the return of nights out, excellent food and live music. In Quaglino’s, you never have to choose between the three. Simply head there for a night of glamour and toe tapping entertainment in the heart of Mayfair. As one of the city’s original and longest standing special occasion restaurants, you may find yourself wondering if this iconic gem is still worth a visit. I’m here to tell you it is.
Quaglino’s is sat on a quiet street moments away from Green Park station, with a plethora of bars in close proximity in case you fancy carrying on the party post meal (spoiler alert, you 100% will). When I entered the restaurant I was instantly greeted with the type of service that you can only really find in a handful of venues. The doorman was all too eager to take my coat, and I was led through the opulent upstairs bar before being guided down the grand staircase to the main dining hall, where my guest had already been sat and offered a drink whilst waiting for my arrival.
The interior of Quaglino’s is not dissimilar to something out of The Great Gatsby which is fitting, as the venue was originally founded in 1929. Dimly lit lighting makes for an atmospheric experience, and the art climbing the walls only further reinforces the art deco feel. The dining hall is spacious – perfect for intimate whispered conversations before the music begins. However it’s the central iconic lit staircase and stage that really bring the wow factor.
In my experience, the problem with most entertainment driven restaurants in London is the quality of the food is often forgotten about in the midst of all that’s going on. Quaglino’s is a rare gem in the sense that it offers entertainment alongside a quality dining experience.
The menu is sophisticated and simple, with only a handful of options available. I opt for the smoked duck and pear salad with kumquat jam, an unlikely combination of sweet and savoury that somehow just works. For my main, I choose the indulgent pumpkin gnocchi finished with oyster mushrooms and kale crisps – a delicious meal and one of the most memorable I’ve had in a while. To drink, my guest and I share a bottle of chilled False Bay Rose – the ideal accompaniment to our two courses. The restaurant is both vegan and vegetarian friendly too.
Midway through our starters, the entertainment started. We were treated to a performance of covers from the likes of Frank Sinatra to Bruno Mars, much to the delight of my fellow diners. Quaglino’s, it seems, do not skimp on the entertainment either. Tonight’s band, The Juke Joints, have performed alongside the likes of One Direction and Ella Eyre, as well as performing for Harrods and Jo Malone. There’s a table next to me who jovially get up and join in with the final number. It’s truly a meal unlike any I’ve ever experienced.
Towards the end of dinner I’m left feeling so full that I can’t possibly have a dessert. My guest, however, tried the Valrhona chocolate orange fondant with Grand Mariner and hazelnut ice cream, which she told me is one of the best desserts she’s had. I finish off the night with a bramb(l)erry – a fruity and refreshing cocktail that sweetly finishes off my Quaglino’s experience.
In the ever changing and fast paced world of London’s restaurants, it’s quite possible to overlook those restaurants that have been around as long as Quaglino’s and instead opt for a newer, seemingly shinier option. Quaglino’s proves that elegance doesn’t fade. It should definitely be next on your list of restaurants to visit for those in the market for impeccable food, good wine, fun times and maybe even a bit of Sinatra.
To discover more, visit: quaglinos-restaurant.co.uk
All imagery courtesy of Quaglino’s.
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