Vintage Londoner with retrocentric tastes. Interested in the uncommon,artistic,cultural and visual life of this old tart of a city and its tawdry glamour. Tinctured with cocktails, swear words and the odd rant. I'm friendly but bolshy and my opinions are honest and sponsor-free. P.R and marketing types please see 'About Me'.
Thursday, 16 December 2010
HIX Albemarle in Browns Hotel.
Gave this place a spin last night after some last minute last minute Christmas shopping. Expensive, yes but very tasty. It is in Brown's Hotel. I'm fond of Donovan's bar in the same hotel, especially for their discretion in picking up women who slide off their leather pouffy things, by that I mean seating not some louche chap. Browns is also basically London's oldest extant Hotel and thus has, technically, the Capital's oldest restaurant. Due to the festive season the bar was packed with strange braying post-office types and the staff had the demeanor of soldiers manning Rourke's drift. We opted to have our drinks in the lounge area where I was rewarded by the pianist smiling at me as he launched into a twinkly version of 'nature boy'... is there something I am not getting?
Brown's Hotel Albemarle Street.
Hix has taken over the dining room, you can tell because it is full of slightly silly art, which is of course supposed to be cutting edge. Browns is full of Paul Smith designed Christmas decorations including a lot of pine rabbits and at least one Christmas monkey, good silly. Otherwise what you have is a classic hotel dining room with classic attentive service.
Donovan's Bar minus Yahoos.
The food is English and fairly typical of Hix, I had the Morecambe Potted Shrimp, nice but not really potted (should stand in stiffened butter with a bit of mace and look a bit brown) more a slightly solidified tasteful prawn cocktail. The bearded one was very happy with his cured British meat and soused Alexander starter. Soused Alexanders turned out to be burdocky veg in vinegary stuff and very tasty. For main courses we went for venison and for me, mallard. Both dishes were excellent, really tender, properly cooked and...what a pleasant surprise, actually came with veg and potatoes. This was lovely savoury gamey Winter fare. I felt what the food delivered here was plenty of taste, great big mouthfuls of it. The wine we had (Arg chardonnay, NZ Pinot Noir) both very good.
Interior of Hix Albemarle.
Wasn't cheap but the food was filling and well served. Mayfair doesn't have as many good eateries as it should so Hix is welcome. Being in such a well run hotel you leave to a parade of uniformed staff saying good night, putting your coat on and opening doors for you. The feeling of civilised well being lasts all the way to the...Victoria Line.