£50+ per head
It occurs to me sitting in the brand new Beaumont Hotel waiting for a guest, that I have known and been friendly with Messrs Corbin and King for over 30 years. Perhaps I should amplify “friendly”…in other words friendly as in a kind greeting, a shake of the hand, a wave, a short chat perhaps, but always maintaining that air of professionalism between restauranteur and customer…as it should be.
After opening The Wolesley, Delauney, Colbert, Zedel and Fischer’s, all with quite remarkable success…the numbers from The Wolesley and Zedel alone are quite staggering…this remarkable duo have turned their attention to the world of niche hotels with The Beaumont, or No 8 , as appears on the impressive white facade, a stone’s throw from Oxford Street yet in a quiet backwater away from the maddening crowd. The hotel offers 73 rooms all beautifully decorated and in perfect taste plus an extraordinary Anthony Gormley suite jutting out into the sky.
The first impression one gets on entering the lobby through the revolving doors is that of gleaming wood everywhere giving a feeling of both warmth and welcome. The bar area is reached in two or three steps straight ahead across the long lateral lobby suggesting that the bar area with the restaurant behind it are a key feature of this whole venture, rather than just a ‘ hotel restaurant ‘.
Once seated in the bar, reminiscent somewhat of the Delauney, same interior designer obviously, with a drink in front of me, I immediately see familiar faces from the Wolesley,my regular haunt,which is pleasing and I am struck, whilst waiting, with the numbers of people already swarming in to get seated. It is hard to believe that this is only week three, but such is the magnetism of this dynamic duo. The movers and the shakers want to be in the act from the off.
I am pleased to see that that the menu is more classical, as a grill room suggests. It is simple and straightforward with many agreeable choices. Between us we ate New York Shrimp Cocktail served with a genuine NY tomato relish, Caesar Salad crisp and again with a proper dressing, The Colony Hamburger cooked exactly as ordered and the dish of that particular day, Brisket and Calve’s Tongue in a light broth with aldente vegetables and a small but plentiful marrow bone, a nice touch, and , altogether a pleasing lunch time dish. All good, and I saw a tempting veal chop passing by but when I checked the price, £38:00, I did raise my eyebrows a little.
Desserts again presented easy choices, my friend teling me that I always go for the apple pie a la mode. He went for the Bananas Foster which he finished quickly though it looked too sweet for me. I found the wine list generally a bit on the expensive side, though I find that most everywhere these days, but it was nicely varied between the old and the newer.
Service as expected was impeccable though our waitress, a familiar face, told me that her heart was in the Wolesley… such loyalty ! If I had any complaint, it would be that the noise levels were quite high. My table on this occasion not being the best, opposite the kitchen, but still I would recommend a little sound deadening if possible.
Jeremy King , omnipresent I suspect at the gestation of this huge undertaking, gave me a wink, shook my hand, accepted my congratulations with a smile and all was well with the world.