London restaurants (5): The Ledbury

I’ve eaten out a lot. And this was one of the very best experiences I have had. The Ledbury has two Michelin stars, but I can’t imagine a restaurant being any better. I’d been before, on a few occasions, but not for a few years (the last trace I can find of a meal here on my blog is from 2009, a decade ago!). It was excellent then; it is better now.

What is so good about it? The whole experience, but particularly the staff. Incredibly professional, not at all fussy, and no duplication of effort. Perfect pace to the meal (we were first in at 1830, and last out – they don’t turn the tables here, even on a Saturday night), and a beautifully designed dining room that is busy without getting at all noisy. At this level, acoustics matter.

So, Saturday night at the Ledbury: you have two choices. A tasting menu of six courses, for £130. Or of eight courses, for £150. We opted for the former. I should add – and this is a policy I agree on – that a credit card is required to secure a booking, and if you don’t show, you still pay (£125 for dinner…). It’s a good policy that stops no-shows, which for a restaurant like this would be a problem, because there will never be any walk-ins. Of course, The Ledbury can do this. Most other restaurants can’t, alas.

Always good to start with a glass of Champagne, and this was a good one. The Ledbury opened in 2005, with the then young Brett Graham as chef (he’s still there). It got its first Michelin star in 2006, and a second followed in 2012. The proprietor is Nigel Platts-Martin, who also has La Trompette, half of Chez Bruce and the Glasshouse. All are among London’s best. Nigel also knows quite a bit about wine, too.

The wine list is just what you’d expect. It’s diverse, and functional, in that it covers all the bases, meeting the varied needs of the various customers here. There’s fancy, spendy stuff, but also safe havens for wine geeks. We ordered Domaine Labet’s La Reine Chardonnay, which is a stunning wine. Jura Chardonnay like this ticks a lot of boxes, and is versatile enough to work with the multi-course approach.

A mature red Burgundy: the Domaine Bachelet VV Gevrey-Chambertin 2009. Quite lovely.

Beaujolais: I was tempted by something more natural, but the 2014 Croix des Vérillats from Ch Moulin-à-Vent is a really lovely wine: classic and structured, with a silky sheen, and it won out.

Cheeseboard heaven to finish a beautiful meal. I can’t fault anything. Expensive but worth it, completely.

London restaurants:

1 comment to London restaurants (5): The Ledbury

  • Philip

    Ledbury is brilliant. Try Five Fields, London SW3. Best restaurant in Chelsea (yes, I know there’s that place on Royal Hospital Rd)

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