All eyes are on Scotland right now owing to the 2014 Commonwealth Games which are taking place at Celtic Park until 3 August. But if you can’t get to Glasgow for the games, make a beeline for Boisdale of Belgravia.
Situated on Eccleston Street, an area of London that seems to go unappreciated by visitors and residents alike, Boisdale – a fabulous Scottish themed restaurant run by Ranald Macdonald (that’s often referred to as the unofficial Scottish embassy in London) – is a pure pleasure drome.
There are six places to eat and drink – the clubby Back Bar, richly panelled Jacobite room,Auld restaurant, Cigar Terrace (a top spot for smokers to beat the ban in style), charming courtyard garden with its retractable roof for, weather permitting, al fresco dining and, my favourite, the Macdonald Bar which manages to be large yet intimate, buzzy but private.
The look is all deep red and dark green walls, mahogany and mounted stags’ heads while sweet staff wearing Macdonald Tartan skirts will cluck and fuss over you.
Food is sophisticated but scrumptious. Expect Scotland at its best: think Loch Ryan oysters, Hebridean crab, haggis, Aberdeen angus aged steaks and smoked salmon. Elsewhere taste packed sides include broccoli with rosemary and lemon cold pressed, extra virgin rapeseed oil and Creamed Spinach with black truffle shavings will make you aware that cooking can be an art form. For dessert, do try the Caramelised Bramley apple flan with15 year old Glenfiddich caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream – addiction on a plate.
Boisdale of Belgravia
While The Boisdale is invariably busy at any hour, it gets more boisterous later on in the evening when the well heeled customers begin to kick back – helped by the outstanding wine and whisky lists and nightly live jazz that starts at 10pm. Indeed the fantastic musicians whip the wealthy locals into a frenzy well into the wee hours, making the Boisdale one of the hottest places to hangout in Belgravia post midnight.
Bottom line? This Scottish jazz, cigar and supper club comes highly recommended. If you won’t get to dine in Glasgow during the 2014 Commonwealth Games, you could do far worse than head to the Boisdale of Belgravia for a taste of the high life – and the Highlands.
Boisdale of Belgravia, 15 Eccleston St, SW1 (020 7730 6922)