Paris Fashion Week – the last of the fashion month calendar – has just finished and it was, as you’d expect, fabulous!
Yet while Haute Time enjoyed previewing all the looks, trends and textures that will dominate Londoners wardrobes come spring/summer 2015, it was the French food that we got most excited about.
If you, like us, are back from Paris Fashion Week and missing all the gastronomic treats, panic not. Just make a beeline for Boulestin – a sublime French restaurant situated on salubrious St James’s Street.
Step through Cafe Marcel (the relaxed daytime venue) and prepare to shut out the world. Once seated – take your pick from the restaurant with its elegant caramel hued walls and beige leather banquettes or, while the weather allows, the atmospherical courtyard – and prepare to peruse the resolutely French menu.
The Jerusalem artichoke and cep (the famous French mushroom) soup is so good you’ll want to lap it up like a kitten. Similarly a first course of Beetroot, walnut and dandelion salad was full of flavour and worked well with the goat’s curd.
From the main courses the Côte de veau, sauge and citron (veal cutlet, sage and lemon) makes for a carnivore’s delight, while the Tagliatelle cepes (fresh tagliatelli and ceps) also gets top marks.
A French restaurant isn’t usually a good place to be a vegetarian but Boulestin – named after Marcel Boulestin, the celebrated anglophile, French cookery writer and proprietor of the original Covent Garden Boulestin, that first opened in 1927 – manages to accommodate the veggie contingent too.
The Gratin de Legumes a la Provençale (red peppers, aubergines, courgettes, olives and potatoes) and the Couscous, courges rôties, artichauds poivrons (Couscous, roast squash, artichokes, peppers with yogurt) are both beautifully presented and, happily, taste as good as they look.
Elsewhere the Parfait glacé au miel, sauce au chocolat (Frozen honeycomb parfait with chocolate sauce) is a fitting finale to your French feast.
Another special feature is the wine list – it’s one of the finest in the capital with many available by the glass, half bottle and bottle. There’s also a killer cocktail menu: don’t miss Le Boulestin(Ketel 1 or Tanqueray, fresh cranberry and ginger beer), a wonderfully refreshing concoction.
Staff ooze gallic charm (Sofiane in particular is unfailing friendly) helping make a meal at one time Conran collaborator, Joel Kissin’s Mayfair venture an excellent experience. Bottom line? We say oui.