This post is long overdue and I apologise for keeping it from you for so long but between work, uni and you know, having a life, I haven’t had much time to blog.
When I booked my London/Paris trip The Ledbury was number one on my list of places to visit. Brett Graham, owner of The Ledbury is one of our own having hailed from Newcastle, and has been hugely successful in England, gaining a very deserved two Michelin Stars for the Notting Hill restaurant.
I had a lot of trouble finding this place because I thought I’d be savvy and walk there from the Tube. Never again – just jump in a cab. I apologised for being late and the maitre d’ actually apologised to me for the restaurant being too hard for me to find! Totally unnecessary (as if it is their fault!) but this kind of loveliness really set the tone of the rest of my meal.
The Ledbury is not a huge restaurant and this is reflected in the kitchen as you’ll see in photos later, but it’s simple and modern and spacious and I was only distracted by the table next to me because I chose to be (the girls in the party were trying to order something “fat-free” – come off it, just eat and enjoy yourself!). There’s actually something very casual about this place and while it is fine dining and everyone was dressed very nicely I almost felt like a circus freak in my black leather dress. Even the food itself is quite casual, in that unpretentious Aussie way.
The dinner menu is set at £80.00 for three courses which seemed very appropriate and I ordered the Hampshire Buffalo Milk Curd with Saint-Nectaire, Truffle Toast and a Broth of Grilled Onions for entree, shoulder and loin of lamb with aubergine and Parfait of Dried Flowers with Gariguette and Wild Strawberries, White Chocolate and Warm Tapioca with Vanilla for dessert. I was actually (silently) tossing up between that and the Brown Sugar Tart with Poached Grapes and Stem Ginger Ice Cream and this absolute legend of a waiter who was Australian and heard my Australian accent brought one of the tarts over to me so I got to try both anyway.
The truffle toast was actually the hero of my entree but truffle anything is always a winner, right?
My friend Lydia and I have this joke about crying over food because it’s so good. The joke is that it would never happen because that’s just ridiculous and I haven’t admitted it to her yet but I LET OUT A WHIMPER WHEN I HAD MY FIRST MOUTHFUL OF LAMB. Yes, caps were needed for that because I. cried. over. food.
I can’t tell you how amazing this lamb was. It was actually perfect. I adore lamb but I have a slight phobia of it since I choked on a piece a few years ago and had to do the heimlich manoeuvre on myself (true story). I am now so weary of it because if it’s not cooked just right it can be too chewy for me and I fear I’ll choke again. The lamb at The Ledbury was out of this world. I don’t know how but it felt like it melted or became one with my tongue. It wasn’t normal but in the best possible way.
The downside of the dish for me was the eggplant. I just don’t like eggplant so to have a massive piece of it on my plate was a bit of a burden. There wasn’t anything wrong with it, I just rank it low on my “favourite vegetables” list in general.
The dessert, the one I ordered vocally, not telepathically, was just beautiful. It was textural and not-too-sweet. For some odd reason I only took a closeup picture but the way it was present was on a plate that had a tree printed on it and the dried flowers looked as if they were growing on the tree. When you finished, because there were streaks from your cutlery, it made the tree look like it had flourished even more. It was a bit of a journey and when you’re dining alone you look for all the entertainment you can. This really delivered.
The brown sugar tart was lovely, too. Not a game changer like the parfait but I wouldn’t have been disappointed in it if it had been my first choice. It was very creamy – almost like a creme brûlée – and silken so it didn’t leave you feeling overindulged.
Being from the greatest country in the world meant I got taken on a little trip down to the kitchen. “Little” is a great way to describe it and it’s hard to believe that the absolutely stunning food I just ate came from this manic epicentre of The Ledbury. Everyone is working their asses off and I felt like I was in the way but Brett was so lovely and took the time to talk to me about whatever I asked.
I was so impressed with the way Brett spoke about his staff. He really has a lot of faith in them and was gushing about their talents and their potential and it was so nice to hear someone being so positive about all their employees.
I know my last few posts have been full of me demanding you to do things but if you only visit one restaurant in London make sure it’s The Ledbury. I’m not just saying that because of its Australian ties but it truly was the best tasting meal I’ve ever eaten and that is certified by actual tears springing into my eyes.
THE LEDBURY127 Ledbury Road
Notting Hill, London
W11 2AQ http://www.theledbury.com Tel: +44 (0) 20 7792 9090Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
12:00 – 14:30