My love affair with London continues, there is always a new street to explore or new restaurant to discover and I may have just found one of my favourite restaurants in London in this place. My supper at Angelus restaurant, on Friday was one of those special London evenings; where the company, the food, the ambience and setting all came together to make a perfect summer evening.
Angelus restaurant and bar is tucked away on Bathurst Street in an unassuming but historical part of London, not far from Notting Hill and Lancaster Gate area. We’re immediately greeted by a beautiful young French girl, who asked if we’d like to sit in or out, we opted to start our evening sitting outside on the little terrace and soak up the summer evening and London atmosphere.
A hidden corner of effortless indulgence, the warmth and energy Angelus is renowned for is personified as you enter the restaurant, and meet the fabulous founder Thierry Tomasin, and ex-Gavroche Head Sommelier for 20 years and his staff. Far more than a stunning interior and mouth-watering cuisine, Angelus has become a beloved secret spot in London.
A little bit of history..
Formally a pub and covert meeting place for political figures such as Winston Churchill, Angelus boasts elegant Art-Nouveau interiors which have been cleverly incorporated into the original architecture of this early 19th century building. Named after the Angelus Bell, this “brasserie de luxe” is located in one of London’s last working mews.
My plan for the evening had been not to over indulge or drink as I’m into week 1 of a new training and diet session (my blog – Diary of a WBFF newbie – taylorspr.wordpress.com) which is for a challenge I’ve scarily decided to attempt in November. However, the plan went out the window for several reasons, some of which are listed above, A) the menu was simply too tempting to say no to a glass of wine with dinner, and B) the other reason was boy issues.. so I felt I should take some solace in my favourite French cuisine.
Thierry Tomasin, the owner was also convincing with his charming French accent and easy manner, his pitch being a “Salesman of Pleasure” that we girls should be indulged! Not going to argue with that, what an excellent way to twist mine and my companion’s arm.
The menu is seasonal French cuisine, bistro cooking from the heart and we had the option of choosing from the summer á la carte menu or anything from the brunch menu, there was quite a lot to choose from a mixture of classic French cuisine dishes and specials.
We decided on two entrees from the á la carte menu:
• A divine Light Maroilles Cheese soufflé with walnut crust, fresh endive, sliced green apple and Parmesan consommé
• English Pea and Broad Bean Velouté, with a poached Sussex farm duck egg, with grilled Romanesque cauliflower florets
I like to try slightly different and unusual dishes from time to time for my reviews, it keeps it fresh in my approach and is also a great way to widen the palate and be open to new experiences and tastes. We both opted for fairly light entrée dishes – the Velouté is a light vibrant green which tastes of spring garden vegetables, I carefully broke into the poached egg and it was a lovely bright yellow runny egg, just as it should be. The Cheese Soufflé was divine the small mouthful I tasted with a beautifully balanced and light Parmesan consommé. Thierry attended to us with his passion for food & wine and the restaurant shining through, and I knew we were going to be well looked after. The wine list is superb, with a heavy nod to French wines, but as a French restaurant I would expect nothing less. There are also some good quality new world wines on the list just in case you’re averse. We however, in an effort to be good opted for a glass of wine and Thierry, who was the Head Sommelier at Le Gavroche working under Chef Michel Roux, recommended the Marsanne Viognier, a light white wine with some complexity and minerality and also some floral notes. It was delicious and needless to say we didn’t just have one glass!
• Seared Monkfish with green olives, shellfish and wild rice with baby fennel
• Roasted whole pigeon D’Anjou with peach and pink pepper puree, and crumbled black pudding
For our main plat we decided to move into the restaurant as it was getting a little chilly and I also wanted to savour and soak up the atmosphere of this lovely restaurant. It was fairly full and we were given a little table for two, not to close to our neighbours, so we were able to relax a little more. The interior has a very French, dare I say Parisian feel to it and it’s absolutely charming. I certainly felt as if I’d been transported to France for the evening and adored the dark wood tables, art deco lights and flooring which added to the ambience.
I chose the fish option of the Monkfish, light, yet meaty and succulent with an array of green and black olives delicately presented over the seared monkfish stuffed with shellfish, perfect for a warm summer evening. We remained on the same white wine as it matched our dishes well, my companion opted for the roasted whole pigeon with a peach and pink pepper puree and black pudding, also very good and a contrast to the fish. Meaty and rare (very rare) well we were practically in France at this point (she could have opted for a light red wine with this meat, but decided to stay on white). Our only suggestion would be to have some more vegetables with the plats or some further vegetable options as side dishes would have been good.
With the diet well and truly out of the window and my cheat meal taking on epic proportions, we threw caution to the wind and allowed our host Thierry, to suggest the dessert, which he thought we’d love and he was right!
• A shared plate of Apricot soufflé with apricot homemade apricot and lemon-thyme sorbet, homemade elderflower yoghurt with honeycomb, white chocolate ice-cream and summer berry pavlova with carpaccio of nectarine and strawberry coulis.
• Glass of Pink Champagne
• White wine – Marsanne Viognier – Domaine de la Cessane, 2012
• Dessert wine – Jurancon, Uruolat – Charles Hours, 2012
Angelus prides itself on an easy gastronomic menu and contemporary approach to the French classics. Its talented kitchen team has created a menu of elegant but unpretentious food that can be enjoyed for any occasion. One of the City’s last remaining secret spots, Thierry’s Gallic passion, combined with award-winning cuisine and a formidable wine list make Angelus a regular treat, to be enjoyed with friends and good company.
This is definitely a firm favourite now for me, and depending on if you want to have a two course lunch or dinner it is has a great variable menu with lunch starting at £22 for two courses in central London, is pretty great and at these standards an exception to the rule.
Dinner a la carte – for two with wine, entrees, plats, dessert was approx. £47.00 per person.
Value rating: Excellent
Food Quality: Excellent