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Taste Menu at The Cadogan
The Cadogan Hotel in Sloane Street, Knightsbridge, was
built in 1887. The name commemorates the Earls Cadogan, who, through
their company Cadogan Estates have owned Sloane Street and the
surrounding area for generations.
This marvellously appointed Victorian luxury hotel was, soon after its
opening, to play host to the arrest of playwright Oscar Wilde. On 6
April 1895, genteel Victorian society was rocked by the ‘incident’, in
room 118, which was immortalised by John Betjeman’s poem, The Arrest of
Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel:
“Mr. Woilde, we ‘ave come for tew take yew
Where felons and criminals dwell:
We must ask yew tew leave with us quoietly
For this is the Cadogan Hotel.”
The poem recounts the arrest of the Irish writer on various charges of
indecency. Wilde was convicted and jailed for two years.
Actress Lillie Langtry was a friend of Oscar’s. She was a
celebrated beauty and was nicknamed the ‘Jersey Lily’. She had a number
of prominent lovers, including the future king of England, Edward VII.
She lived at 21 Pont Street from 1892 to 1897. That’s a red-brick
building conveniently connected to the Cadogan. Even after she had sold
the house and it had been incorporated into the hotel, Lillie would
stay in her old bedroom, which was where she entertained her royal
The décor of the dining room is in taupe tones. The walls are
resplendent with plaster mouldings, and that artistry continues onto
the ceiling where hangs a crystal chandelier, said to have been there
when this room was part of Lillie’s home. It’s a small and
sophisticated dining room which has a magnificent Carrera marble Louis
XIV fireplace as a focal point. This is bijou elegance seldom found
these days. It is unique in that it not only seems Victorian but indeed
is Victorian, and very much reminds one of those days of opulence and
scandal, of boastful architecture and proud tradition.
The Cadogan now hosts the ‘Great Taste at the Cadogan’
menu, which allows diners to try
the best food we in Britain have to offer. There are several food-award
schemes in the UK but it’s generally acknowledged that the Great Taste
Awards is the most respected of that bunch. It has a battery of more
than 350 food experts from every field including buyers and sellers,
chefs and writers who might have their own speciality but have the
chance to taste and evaluate foods from across the grocery spectrum.
Those judges have no idea whose products they are being offered: all
packaging is removed to eliminate any possible bias. Last year more
than 7400 products were judged and each year the number of foods
submitted grows, as does the prestige of these awards.
Not every product can achieve a coveted star but even those who fall a
little short of that accolade are offered constructive feedback. The
judges have considerable knowledge of quality foods and they give
suggestions on how a submitted item could be improved. Each product is
judged independently and stands on its own merits, and it is not
compared to others in the same category. A table of judges will have an
array of goods to taste, from chocolate to cheese, from dandelion and
burdock to damson jam.
Before any food product is deemed to have fallen
short of the gold star, nine experts must agree that it doesn’t have
the characteristics considered important in a first-class example of
its genre. This eliminates the influence that any personal preference
may have, and results in a genuine consensus being reached. A writer
sits at each tasting table and uploads the judge’s comments onto the
central Awards database. These can later be accessed by participating
The Cadogan’s ‘Great Taste’ showcase restaurant is a unique dining
concept, offering those Great Taste award-winning ingredients and foods
from around the country. The bread you will enjoy is made with
award-winning flour. The oil into which you will dip that bread will
have that distinctive black and gold logo which designates this as an
New menus devised by Head Chef Oliver Lesnik along with guest chefs add
their own culinary magic to the ingredients offered by passionate
suppliers, and all laced with fresh fruit and vegetables that are at
their seasonal best.
These menus feature the choicest of a very fine selection of gold star
winners. There are foods that are recognisable
as traditional, and others that are inspired departures but having
their origin in that arena of ‘British made’ or ‘British refined’.
Home-reared Wagu beef has been dried and shaved and used as a
condiment. Kentish cobnuts have been pressed into thoroughly English
oil. Cured fish from around our shores garnishes fresh radish and pea
shoot salad. Rabbit, a long-loved meat in these Isles, is encased in
delicate pasta by chef Oliver Lesnik and served as a ravioli.
There are pies from master butchers and bakers, and puddings that are
of restaurant quality. All of the pre-prepared goods are available in
shops and delis. Thomasina Miers, our own home-grown Mexican chef, has
developed a chocolate and chilli cake with award-winning pedigree
especially for the ‘Great Taste’ menu at The Cadogan. Laverstoke Park
has a selection buffalo-milk ice cream that’s rich and delicious, and
flavoured with coconut or chocolate or fruit.
Celebrated chefs will participate in this project throughout the year
and they bring their personalities to your table at The Cadogan,
allowing you to witness the marriage between culinary skill and
The three-course menu is priced at only £28.00 per person, and
two courses at £25.00 per person.
Open for lunch:
Tuesday to Sunday Noon – 2.30pm
Open for dinner:
Tuesday to Saturday 6pm – 10pm.
Visit The Great Taste Awards here
The Cadogan Restaurant
21 Pont Street, London, SW1X 9SG
Visit the restaurant here
To make a reservation, please call 0800 023 5445 or email