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The Front Room at Flemings Hotel, Mayfair

The Grill at Flemings Hotel, Mayfair

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The Front Room at Flemings Hotel, Mayfair

The Grill at Flemings Hotel, Mayfair

Front Room at Flemings Mayfair

Opened in 1851, Flemings Hotel in Mayfair is one of London’s oldest hotels. It was converted from six Georgian townhouses but now this historic building has been restored to a tasteful and luxurious haven.

restaurant review Fleming Flemings is a chic discreet townhouse hotel set in the heart of one of London’s most exclusive areas, Mayfair. The hotel and apartments are tucked away in a quiet, romantic street off Piccadilly, two minutes from Green Park and a short walk from the hustle and bustle of the West End. Flemings is just a few minutes’ walk from the designer stores of Bond Street, Regent Street and Jermyn Street, and close to Buckingham Palace. London’s theatre district is within easy reach. Guests have considered Flemings to be one of Mayfair’s ‘best kept secrets’- till now!

Following a multimillion-pound refurbishment masterminded by interior designer Grant White, the truly amazing interior of the hotel now offers a unique combination of both contemporary comfort and cosy Georgian charm. It has all the amenities you would expect from a prestigious hotel, with the addition of The Front Room for a special afternoon tea.

The Front Room at Flemings is London’s new elegant and striking destination for all those in need of a restful but stylish retreat from the rigors of shopping and for those in search of afternoon tea, cupcakes, Champagne and canapés.

The Front Room is like no other front room you would have encountered. It’s a long way from your Auntie Winnie’s parlour with magnolia walls and a set of plaster ducks. No Green Lady hanging over the gas fire. Think elegant, contemporary and intimate.

The refurbishment of the old library has been inspired. The designer set out to create “an elegant luxurious cocoon" and it has worked in fine style. The shelves of leather-bound books are still a feature but the walls are now black and silver, and mirrors magnify the impact. The furniture is opulent velvet – the sort that encourages one to linger – and arranged to suit couples as well as small groups. The view is exquisite, onto a terrace of Georgian townhouses. One is transported to scenes from Dickens or at least the Quality Street tin. Magical.

Restaurant review the fleming The Front Room offers its guests layer cakes and cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery. Jude Law has nailed his colours to the mast and states “I defy anyone to find a better cupcake”! These are almost (but not quite) too good to eat. They are visions of pastel icing with delicate decorations of tiny pink sugar rosebuds, chocolate beans and colourful sprinkles atop thick buttercream. These cupcakes are said to be the best around and it’s hard to argue with that.

The tea here is exceptional, different from your typical limited selection available elsewhere as it is supplied by Dammann Frères. The story begins in 1692 when King Louis 14th of France ordered that only particular teas sold by a nobleman named Damame could be sold in French cafés. In 1925 Robert and Pierre Dammann created the company that was to become the celebrated Dammann Frères.

In 1932 Dammann Frères became the official supplier to Compagnie Generale Transatlantique, the French equivalent of P&O for luxury cruising. They continue to select teas from all over the world to create new and vibrant blends. They now have 3200! Try Passion de Fleurs. Have this with your cupcake but drink it sans milk.

Prices: Traditional Afternoon Tea £23
Chocolate Afternoon Tea £26
Savoury Martini Afternoon Tea £29.50 (including Gin or Vodka Martini)

Champagne & cupcakes (opening price for January only):
 £13.50 for a glass of Perrier Jouët brut champagne and a large cupcake. Small cupcakes are available but I’d treat myself to the deliciously indulgent big one.

Tea/coffee & cupcakes (opening price for January only):
£8.00 (pot tea/coffee and large cupcake)
£7.00 (pot of tea/coffee and small cupcake)
£6.00 (pot of tea/coffee and slice of cake)

Dress Code:  smart casual
Opening times: 8am - 8pm and open to non-hotel residents

8am - 12noon (teas/coffees and pastries),
12noon - 6pm (Champagne and cupcakes),
6pm - 8pm (Champagne and canapés)

Bookings for Front Room are essential: Tel: + 44 (0) 207 499 2964 - ask for the restaurant.

Address: Half Moon Street, London, W1J 7BH

Telephone: + 44 (0) 207 499 2964
Reservations: + 44 (0) 207 493 2088
Fax: + 44 (0) 207 491 1817
Visit Flemings here

Mostly Food and Travel hotel and restaurant review

The Grill at Flemings Hotel in Mayfair

london restaurant review Even the address of Flemings Hotel gives a clue to the style and quality of this boutique establishment: Half Moon Street, Mayfair. It’s one of the smartest areas in London, although the eponymous and long-gone pub had a considerable and iffy reputation. Mayfair takes its name from the popular annual gathering which, several hundred years ago, had moved its location from Haymarket.  It was a livestock market, but the entertainment element of the fair grew and provided stalls for the 'mirth and merriment' of the general public. The fair was banned in 1708 due to the raucous and antisocial behaviour of its patrons. The calming measures evidently worked, as in 1763 James Boswell took rooms in Half Moon Street and wrote his celebrated diary.

The 1852 London Post Office Directory documents Robert Fleming as running a lodging house at 10 Half Moon Street, and in 1855 Fleming is found running a 'Private Hotel' at 9 and 10 Half Moon Street. He was evidently a successful businessman and I don’t doubt that he would be proud to lend his name still to this gem of a hotel.
Mayfair is now considered to be the most polished and refined of locations. It has the open spaces of Green Park on its doorstep, shops selling the best of designer goods, as well as some of the finest restaurants the capital can offer; and there is Flemings, too.

This was my second visit to Flemings. I had previously had drinks and cupcakes in The Front Room. That is a truly striking space and ideal for cocktails and small gatherings but you’ll need to book. I was expecting good things from the restaurant and I wasn’t disappointed.

london restaurant review The Grill is down a wide staircase. It’s an intimate space with low ceilings, dark wood and rich colours. The table arrangement provides quiet nooks for couples and larger spaces for groups. It’s an obvious restaurant of choice for the hotel guests but it’s also frequented by those in the know. Flemings has convenient transport links, being just a couple of blocks from Green Park Underground station and it has a whole fleet of red buses at the end of the road, so it is, unsurprisingly, the haunt of discerning diners from across the West End. The restaurant continues the design ethos of the hotel in general: polished, comfortable, with individual and confident accents. Flemings is a hotel for those who appreciate the difference between chain hotels and bespoke elegance.

Head Chef Braden Charlesworth's menu reflects modern European food. The Grill is more of a fine-dining restaurant than a stereotypical 'grill', which might conjure visions of slabs of meat and foil-wrapped spuds. Braden takes the ingredients ordinarily found in a Grill, elevates them and refines the traditional dish. He has a passion for freshness and sustainability and the proof of his commitment garnishes every plate.

Our introduction to the skill of the kitchen team was the light and creamy Duck Liver Parfait with port sauce. A parfait is a pâté that's made airy by passing through a sieve to make it silky smooth and delicate, and this one arrived in a small glass jar with the sauce as a ruby-red layer. Delicious served just with some toasted bread.

My starter was Grilled Cornish Mackerel with Heritage Beetroot and Horseradish. This is a much under-rated fish and for no other reason than that it’s common. If it was an exotic fish line-caught by reclusive monks in a salt-water lake in Mongolia it would be ten times the price and people would be raving about it. It’s a flavourful fish and versatile. This dish offered the simply-cooked mackerel with horseradish as a foil to the natural oils of the fish.

london restaurant review My guest was taken by a slightly more eclectic menu item: Grilled squid, Iberico chorizo, corn, lime and coriander. This is a popular combination of surf and turf but it’s done well here. Squid in curls with a light char and seasoned with the paprika-infused sausage was a colourful tapestry and tasted as good as it looked. Nothing over-fiddled but there was still the element of cheffy flair. A signature dish if ever there was one, and I would be suggesting that Braden expands this into a main course.

After two piscatorial starters we were bound to explore some carnivorous mains. My companion, a lady with impeccable culinary credentials, opted for the Grilled Bavette with Mustard and Tarragon Butter and Hand-cut Chips. Bavette is becoming a familiar dish on menus here but it’s better known as a bistrot favourite in La Belle France. It’s a more economic cut of beef from the skirt or flank. It's prized for its robust flavour, but it needs to be fried or grilled to rare or just beyond to avoid the texture of shoe leather. My guest proclaimed herself well satisfied with her meal and remarked that it was perhaps the best example of this meat that she had ever tasted.

I was intrigued by Belly and Cheek of Gloucester Old Spot Pork. "Once you try Gloucestershire Old Spot pork, you'll turn your back on the tasteless, dried up, intensively-reared pork forever," quoth Derek Cooper on the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme. It’s perhaps the Rolls Royce of our British porcine heritage and recognised for having distinct culinary advantages. It’s called 'Old' Spot because the pig had been known for as long as anyone could remember. The first pedigree records of these pigs date to 1885. The biggest single factor in the increasing popularity of the breed has been the renewed appreciation of the eating qualities. The difference can be attributed to the fat: modern pigs have hardly any of this as backfat or as marbling within the meat. These historic pigs have a distinct layer, as well as marbling, which means that when the meat is cooking it is being basted in its own fat, rendering the pork moist and full of flavour.

london restaurant review The portion of belly was melting, with a tender rind. Some crackling was added for stage dressing and crunch, along with the cheek that was well-seasoned and moreish. The cuts don’t have attractive names – hard to make ‘cheek’ and ‘belly’ poetic – but they are tasty with comforting texture. It’s old-fashioned cooking and memorable. A must-try at Flemings Grill.

Blood Orange Jelly with Crème Fraiche Ice Cream sounded light and refreshing after the richness of pork. This had vibrant flavour and presented the very essence of orange, more than one would find in the fresh fruit. Chef Braden Charlesworth has transformed a nursery staple into a sophisticated adult treat, and it’s fruit after all, so no guilt here.

Flemings ticks all the boxes for me. The location, staff, chef, ambiance make this one of my Top Ten destinations for entertaining in the whole of London. That’s a fine recommendation in a city that has so many outstanding restaurants and hotels.

Breakfast: 7am - 10.30am Monday to Saturday
Sunday breakfast: 8am - 11am
Lunch: 12pm - 2pm Monday to Friday (closed for lunch Saturday & Sunday)
Dinner: 5.30pm - 10pm daily
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7499 0000
Flemings Hotel and Apartments
7-12 Half Moon Street, Mayfair
London W1J 7BH

Phone: 020 7499 2964
Visit Flemings here

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