Ruth H-B and I were spending a lovely afternoon perusing the beauty that is the Chelsea FlowerShow. We met up for pre-show drinks at 101 Pimlico Road (to get us in the mood and whet our appetites for our later dinner booking). We started off with a huge glass of rose, then decided to move outside and sit in the sun while we chatted with the owner and head chef, while downing a bottle of prosecco.
Then we stumbled down the 2 blocks and spent 3 hours traverssing the gardens and sobering up (a little bit).
Come 8pm, the show was closing and we wandered back for our reservation and to meet up with Hussyband and BoyWonder.
Drinks were high on our agenda (just for something different) and we ordered a bottle of La Flor Sauvignon Blanc (De Pulenta Wines, Argentina)Famished, we demolished the first basket of bread, which was quickly replaced with a fresh basket overflowing with baked goodness. While this was going on Hussyband showed up, and settled in with a bottle of Mean Time Amber Lager from Greenwich, which he describes as "a very flavourful lager, almost like an Amber Ale". It was to be the first of many.
BoyWonder was running a bit behind time, and we were ready to eat the crutch out of a low flying duck, so we ordered a starter of potted shrimp with melba toast and lemon to share. This was so damned good. And when we ran out of melba toast, they happily gave us yet more bread to spread the shrimp on. Nom Nom.
Upon arrival of Ruth's hard working other half, we ordered mains. I wasnt very hungry by this stage, so ordered the starter size of he home cured organic salmon with lime creme fraiche and quail's egg. Due to a slight mix up downstairs, when our meals were delivered they had sent me the pan fried sea bass, puy lentils, caramalised fennel and orange sauce....not to be rude, and at the insistance on the kitchen, I shared the bass with the rest of the table.
Oh.My.Gawd. This was the most gorgeous piece of fish I have ever had. Never having been a huge fan of puy lentils or fennel I am now won over to their cause. The orange sauce cut everything perfectly, and every bite was met with little moans of pleasure around the table.
After we all but licked the plate clean, they bought up my previously ordered salmon. It looked beuatiful, with dainty cubes of beetroot scattered around the plate. And whilst it looked beautiful, it tasted even better. Yes, a paragraph ago I claimed the sea bass to be the best fish ever. I take it back. This home cured salmon was perfect. Each sliver across my tongue was like heaven.
Being that this was a special nite out, and I had been saving space for dessert, I could not go past the desserts menu. Being a creme brulee addict, it was a hard call skipping the tonka bean version that I had seen whisking its way past me throughout the night. Instead, I settled on strawberry and champagne jelly with chantilly cream.
Washed down with a glass of muscato, the jelly left me all quivery and happy in places that are normally reserved for the marital bed. Oh who am I kidding? I like to get quivery anywhere and this was no exception! This jelly puts to shame my old favorite (Strawberry Aeroplane jelly for meeee....) It was full of the flavours of a full blown english summer (you know the sort we havnt experienced yet, but I am ever hopeful.)
All in all, a fantasic night, with awesome company, and fantastic staff!