Roux at the Landau Farmhouse Brunch:
I believe the excuse for this particular brunch invitation to Roux at the Landau was London Fashion Week and the rather beautiful collection of dainty, perfect handbags by Aspreys which were on show at The Langham Hotel. As someone whose fashion sense owes rather more to chance than to any following of trends, I still coveted one or more of the bags – they were small enough to slip into my tote and had I not been with friends, I’d have been sorely tempted.
Instead, I settled for champagne and canapes in anticipation of the brunch to come.
I particularly enjoyed the smoked eel and had it not been for the promise of a ‘three-course’ brunch, I might just have indulged a little further.
Instead, we made our way into the elegant dining room of Roux at the Landau. The Langham Hotel is a stunning heritage Hotel and I’ve loved every part of the building, but Roux at the Landau manages to combine period charm with a light and airy feel thanks to the massive windows and high ceiling.
The Farmhouse Brunch is set up so that you pick your own starters and dessert from a buffet style display but order your main course from the menu. It’s a good idea to be a little cautious when approaching the buffet, it would be far too easy to eat nothing more than starters and desserts. And that would be a shame…
The starters offer good options for everyone. There are fresh oysters, salads, a variety of French and Italian charcuterie and cheese and a specially smoked Scottish salmon with a whisky cure.
I managed a little of quite a lot – including some delicious oysters with mignonette dressing, a slightly bland crab, apple and celeriac remoulade, a really tasty monks beard and anchovy salad and a beautiful salt-baked heritage beetroot and watercress salad.
I didn’t try the black quinoa, caper and hazelnut salad, even though it looked stunning. Quinoa is one of those ingredients that I find very filling and I just wanted to save space for the main course.
Brunch at Roux at the Landau is offered at three different price points, starting at £49 for those who don’t want to include alcohol. For £75 per person you can enjoy a bottomless Crement de Bourgogne Grand Cuvee Veuve Ambal NV or Bloody Mary and for £90 you will enjoy free flowing Albert Roux Champagne Grand Cru, Blanc de Blanc Brut NV. My choice every time, the Albert Roux Cuvee is delicate and dry, an excellent option for lunchtime drinking.
My choice of main course was the new season’s Skrei cod with cockles ‘dieppoise’ and Paris mushrooms, a dish which was both beautiful and delicious with perfectly cooked fish that flaked into meaty white chunks with the touch of a fork.
Skrei is seasonal Norwegian cod at its best. It is only available from January to April along the Norwegian coast. This fish spends most of its life in the Barents Sea but migrates back to its birthplace to spawn. So, this is cod in its prime. It has a brilliant white flaky flesh and is firmer and full flavoured. Highly prized, it’s rare to see it on restaurant menus in London.
It was also, so I thought, the healthy option but I couldn’t help but have a little envy for the Beef cheek ‘Parmentier’ with bitter leaves salad on my right and the lobster and avocado egg benedict opposite.
There was also a delicious looking roast pork rack with crispy pig’s ears, potato flower and apple.
This brunch really is a good alternative to a Sunday lunch with options to suit all appetites. There is a vegetarian main course (Rocamadour goat’s cheese and swiss chard pithivier) and plenty of fresh salads. And the desserts are to die for. Having opted for what I thought was the healthy option as my main course, I thought I was entitled to a few tasters of desserts.
I particularly liked the chunky tart tatin with dollop of cream and but if I’d had any space at all, I’d have tried one of the tiny portions of creme caramel
And I’d certainly have enjoyed a selection of cheeses
This is a brunch to linger over – and a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Roux at the Landau is comfortable and charming. There’s subtle and pleasant live music from a classical guitarist and, of course, as this is the Langham Hotel, the service is immaculate.
I’ll be back for more, whenever I get an opportunity.
Roux at the Landau
The Langham London,
1C Portland Pl,
London W1B 1JA