La Dame de Pic – Four Seasons Trinity Square:
It’s been a while since I took myself out for a special lunch. A hedonistic indulgence – a good lunch is something that can’t be hurried and so needs a full afternoon to recover. Weekday lunch menus though can be the hidden pearl at some of London’s top restaurants – a snip of the price of the a la carte but without the time constraints of their evening equivalent, the pre-theatre menu.
La Dame de Pic has crept onto the London dining scene, despite a pedigree that might have warranted more attention. The lady in question is the eponymous Anne-Sophie Pic, who comes from a long line of French chefs (both her father and her grandfather had three Michelin stars at the family restaurant in Valence. Anne-Sophie followed in the family tradition and won three stars herself there in 2007. But, she’s built up a restaurant collection too – with offerings in Paris and Lausanne as well as London.
Since I hadn’t had the opportunity to visit the new Four Seasons Hotel in Trinity Square, a friend’s birthday seemed like the perfect opportunity to treat ourselves and take a peek at the hotel too. It’s set in a lovely part of London, a stone’s throw from Tower Bridge and next to Trinity House, a beautiful events venue designed by Samuel Wyatt in 1794. Ten Trinity Square, the home of the hotel, is a little more recent but just as stunning. Originally the headquarters of the Port of London Authority, it was designed by renowned architect Sir Edwin Cooper in the Beaux Arts style and opened in 1922. It does have all the grandeur of something from the Great Gatsby – high ceilings, ornate plasterwork and some stunning detail. Grade II* listed, it’s elegant and refined interiors are largely restored from the original.
Tan leather banquettes and comfortable chairs surround the dark wood glass-topped tables set with immaculate silverware. Although there’s an art deco feel to the room with large mirrors and high ceilings, the staff wear contemporary style leather bar aprons and, because the dining area is neatly sectioned, there’s a feeling of intimacy where ever you happen to sit. As perfect for a business lunch as a celebratory meal. I liked it a lot.
A glass of champagne of course as this was a celebration, then two amuse bouche preceded our starters. Our ‘tea’ was a light consomme, which had been specially made for us as my companion doesn’t eat tomatoes.
The striking leaf dish was made from dehydrated Jerusalem artichoke transformed into an intricate edible leaf, with a dusting of finely grated liquorice and lime zest. Very delicate, it was that kind of moment on the lips you just want to last a little longer.
Trompette courgette was a dainty plateful of roundels of marinated courgette with ginger served with a light green cardamom ice cream.
I felt very virtuous as I ate my plateful – and just a little envious of my companion who had ordered the Les Landes Foie Gras, served as a creme brulee with shavings of granny smith apple, raisins and toasted hazelnuts. Creamy and delicate, light and full of flavour, I had just a taste!
Neither of us could resist the North Sea Halibut as our main course and neither of us was disappointed by the picture perfect plateful which came with a delicate Mimolette and saffron sabayon sauce, heirloom carrots and seacress.
For dessert, the signature White Millefeuille, which is a striking, contemporary styled vanilla meringue pristine, a cube of white, vanilla flecked meringue.
I’m sure that you are not supposed to bash it with the back of your spoon so that it shatters along the middle, but rather, somehow, delicately excavate the delicious light jelly and enjoy it with the Mille Feuille layers of fine pastry and meringue. But. I was keen! And it was delicious with lovely citrusy notes to offset the floral jasmine.
My companion was equally happy with her raspberry charlotte, a summery mix of sorbet, confit raspberry with galangal, madagascan vanilla cream and hibiscus biscuit.
With our coffees a tiny plate of biscuits finished off the meal perfectly.
If you are looking for somewhere special to dine in London, I have no hesitation in recommending La Dame de Pic – a stunning meal in an elegantly convivial environment.
La Dame de Pic London
Four Seasons Hotel,
10 Trinity Square,
London, EC3N 4AJ,
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