Last Updated on December 3, 2021
Lee Westcott Residency at Sloane Place
With the aim of catching a culinary legend in action, we went along to Sloane Place for Lee Westcott’s all too brief residency at Sloane Place. Westcott is one of the UK’s most in-demand chefs, following critically acclaimed tenures at the Typing Room in Bethnal Green and Pensons in Herefordshire, where he earned a Michelin star after only seven months. Sloane Place is a hotel, member’s club and restaurant a stone’s throw from Sloane Square – a hidden treasure that for a few nights only was home to Lee as part of a series of culinary takeovers. What a splendid night of food and drink – I’m now on Lee’s case – following on Instagram, so I can spot where he turns up next – and I’m fully planning to go back to Sloane Place and find out a bit more myself.
Seated in the cosy hideaway downstairs at Sloane Place, we enjoyed a glass of Gusbourne 2018 Brut Reserve, UK with the first two courses on the menu. It’s one of my favourite English sparkling wines and the light, fresh-tasting bubbles were a good foil for the pre-starters we enjoyed. My companion can’t eat crab so her tartlet was from the vegetarian version of the menu with sweetcorn replacing the beautifully fresh crab which I enjoyed. Each tartlet was made with three sheets of buttered filo pastry, filled with crab or sweetcorn mixed with roasted cep and salty cured egg yolk. Light and delicious, we were told to eat them in one mouthful…and after following instructions both yearned for extras!
A bread course in its own right might seem optimistic. But here the bread is IPA Sourdough served with Marmite butter and roasted yeast. A small but beautiful perfectly round loaf to share – excellent balance of crustiness and soft inside. The marmite butter was made if possible even more yeasty by being scattered with roasted yeast. We weren’t sure how the X per cent of the population who detest marmite would react to this dish or for that matter visitors from abroad not brought up on British nursery staples. Anyway, this was one of the standouts of the meal – taking bread, butter and marmite to a whole new level of deliciousness. I finished my whole half loaf and lashings of butter.
Next up Eel- a dish made up of smoked eel, apple, celeriac and cucumber. While my companion claimed to be slightly suspicious of eel at the best of times she said her head was turned by this dish. We were served Gewurztraminer Family Vineyard Wairau River, New Zealand, a rich spicy wine chosen to complement the smoked eel. The eel itself was sweet and soft and well paired with the cucumber and minute cubes of apple and celeriac adding contrast and crunch. Both the dish and the wine had floral elements.
We both agreed this was another successful dish. And, my companion has promised to probably stop avoiding eel from now on in the hopes that can be as good as this.
The beetroot course divided opinion. I am a beetroot lover and the sweet, smoky mix of beetroot endive and smoked cream was a delicious moment for me, especially paired with the Cote de Brouilly Volcaniques, Beaujolais, France, which had been chosen for its stony mineral quality to go with the earthiness of the beetroot. My companion though, found the beetroot too sweet and thought that the almost toffee-like endive jam just added to the sugariness. Taste is such a personal thing – and there is no right or wrong with cooking that is so well executed.
I suspect both of us thought the lamb dish of Herdwick lamb, hispi cabbage, black garlic and green olive was spot on though. The lamb was served pink with a vibrant green olive sauce and a deep black garlic puree. Strong meaty flavours were well matched by the succulent hispi cabbage and our pairing of Savigny les Beaune Domaine du Prieuré, France was excellent, its red fruit character a great match for the red meat. A fragrant wine with a soft, gentle taste which we both loved.
The meal finished with a stunning dessert of chocolate, yoghurt and blackberry served with a huge glass of Elysium California Black Muscat 2017, a dark dessert wine that was a great match for the chocolate. Every element of this dish worked well together from a presentation and taste perspective. A white yoghurt shard perched on a rich dark chocolate cream cut with a sharp creme fraiche (or possibly more yoghurt) dotted with super ripe, luscious blackberries.
The tasting menu was priced at £75 while the generous wine pairing was £60 and offered excellent value. I was impressed by the service and charm of Sloane Place which officially only opened in 2021, the sister property to The Sloane Club, with 27 bedrooms and a 50 cover restaurant normally offering relaxed all day dining and headed up by Executive Chef Bernhard Mayer. We’ll be on the lookout for more popups and hope we can go back and sample the regular menu in the near future.
Sloane Place Hotel
62 – 64 Lower Sloane St,
London SW1W 8BP