The Ledbury

We arrive at The Ledbury after having a super cool Uber ride with an open-topped car that let us fully appreciate the sunny London day we were having. Apparently, it’s only sunny in London a couple of times a year, however, every time I’ve been here it has been amazing. Our reservation was for 1.45pm and as we entered the restaurant you could really feel the buzz and the vibe of the place.

There are three options for the menu, Set Lunch Menu, A La Carte Menu (both four courses) or the Tasting Menu (eight courses). We opt for the Set Lunch and A La Carte and decide to share so that we can sample eight dishes in total to optimise the experience. Our waiters are genuinely lovely and interested in what we have to say. Definitely the most welcoming service so far and very Brittish.

Very promptly the amuse bouches start to arrive. Smoked mussel cream on a nori cracker, surprisingly good, soft and smoky. Guinea fowl profiteroles with meat jelly, it was like a pate, crunchy and not what we were expecting. Up next were crumpets, brown crab butter and sorrel. The crumpets were like at home with a salty savoury finish, the crab flavour at the end was amazing and the butter had been infused with a perfect bisque.

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Zalto glasses again, a little slow at first however quickly improved throughout the afternoon. Service again is super fun and we felt like we were really getting to know both our waiter and our sommelier. It was more like dining with friends! The table next to us is served and it smells amazing. Rosemary smoking with something else, perhaps our deer course?

While watching the other tables we notice the service is very synchronised and again very classic British. They swarm to the tables to serve each diner at the same time and do the same again when collecting the plates. From now on our champagne is regularly topped up. We see bread and butter on the other tables and hope that we’ll be getting some soon!

White beetroot, baked in clay, English caviar, smoked and dried eel is our first official course. It’s nice and perfectly cooked however I felt like it was missing something. This comes out with the grilled celeriac, red deer ham, pear and hazelnut. This was the perfect fresh way to start a meal, salty and delicious. We agree to disagree on our favourite dishes.

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We’re excited when the bread arrives after our second course. Apparently, this how they always serve the bread so that it doesn’t ruin that first course. It’s a porridge based sourdough with goats whey devon butter spread with molasses. Fiancee loves the bread, it’s nice but not out of the park nice, the butter is definitely the standout.

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We were surprised when a complimentary dish turned up and it’s warm pheasant’s egg, Arbois, celeriac and dried ham. It’s like a fancy Michelin starred bacon and eggs and exactly what the doctor ordered. Delightful! The plates are also handmade in the North of England. The bathroom is the nicest one we’ve had so far however the hand lotion is split (being very picky here I know!). As soon as I got up to go to the bathroom they folded my napkin back to exactly how it was.

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Next up is the steamed cuttlefish, roast cauliflower, dulse and bonito butter. This one is yum has a nice crunch and is wonderfully harmonious. We have this at the same time as the Cornish Cod caramelised in Richmond Park Honey and Green Asparagus. This one is perfectly cooked however not perfectly seasoned.  The spacing between dishes is on point here and it’s the first time I haven’t felt rushed.

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Our first main protein dish is the Berkshire muntjac (deer), hen of the woods, potato emulsion and rosemary. This was the amazing scent we could smell from the other table earlier. It came out smoking with the coals heating the rosemary to infuse into the mushrooms. My standout dish for sure, it was magically cooked with honest ingredients, warm and honeylike with that earthiness flavour that was just perfect.

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The second main protein was the slow-cooked Sladesdown Farm Guinea Fowl, cream of jersey royals, wild garlic and morels. It was served with the leg and the breast, the leg was stuffed with a perfect chicken mouse and the breast again perfectly cooked. Cream of jersey royals, wild garlic and fresh new season morels gave fiancee the sensation of a perfect Sunday roast.

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Our pre-dessert it a passionfruit curd with Sauternes and olive oil. Inside was a hidden mandarin sorbet. Delightful. Then came some light and fluffy doughnuts that complimented the passionfruit curd perfectly.

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For our first official dessert, we had the wild and Gariguette strawberries, whipped Ewe’s milk yoghurt and sorbet. The strawberries were super fresh and the dish represended them so well. We had this with the dark chocolate chantilly and mint, this was exactly what you want in a dessert. Cold, crunchy, sweet and delicate. We note this is the first restaurant we’ve been to that hasn’t had a dish that disappointed!

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Our wonderful waiter comes over and tells us we can’t have a visit to The Ledbury without trying their brown sugar tart. I only wish we’d gotten his name, he was so good! Even gave me a couple of restaurant recommendations when fiancee was in the bathroom. So of course out comes the brown sugar tart with stem ginger ice cream. You lost me at ginger ice cream, so freaking good!!

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Then there was more! We had juniper eucalyptus caramels which were surprisingly different and good! Then we had some chocolate truffles which had a little too much cocoa for me but wonderful all the same.

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To finish a delightful afternoon we were welcomed down to met the chef Brett Graham, he’s Australian so we got on with him rather well. He just lives and breathes the passion for The Ledbury, as well as deer! We had a lovely chat and even got offered some soft serve ice creams while in the kitchen.

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Overall a wonderful dining experience and one of the more consistently good restaurants we have been to. Would I go again? Of course, why wouldn’t I?

Latest ranking:

  1. Piazza Duomo
  2. Quintonil
  3. The Ledbury
  4. Saison
  5. Mirazur
  6. Pujol

Next up, The Clove Club.

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