Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Waldorf

The Waldorf…

Probably one of the best dinner dates I’ve ever had…  My date didn’t live in London and I was determined to show him the best of what the city has to offer.  And everyone has heard of The Waldorf right? 

You know, the luxury 5 star hotel which has been standing over 100 years despite being bombed.  Twice.  The Waldorf with it’s infamous Palm Court – home to Tango Teas in the 20’s, the inspiration for the interior of the Titanic and graced by stars like Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton… 

Never mind Claridges, they need to make a TV series about this iconic hotel with all its high end history and the stories hidden within its walls.

Dinner was served in The Grand Salon.  It’s a beautifully grand room with super high ceilings, stunning chandeliers and columns, white walls, white tables, white marble floor.  Exquisite.   As was the food.  Rabbit and olive terrine with plum and cinnamon compote and a red pesto croute.  Followed by Roast beef medallion with confit celeriac, apple and new potatoes, baby leeks and thyme jus – it’s making my mouth water just thinking about it again…

We got all dressed up in our best get up, and definitely weren’t out of place…  Yes the clientele was slightly older and the grand space lacked a tiny bit of atmosphere, but I was so wrapped up in the delicious food and conversation that I really didn’t notice too much.
And after desert – a beautifully presented Vanilla cheese cake with passion fruit and coconut (sooooo tasty…!), we retired to the 1920’s style cocktail bar ‘Good Godfrey’s’ – named after the handsome Howard Godfrey who’s house band used to play the finest tunes while London’s finest learned to tango. 

The guy behind the bar was a serious mixologist who really knew his stuff.  Like really really knew his stuff… And their menu is A-mazing.  We quite literally made our way down the cocktail list while chatting about the hundreds of liquers and spirits lining the bar…  They have American, Canadian, Welsh, Irish and Japanese Whisky’s on the list – so impressive.  Then there’s a champagne list, a champagne cocktails list, a seasonal cocktails list… There’s even a cocktail called the ‘Astor Hip Flask’ in celebration of William Waldorf Astor who founded the hotel in 1908.  It’s a bourbon based cocktail made with secret ingredients and served in an actual hip flask.  Or the Godfrey’s Cobbler whose recipe dates back to the 1880’s.  And we just had to try the Sazerac, because it’s Brad Pitt’s favourite drink in ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ – as if you’d need another reason?!

I could’ve sat there all night, supping my way through spirits, but having almost fallen off my chair twice (did I mention those drinks are kinda strong?!), it was time to leave the 20’s behind and head back out into the Theatre District of my favourite city, in 2013.

Sadly, the guy I dated didn’t actually turn out to be the love of my life as hoped, but my love affair with The Waldorf will most definitely live on forever…

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