Tuesday, 2 September 2008

J'adore Clos Maggiore

ohhhh what a lovely weekend we had for our anniversary a couple of weekends back. A wonderfully smart evening at Clos Maggiore followed by a night at One Aldwych In Covent Garden. I was allowed to leave the nest much earlier than he the mans and headed up to Covent Garden on the overground and underground, (which I like as I get to read for a solid 40minutes with no interruptions), for a wander around mid afternoon. It was bliss: sun , shopping and no kiddlies hands!! Don't get me wrong I love my girlie's and missed them , but Im with them morning , noon and night , sometimes with no adult contact for days except the shopkeeper up the road! This has been one long long long summer break , at nearly 8 weeks!!! There is however nothing like freedom!!!

I felt very glamorous in my new dress for the evening and quite relaxed and calm after my afternoon alone , as I checked in to the hotel around 3:30 and had some time to read a magazine laying on the bed and watched some TV, (can you believe it was supernanny, see even without them I'm still thinking of them!). He the mans then joined me for a drink up the road at The Waldorf in the Homage bar at a little table on the street noshing some little snacks & people watching all the giggly girly groups leaving the theatre after an early showing of Dirty Dancing ! . We then headed back for a swim in our own hotels indoor pool and a sit in the sauna , ahhhhhhhhhhh heavenly!

I have to say that Clos was one of the most elegant and romantic restaurants I have ever eaten in. Ive never felt the need to return anywere Ive eaten before , but this place has to be tried again for sure. It has a wonderful cosy , quirky and stylish atmosphere , with its cut hedge walls and arches, (I kid you not) . Its back conservatory were we sat is filled with blossom trees and makes you feel like your sitting in a little wonderland!

Image care of sqauremeal

We unfortunately had to wait nearly half an hour for our table , which was a little bit of shame , but the upside was being offered a lovely glass of pink champagne on the house and my favourite; some tapenade with bread sticks, all served in these lovely little teeny copper pans! All partaken in a lovely little dark and cosy sitting area at the front of the restaurant. The staff were very apologetic and kept on making sure we were OK and that we didn't have long to wait.

Eventually we were shown to a lovely table as requested at the back in the conservatory. We chose the lavish six course Tasting menu as it seemed to have a lovely selection and we thought well, it is for a special occasion . Its also a great way to try a variety of the restaurant dishes in miniature!

Id never had pigeon before but as the 1st starter it was melt in the mouth and a wonderful combination, all sweet , savoury and salty. The teeny fried egg was a cute touch and matched the quirkiness of the place perfectly!

The second starter of scallops was also very delicious and savoury , with a ridiculously healthy fluo green watercress puree.

He the mans wasn't so keen on the taste and texture of the lobster dish as small squares of black , green and white pasta sat in the bisque base which had a slightly smokey flavour to it. I would have liked some more bisque in mine , sans the pasta, as it was so velvety and moreish! The nice touch is that it is poured into your bowl at the table from one of those little copper pans.

At this point he the mans was getting a bit touchy about me snapping away and not just enjoying , so alas I have no picture of the duck dish. It was however very delicious. The duck was perfectly cooked , the deep dark unctuous sauce not to sweet and the treacle marinated skin a lovely touch . I loved the little grapefruit cake on the side , he the mans detests the stuff so I had a little extra! It helped balance the sweetness of the meat and sauce with its sour acidic taste. This is one of my favourite types of evening dishes.

I also have no picture of the cheese plate , but we had a small taste of about three -four soft and hard cheeses from around europe including ; a hard cheese comte from France, a soft cheese
Robiola Pineta from Italy and Isle of Mull Cheddar , all with a lovely small block of quince jelly which Id love to find to have at home. This was served with the most enormous basket of lovely whole wheat , seedy and black and brown biscuits and breads, but we were so so full by then , only the cheese could be eaten!!

Unfortunately , due to the late dinner start we had to rush the dessert of mini opera cake and espresso ice cream , which was a shame as it was gorgeous, melt in the mouth and decadent. Guess what I had on mine?????

Yep I finally got my birthday plate with candle !!!

This is what he the mans one looked like before being devoured.

The Happy Birthday was a bit of an oversight by the restaurant , as it was our anniversary , nevertheless we thought it quite funny due to the boxwood birthday omission and didn't say anything, as the staff there were so attentive, thoughtful and efficient . We were literally running out of the restaurant at this point , to a shocked maitre de face , I think he thought we were upset with the meal ! My sister and her mans were also in central London for the evening for their anniversary dinner at Apsley , a gorgeous modern Italian restaurant at The Lanesborough ( I see another contender for a review )and had planned to meet us for drinks at our Hotel at 11ish. It was now heading for 11:45 , and a bit like Cinders the night was nearly over.

We finished the night off with drinks , (mine was a watermelon and lychee virgin cocktail which was very fresh and aromatic ) and nibbles in the lounge at One Aldwych.

The next morning , we didn't fancy breakfast at the hotel , as it seemed all a bit to formal and serious , so we made the most of being alone and drove over to Clerkenwell , initially the idea was too try a brunch at The Zetter hotel, but when we got there we just didn't fancy the rather overpriced and fussy menu and noticed everyone walking to The Modern Pantry behind the hotel .

What a lovely surprise find ; cool relaxing decor of grey panelled walls , white and copper elements , friendly staff and a very well priced comforting menu (empty Zetter take note!). A winner all round and a very civilised end to a wonderful weekend reading newspapers and reminiscing about pre kiddy life!

It HAS to be done again next year , sighhhhhhhhhh!

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