London’s most important culinary event of 2011 was the opening in February of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge. We finally ate there for lunch this past Sunday. It is truly a destination dining event and should be included with Westminster Abbey and The Tower of London at the top of any London itinerary. A springtime Sunday lunch was the perfect time to enjoy the views of Hyde Park. The menu is a collection of contemporary interpretations of historic British recipes dating as far back as the late fourteenth century. Each item has a story and the staff is well-versed in the history. My starter, Rice and Flesh, dated c. 1390, was a delicious saffron risotto with touches of calf tail and red wine. My wife had the signature Meat Fruit starter, c. 1500, which consisted of a silky chicken liver parfait shaped like a tangerine. My daughter loved the Spiced Pigeon main course, c.1780, cooked in ale and accompanied by artichokes. Our amazing desserts included the Tipsy Cake, c. 1810, with spit roast pineapple, and Lychee Frozen Ice, c. 1590, with rosehip jam, barberrie granite and red currant. Our Sunday lunch was a unique and entertaining experience, more than just a meal, and equal to the best theatre, museum, concert or sporting event. Don’t miss it.
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