As I write this our Notting Hill flat is the cleanest it has ever been following the descent by a team of Polish cleaners to get things ready for handing over the keys to the landlord. This is the last day for MTV boyfriend and me as residents of London before we set off for three months of traveling through France, Greece, Nepal, India and Hong Kong. Travel tips welcome.
|Crème Brûlée by Le Relais hand modeling by Amy|
The last few weeks have been pretty manic packing up everything to relocate continents but I have also managed to visit some new London restaurants along with old favourites so there are a few more London posts still to come. One of the old favourites I could not resist visiting with my lovely girlfriends Anna, Amy, Alex, Adina, Alina and Chantal (we call them “The A’s” for obvious reasons) was Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte in Marylebone. I was excited when the famous Parisian chain first opened its doors in London and have gone back regularly since to get my taste of steak frites.
|The token salad|
Le Relais looks exactly like its Parisian brethren with a classic French bistro fit out right down to the wooden panelling, brass railings, mirrors and waitresses in French maid style outfits. There are no bookings so there is inevitably a queue but once you are seated things move pretty fast with the only choice being how you want your steak cooked (and even then I am not sure they would tolerate someone asking for well done) and whether you want wine.
|The main deal – steak, frites and red wine|
A token green salad with lashings of mustard vinaigrette and walnuts is served first then comes the steak and frites. The steak is served slice and slathered in Le Relais secret sauce which is a slight twist on a Hollondaise. It’s not Hawksmoor or Goodman quality steak but it is pretty good particularly for the price of £21 for the two courses. There are two servings of the steak per person ensuring that everyone gets their protein hit for the day.
|The amazing Vacherin|
If you have room, and lets face it, most people won’t, the desserts trolley is excellent at Le Relais and worth investing in. Particularly Le Vacherin (£4.95) an amazing confection of chocolate, meringue and cream or of course the classic crème brûlée (£4.55).
Le Relais has mastered the fast food approach to fine dining and while I am generally not a fan of fast food or chain restaurants, but I have to admit I am prepared to make an exception for Le Relais steak frites. I look forward to indulging more in France.
Details: Le Relais de Venise L’Entrecôte, 120 Marylebone Lane, London W1U 2QG (+44 (0)20 7486 0878) Tube: Baker Street