Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Not so long ago our friends at Gordon Ramsay invited us to come and have a tour around some of their amazing restaurants. We started our tour where it all began, at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay on Royal Hospital Road, which is the longest running three Michelin starred restaurant in London. The restaurant is very brightly lit with a chic interior, designed by David Collins. It’s capable of seating between 40 and 45 people and is available for exclusive takeovers. They take bookings for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday, but once a month they open at the weekend for their exclusive Master classes! The classes are hosted by the head chef and offer 12 people a real hands on morning in the kitchen where they will receive detailed tuition for each dish and how they can be re-created at home for a dinner party. Each course demonstrates a number of techniques and the class is suitable for guests of all abilities. Following this intensive session within the kitchen, the guests are then invited to enjoy lunch in the dining room at 12.30pm where additional friends family or colleagues are invited to join the party.
After we’d finished nosing around Royal Hospital Road we headed down to Gordon Ramsay at Claridges. Where in amongst the grand art deco setting I spotted British Boxing Legend Chris Eubank enjoying a spot of tea, apparently he’s quite a regular there. After I had finished explaining to the girls who Chris Eubank is we turned our attention to the private dining rooms. The private spaces are all at the back of the restaurant, and are all adjoining art deco salons. It’s a very versatile space, you could have a small group of up to 10 in the salon room or you could open up all the rooms for groups up to 60. Claridge’s is also home of the first chefs table in London, which offers a truly memorable experience where you won’t just see the action in the kitchen but you’ll get stuck in as well. On our way out we had a quick look at the wine list, which they keep on an iPad that you can use to search by type, price and age etc. They aren’t trying to be flashy it’s just so big that its either an iPad or a book the size of an encyclopedia.
After Claridge’s we popped around the corner to Maze and Maze Grill. We headed into the Grill first, it’s a beautiful space with a warm wood interior and a great view of Grosvenor Square. My favorite part of Maze Grill was the Butcher’s Block, it’s an elevated area separated from the main restaurant by a glass screen, great for those who like to be seen and not heard. The Butcher’s Block offers an interactive experience similar to the chefs table at Claridge’s, guests will get some time in the kitchen where you can really feel the temperature of their high heat boiler, Maze Grill is one of the only kitchens in the UK that uses one, it reaches temperatures of up to 650 °C!
Finally we headed into Maze for a glass of champagne at their beautiful bar. The main restaurant had quite dim lighting, which set a lovely mood and complimented the modern interior designed by David Rockwell. Maze have quite a few private dining spaces; there’s the Ballroom, which is massive, great for events like awards or social galas they can cater for 70 to 550 guests. Then there’s the Somerton Room and the Hampton Room. These are pretty much identical rooms, both very secluded from the main restaurant with a contemporary yet elegant interior and both seat up to forty on one long table. They also have the Dalby Room, which has the same décor as the Somerton and Hampton Room’s but is better suited to smaller groups seating up to ten on one round table. My personal favorite was the Maze View Room, it can seat up to 10 comfortably on a rectangular table and has a great view of the kitchen, I could of sat there all night watching them make those intricate looking deserts. The room is cocooned between the lively restaurant and the theatrical kitchen. The doors to the restaurant and kitchen can be closed, providing an intimate dining space and a more discreet service, with views of the bustling restaurant and kitchen as a back drop.
Overall it was a great evening, we saw some lovely spaces suitable for a multitude of occasions, if any of them whet your appetite we can see to it that you have both a special and memorable time.
Written by Ross Cassey, Lifestyle Enhancer