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A classic selection but an exceptionally good one, sommelier Michael Deschamps has managed to put together an awesome range of wines without succumbing to the temptation simply to buy anything that looks expensive. As well as some terrific wines from classic French regions, there are flashes of inspiration from Spain and California as well that give it real personality, as well as bling.
Two Michelin starred Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley Hotel recently underwent an extensive refurb including, a name change to Marcus, in the hope of making it a much more relaxed affair. We had a brilliant lunch there a couple of years ago so when I received an invitation to review the new place, I jumped at the chance.The new look Marcus was a rather attractive one; it felt far less austere than it used to be. Gone were the purple felt walls and the champagne trolley and instead were bare tables (possibly too bare?) with crisp white tablecloths, dark wood panelled walls and plenty of natural light...
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I used to go to that Marcus Wareing place in the Berkeley Hotel when it was a dead posh gaff, with its dark velvet walls and more waiters than you could shake a stick at, not that I’m in the business of shaking sticks at waiters. It was proper faine daining, with its two glittering Michelin stars, fabulous wine waiter and gloriously camp sweetie-chariot, from which you could choose a little going-home present, the demise of which causes deep sadness to this day.And some truly memorable meals there, mostly dinners, including a brilliant dish of cauliflower, seven ways and a pasta dish with vegetables embedded...
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The importance of first impressions permeate many aspects of life. My first impression of Marcus will probably be one I won’t forget in a long time, simply because it’s seldom that staff (particularly at restaurants of this calibre) acknowledge your work, never mind beam with pride at the thought of you critiquing theirs. The man himself, Marcus Wareing, needs little introduction; most of you will know him from judging Masterchef: The Professionals, a position that the Southport-born chef seamlessly took over from the much-revered Michel Roux Jr. last year, or from his various appearances on Great...
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