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|Address:||18-18a Bruton Place, London W1J 6LY|
|Tel:||020 3544 6870|
|Price: £62.00||Wine: £29.00||Champagne: £65.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Fri 12N-2.30pm Mon-Sat 7-10.30pm|
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It's like the recession never happened here. But it's also like the boom never happened either because Bellamy's is still sitting snugly in the early 80s and yet to suffer the highs and lows of the Nineties and Naughties. If you are a hedgie of a certain age who hasn't lost it all yet in European bonds (or perhaps are just about to and fancy one last taste of the old life) then this is the place for you. The welcome here is warm and genteel, “Ah, Mr X, lovely to see you again. Your usual table? Your usual wine?”. The latter will be something French, as that's all that's on offer, but fortunately the wine list is long enough to keep most people happy. Everything is smothered in a comforting layer of butter like a gastro security blanket. A simple asparagus dish hits the spot. The recommended Dover Sole sits, gently fried, atop some unintimidating, slightly anaemic looking, skinless boiled potatoes, with great dollops of spinach and beans as sides. The rhubarb crumble is just that: deliciously sharp bits of rhubarb under a thin crumb. Portions, seen through our American super-size-me glasses, look as if they have been subjected to austerity measures but they are just in keeping with the cuisine's 70s heritage. The meal is a study in straightforward, old style cooking. Service is friendly, but discreet. The clientele consists primarily of classic lunchtime suits. In proper 80s style, I don't get to see the bill as I'm a lady, but I'm guessing the pricing is somewhat more modern, given that my starter was £11.50 and the fish £26. I am astonished that Bellamy's was in fact only established in 2004. My astonishment fades when I am told its founders are all ex-Annabels. Ah, that explains that then.