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Offering the equivalent of a “food cuddle” from a very high-class hugger, Le Gavroche promises an “exceptional” blend of fine detailing and transporting luxury, supported by staff who understand how to comfort and surprise – one reader reports a “life-changing” encounter with the restaurant’s iconic soufflé suissesse and its “cheesy double-cream background”. Confident that it will “never disappoint”, regulars head for the all-inclusive business lunch (too good to waste on deal-making) or the inevitably big-spend carte, with wine matching provided by a supremely knowledgeable team. There’s pride in the obscure end of the classic French canon (poached and roasted veal head with sweetbreads, for example), but the kitchen also brings other influences to bear in specialities such as Arabian-spiced stone bass with fennel, red rice and meat jus or Amedei chocolate truffle with peanut brittle, caramel and banana. “One hundred per cent perfect – a must-go”, concludes a fan of this two-Michelin-starred aristocrat.
Unfortunately for John Lewis, Monty the penguin – this year’s insufferable advent of the festive season and the repugnant herald of Christmas – didn’t, as he has with many, whip me into stiff, frenzied peaks of excitement for the big day. It did, however, remind me that this year is going to be as big and as expensive as ever and so for that reason, I went for lunch at Le Gavroche.At this time of year Le Gavroche is far from miserable. It’s jolly festive, a portal to a cheery Christmas past (a ghostless one in a Dickensian sense but in no way lacking spirit) as warm and welcoming as your grandparents’ living...
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