I was excited about my return to the Chiltern Firehouse. I got the reservation surprisingly easily; just a quick phone call and I was booked in at 7.30pm. Having said that, I'd had an inkling that my chances would be slightly better than usual being as it was the first Friday after New Year.
We arrived bright and early so we could enjoy a drink at the bar. I suggested we order two of their herb infused Vermouth cocktails, bringing back fond memories of Barcelona.
The restaurant was packed. Suddenly I was feeling blessed to have secured the reservation! Even better, we were given a fantastic spot at the bar surrounding the busy kitchen where we could sip our gorgeous Vermouth as we watched the young chefs buzzing around, prepping, basting and plating up. Always so fascinating to observe.
I've read some not-so-complimentary reviews of the Chiltern Firehouse recently but I was still feeling optimistic. After all, my experience had been so nice the last time I'd visited back in the summertime.
And lucky for us, each dish we ordered was delightful!
The famous crab donuts - which are kind of a must - confirmed that they're deserving of all the crabby hype. Here's a close up of one of those little gems...
And what followed didn't disappoint either. We had a few plates to share - pigeon, Caesar salad (which we were given for free as they brought it by mistake!), scallops, sea bass and duck - each one bursting with flavour and beautifully presented.
We asked our waiter for advice with our dessert decision. We knew we wanted The Carrot Chiltern - a deconstructed carrot cake - but what should accompany it? The creamy Milk & Honey was his answer, advising that the texture matching the carrot cake perfectly.
We got the corresponding dessert wines too! Why not!
They were completely yummy, different tastes and textures with every scrummy mouthful. The carrot cake was my favourite of the two; the spicy crunchy crumb combined with soft sponge cake was heavenly and who'd have thought horseradish ice-cream would work so well? Not I!
Alas, we didn't see any celebrities! Having said that, we were probably too busy talking and messing around to notice if George Clooney had been sat behind us the entire time.
The style is American cowboy saloon meets mountain game lodge. As we were lead by a very friendly staff member through the crowd to our table, we passed a large grizzly bear, a few stuffed beavers, a moose's head and several antlers. Not to mention some cowboys.
We were given a great table in the corner looking out on the bar and the dancefloor.
There was cowgirl line-dancing...
Like Disco, Beaver Lodge have those dazzling lit up menus which always strangely thrill me...I can't help but open and close the thing over and over like an eight year old child. We reviewed what was on offer and decided we were only going to order one cocktail for the night. We are good girls after all.
And this was it....The Mount Rushmore!
One cocktail. Four president's heads full of delightful fruity alcohol concoctions.
We loved it!
The music is a mix of Country & Western and Rock 'n' Roll early doors, later turning into house and hip hop. In other words, bloody great! Nightclubs don't appeal to me so much these days but I would always be tempted by a night at both Disco and Beaver Lodge. They help put the fun back into London clubbing.
Mary and I danced round our table until the early hours like we were back in Vegas!
Inception Group have done it again!