Friday, 28 October 2011

The Cellar Bar at Alfred Dunhill:EB Perfection

The stately pile

Has your partner ever chosen a department store over you? On a Saturday morning does a pair of Louboutins at Selfridges (or the whole shoe lounge) win out over your sterling personality? I can at times empathise with the feeling. But what to do when your fashion cred is down and you need a cup of joe to cheer you on your way (and let me admit, clothes or shoe shopping is not for me and I would always rather take the cup of joe than hit the shops).

Central Mayfair (near Selfridges) is not an area I think of when I consider great brunch venues. Fitzrovia has Riding House Cafe, Marylebone has Providors and Soho has a plethora of Aussie/NZ cafes offering the best coffee this town can fathom. Mayfair is for hedge funds and those who wear braces, pin stripe suits and cardinal red socks. But the times they are partially changing.
A secret garden
For many years now, I have wondered past a perfectly formed Georgian mansion in Mayfair that offers the most impossible of things - a secret garden behind a high brick fence, that is actually open to the public for brunch or a tipple or two. So recently, I wondered in and found it to be Dunhill's flagship store. It doesn't offer' cutting edge modernist design or fusion food gone wild, but perfectly executed eggs (and more) in a supremely comfortable setting that would make Lord Grantham smile.
A comfortable, slightly cool interior

The Cellar Bar has a limited and a pretty traditional jolly hockey sticks kind of menu - think bacon rolls, granola and poached fruit or eggs florentine, benedict or arlington (that's the one with smoked salmon - who knew). Sounds not terribly compelling stuff? Think you should just lounge at Pret? Don't. I am going to make a bold statement - The Cellar Bar at Alfdred Dunhill might just make some of the best eggs benedict in central London. It's all about great produce being cooked to perfection: think faultlessly poached organic eggs, hand carved ham, muffins on the right side of toasted and a hollandaise sauce offering the ultimate balance of buttery, lemony, vinegary tastiness. Throw in the fact that you can sit in the garden, that the eggs are a reasonable £8 (remember this is Mayfair) and that the wait staff are friendly and helpful to a fault then you have a winning combination. The only fault, and OK it might be a substantial one, is that the coffee is just well OK and at £3.50 is highway robbery. There is no kick in their cup (something that they really need to rectify to fulfill those Dunhill brand values of offering a fashion conscious urban perspective).
These are damn fine eggs

There is no kick in that cup!

So the next time Ms P leaves me on a Saturday morning for a red-soled boot or a Beatrix Ong heel, then I know where I will be heading (as long as they improve the coffee).

The Cellar Bar @ Alfred Dunhill
2 Davies Street
Mayfair, London W1K 3DJ
T: +44 845 458 0779

The Cellar Bar at Alfred Dunhill on Urbanspoon

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