The Grill at The Dorchester reopened in 2014 after a full and very imaginative redesign by interiors genius Bruno Moinard, who has created a sexy, grown-up dining space.
My meal was a sensory and gustatory feast: Coates & Seely sparkling Rosé Brut Britagne was a perfect aperitif: cranberries and strawberries in this subtle blend of Pinots Noir and Meunier. Followed by a delicious Westcombe Cheddar Soufflé starter, served on a bed of grapes, celery and walnuts. Baked twice this is a light yet nourishing dish with fabulous Somerset cheddar. I’m a huge soufflé fan so was delighted to see further soufflés on the dessert options. But more of that later.
Pan-seared turbot with root vegetables – fine shavings of carrot and parsnip and onion – was a delectable main. The perfectly cooked turbot a tender chunky fish I savoured slowly. The accompanying wine was an excellent Jaboulet Crozes-Hermitage Domaine Mule Blanche – equal parts Roussanne and Marsanne – from the southern Rhône.
Deciding on a significant pause before dessert, my vision turned from gustatory appreciation to the interior design of The Grill. It’s a beautiful space. Cool, yet warm and sexy with the sophisticated bar to my left and the open kitchen straight ahead. Its main feature is an impressive hand-blown Murano glass chandelier, the centrepiece to a warm palette of marble, copper and zinc, set against soft butterscotch leather furnishings and oak parquet flooring. The vertical wall panels on one side change colour from day to night, creating an ambiance perfectly suited to both.
But design aesthetics paled into comparison when my heavenly Sicilian pistachio/salted caramel soufflé arrived. Just one of four special dessert soufflés (choose from Gingerbread and orange, Sao Tome Chocolate 75% or Diplomatico ‘Reserva’ rum with raisin ice cream). Genius idea. Totally orgasmic.
Alain Ducasse’s protégé Guillaume Katola has created new seasonal menus from grill favourites alongside the restaurant’s signature blue lobster chowder with meat, fish and veggie options. And of course, the divine soufflé menu.
Although tempting, I eschewed a nightcap in the bar, instead of retiring with my Petit Guiraud 2013 Sauternes to my Belgravia Suite. Warm, satisfied and feeling very well cared for.
Breakfast can be taken either in your suite; in the long, elegant Promenade room with its grand piano or The Grill. I opted for another Grill visit with its cornucopia of breakfast treats laid out on both sides: cereals, fruits, juices, pieces of bread, meats and cheeses. As well as extensive à la carte hot options. The cheese omelette was exceptional. Ditto the coffee.
I worked off my favourite meal of the day in the Fitness Studio, taking full advantage of the TechnoGym resistance and cardio equipment and attempted to lift a heavy medicine ball.