Ask any Londoner, they will most likely have a list of restaurants on their phone or in a notebook or in their heads, that they want to visit in London. We are a foodie city! There are some fantastic restaurants and we are very lucky to live here. As a foodie blogger, I most definitely have a list and I feel very fortunate when I’m able to tick a restaurant off that list.
So when my OH wanted to buy me something for my birthday, I said instead of a present which I would obvs love and cherish but eventually will just take up room in my house, why not take me out in London, *someplace nice and make some memories?
*very expensive + fancy
As my birthday is on Valentine’s Day (I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned that before!!!) I thought we should go to a restaurant that was romantic. Where better than somewhere that was voted the most romantic restaurant in the world?
Clos Maggiore is located just off the infamous Covent Garden piazza, and if I had to judge it from the outside I probably would’ve walked straight past like I have done a million times before, because it’s very average-looking. We didn’t book very far in advance and so the dream of being seated in the gorgeous flower-covered ceilings with the wood panelling and twinkly lights, so I was kind of shocked to be led through a dreary looking corridor and was seated opposite a bar next to the till. Surrounding me were tables asking the same question: ‘Can we sit in the pretty dining room please?’
Unfortunately, there was no space because we should’ve booked about 6 months ago to sit in that particular area which was just fabulous. I wouldn’t have been too upset about it, had the food been over-the-top fucking fantastic. But it was not. Don’t get me wrong, it was good. Just not worthy of the £200 bill that we paid at the end of it.
The wine list is more like a book, there are some pretty expensive bottles in there so if you’re choosing anything over £80, you may as well choose the wine pairing which is £40pp.
We went for the tasting menu which is £65 each and consists of 5 courses. The starter was a cold dish of hand picked Dorset crab which was very tasty, the anchovy mayonnaise in particular had a real punch to it. The next course was foie gras which I’d never had before, not sure if I would ever order it in a restaurant again to be honest but it was well-cooked.
My favourite course was definitely the cod, it was topped with a herb and bacon crust and it was super fresh and just really delicious. The next course was a braised short rib but it was super heavy at that point in the meal for me and I find bone marrow sauce really over-powering so I didn’t like it as much. The dessert was amazing, it was a blackberry parfait which was very light and fresh, exactly what we needed after that heavy French meal.
All in all, it’s not the best food I’ve ever had and for the price we paid, I do feel like we paid more for the service and the location/reputation of the restaurant. I personally wouldn’t return, even if it was to sit in the ‘pretty dining room’, I feel like there are better places in London to try out.
Have you ever been to Clos Maggiore? What did you think?