EAT - DRINK - BE MERRY
So youíre in central London, Regents Street say on a Saturday lunchtime, and youíve been doing a bit of shopping and Hamleys is too much to bear and youíre feeling a bit peckish. Well obviously you could go for a panini in Costa, or a sandwich, or even a MacDonalds. But letís just say you fancy a nice, little, well priced restaurant for three courses and a bottle of wine, what are your options?
Well thereís Sketch, if you can get a table, and oh yes, I said well priced didnít I? OK what about Hibiscus, no, although itís great and has a really well priced set lunch, itís a bit too high end with their two Michelin Stars. What you need is Wild Honey. Not far off Regents Street, an intimate oak panelled galley of a restaurant, eat at the bar for the sweet and savoury menu or do like the Mrs and I did, book a table.
On a Saturday it seems to be full of ladies who lunch with their delightfully scrummy daughters, mothers and sons and a few business types. The set lunch menu is compact but at £18.95 is great value for a Michelin Star restaurant. The menu ran like this: starters potato soup (I beg your pardon, isnít that just really watery mash? - er no actually itís really good intense potato flavour with a mushroom duxelle - er isnít that really a mushroom soup? Well, yes sort of but it was very nice) or pressed chicken and smoked eel. Mains were risotto of wild sea bass and venison cottage pie and for afters there was a floating island or a piece of cheese.
Strangely for us the Mrs and I went for different options on each course, so we had the lot. The potato soup was a triumph, the chicken and smoked eel light but intense. The risotto was really green, the greenest green Iíve ever seen, and for no real reason it seemed, it was delicious but it didnít taste of green. My cottage pie was full of flavour and a great use of leftovers. I will always order a floating island when I see one, I love it, and I loved this one, so much that the table next to me sensed my delight and ordered it too. The Mrs had the cheese, this seems like an anti-climax but it wasnít, I think itís a really good idea to have one of the house cheeses on the set lunch menu.
This is not Wild Honeyís only good idea. All of their wines (with the exception of the really pricey ones) are available in a third of a bottle carafes. This means that you can select a good selection of wines to match you courses at an affordable price. Another good idea is the Sweet And Savoury menu available at the bar, good nibble and drinks at a good price in a wonderful environment.
Oh yes, Wild Honey is the name of a play by Anton Chekhov and it would be his 150th birthday. Good work Anton, and good work Wild Honey.
I have since revisited Wild Honey (Dec 2010) for lunch with my Mum, and apart from being very crowded it maintained its high standards, the cheese-board was excellent as was a really imaginative pear and prosecco aperitif.