Clos Maggiore

Star Travel Rating

4/5

Review type

Things to do

Location

Date of travel

March, 2020

Product name

Clos Maggiore

Product country

London

Product city

London

Travelled with

Reasons for trip

“Clos Maggiore”:https://www.closmaggiore.com/ in Covent Garden claims it’s the world’s most romantic restaurant. Unfortunately, I wasn’t dining there with the love of my life, but two girlfriends belatedly celebrating a birthday. They’d both eaten there several times and couldn’t believe I’d never been.

The restaurant is said to be influenced by the stylish country inns of Provence and Tuscany. It’s particularly noted for its beautiful blossom-covered conservatory at the rear of the restaurant and, although there’s only seven tables, cleverly positioned windows, make it feel larger. Although we were there for lunch, it’s easy to imagine how it would look at night with overhead fairy lights twinkling amongst the blossom. Other tables are located in a wood panelled area on the ground floor or a small dining room on the first floor, but a table in the conservatory is key. Our Italian waitress told us that people reserve up to a year in advance to be guaranteed the all-important table at dinner.

Although we’d not booked that far in advance, we ate at 1.30pm, and were shown to a corner table next to the realistic, but artificial, log fire which kept me wonderfully cosy.

The restaurant offers several set menus including weekday set lunch menu, weekend lunch, pre-theatre, post-theatre etc. Samples of all are on the “website”:https://www.closmaggiore.com/menus/. This is probably just as well, as the a la carte is expensive and paying between £13 and £20 for a starter and over £30 for a main, would remove any hint of romance.

The weekday set lunch menu however is good value with two courses for £25 or three for £29. This includes a glass of bubbles, or for £4 you can substitute the bubbles for half bottle of wine. This is excellent bearing in mind that fixed-price menus which appear good value and lure you in, can then be ruined by an eye-wateringly expensive wine list.

There’s complimentary bread with a choice of brown, white or parmesan focaccia which was very light. I started with a smooth and velvety celeriac and shallot soup which was delicious and came with two tiny pieces of what I would describe as cheese on toast. The others chose a goose liver pate which was said to be excellent. I continued my vegetarian theme with porcini risotto arancini which were stuffed and topped with taleggio cheese, and served with pecan nuts, roasted shallots, fennel and tender stem broccoli. Also chosen were sea bream and roasted venison with a side of truffle mash venison which was incredibly smooth and silky.

I was very full, but the others chose desserts that were delightfully and artistically arranged.

The service is excellent and although formal, they’re also fun with the waiter describing our tap water as “Eau d’Thames”. Our glasses were constantly replenished, and our wine husbanded well.

On our way to the elegant loos with hand flannel towels, we passed a huge and wonderful floral display on the landing.

On leaving, our coats were automatically brought out as they’re obviously attached to the table number, therefore removing the need for tokens that you inevitably misplace.

Having had such a wonderful experience, I left finding it hard to believe I’d never been before. But next time, sorry girls, but I’ll be going with my partner.

Helen Jackson

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