24 June – My Facebook post went as follows:
We celebrated by heading NORTH BY NORTHWEST to Leytonstone, via Hollow Pond to see THE BIRDS. The going was flat, so we didn’t suffer from VERTIGO and fortunately, didn’t encounter any PSYCHOs. Checking in for lunch went without HITCH or COCK-up. We were served by the right man as opposed to THE WRONG MAN and his name wasn’t REBECCA. However, I CONFESS, that THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY was that he kept refilling our glasses. We came home via the 257 bus and sat on the top deck, and as there was no TORN CURTAIN, we could look out of the REAR WINDOW.
The reason was an anniversary lunch at “The Hitchcock Hotel”:https://www.thehitchcockhotel.com/ on Whipps Cross Road, Leytonstone. The great man was born in Leytonstone and was said to be a frequenter of the place, which was named after him. My London born partner remembers it as the Sir Alfred Hitchcock Hotel, during its various incarnations: the place where you took someone on a smart date, and then a rather seedy, run-down night club before it appeared to close down.
Recently, it has being reopened and restored by a team who rumour has it, were involved with The Ivy in Central London.
I’d seen good reviews on Facebook, and having booked, received both an email confirmation, and reminder the day before, which was all very professional.
As it was a sunny, but not too hot day, we walked the 2 miles there and sat outside at one of the long, sturdy picnic benches in front of the hotel, although there is a covered terrace for poor weather.
The “menu”:https://www.therearwindow.co.uk/food-menu.php is relatively short and simple as it only opened on 10 April, and has yet to open it’s indoor restaurant, The Rear Door, and its 30 or so rooms. We thought burgers were a little boring for a special lunch, although virtually all the other customers were opting for them.
Instead we chose sharing plates, starting with a red pepper hummus with crudites and bread and a scotch egg. Both were beautifully presented with the crudites consisting of heritage baby carrots in varying colours, cucumber sticks and large radishes, whilst the Scotch egg, with its slightly runny yolk, sat on a trendy swirl of Dijon mayonnaise.
We then followed with a cured salmon salad served on a bed of daikon (Japanese radish) and soused in a lovely fresh citrus dressing and garnished with crisp fried onions for texture, herbs and edible flowers. It looked stunning and tasted light and fresh.
In complete contrast, Korean barbeque chicken were moist pieces of chicken fried and garnished with chillies, spring onions and sesame seeds and accompanied by a fiery sauce for dipping.
We were having such a lovely time, we naughtily opted for a second bottle of rose (very reasonably priced at £22.50) and a plate of cheese (a cheddar, blue and brie) served with charcoal crackers, pear and ginger chutney and celery.
The service was impeccable and absolutely outstanding and the sort you’d find in a smart, fine dining restaurant. We had starched linen napkins, our cutlery and plates were changed between courses, the wine was poured for us and kept cool in a proper ice bucket (replete with white cloth) which was changed for our second bottle. Iced tap water was automatically provided on arrival and constantly refreshed, and the dishes were described when served.
We really couldn’t have had a better experience, hence the five stars, and cannot wait for the full restaurant to open.