The Posh Ploughman's Platter
A brand new brunch right in the heart of Marylebone mixes hearty fare with refinery to create a relaxed and comfortable dining experience. I went along to try it out.
The Reform Social & Grill is a hidden sanctuary, just a few minutes away from the hellish thoroughfare of Oxford Street.
The restaurant and bar at the Mandeville Hotel takes its queues from the heritage from the area and is inspired by traditional gentlemen’s clubs. In its efforts to embody the “quintessentially British” the menu encapsulates everything English.
The three course meal, which will cost you £30 a head, begins with a ploughman’s platter, which was loaded with delicious treats. Favourites included the battered pickled onion rings, the mouth-wateringly gelatinous ham hock pressing and the piece de resistance, a hay baked wheel of Tunsworth cheese with sourdough for dipping. This platter was so filling that it was a squeeze to fit in the main (although we managed – it was so hard to resist).
Next up was roast pork belly, which was served with very nice cauliflower cheese, roast potatoes and parsnips, and a Yorkshire pudding drizzled with gravy.
Roast pork belly
When it seemed impossible to be sated further a tower of deserts was presented. All the British favourites appeared including an amazingly rich sticky toffee pudding (thankfully minus the sultanas – who likes those anyway?) with clotted cream ice cream and a pineapple upside down cake with tropical coconut ice cream. There was an inventive take on the classic apple crumble, a whole baked apple was stuffed with a sweet filling and topped with biscuit.
From top: apple crumble, sticky toffee pudding, Bakewell tart
We were also treated to a cocktail masterclass. Social has created a new cocktail for every month of the year, designed to treat whatever malady comes with the month. It may be self-medication, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be glamorous – or delicious. We learnt to make February’s cocktail, a twist on the old fashioned designed to cure lonely hearts. Incorporating marmalade jam, I’m not I would recommend this drink as a long-term solution to heartbreak. Short-term, however, I think it would be absolutely adequate.
The Mandeville Hotel is located in the heart Marylebone, so if the weather is fine you can digest your mammoth brunch while strolling around the grounds of London’s most famous parks, Hyde Park and Regents Park.
Here is a look back to an exhibition by one my favouite London-based sculptors at the White Chapel Gallery. Upritchard was born in New Zealand but lives and works in the capital.
These pieces are quite a departure from Upritchard's usual dark, almost creepy commentary on social themes, which has been described as 'contemporary voodoo' - inspired as it is by the conventions of horror.
These papier-mâché dinosaurs are inspired by craft traditions from Brazil and New Zealand and, although somewhat gnarled, have an element of sweetness about them.That is because these creatures were designed to appear in the Whitechapel Gallery's annual Children's Commission.