I’m at the Michelin-starred Angler restaurant in London’s South Place Hotel and I’m ready to declare it a triumph at the opening stage of bread and butter.
‘Stout Bread and Caramelized Yeast and Malt Butter’ has its own take on the tasting menu – and no wonder. The butter is so sublimely more like I could eat a scoop out of a cone.
The fine dining restaurant is an ace up the sleeve of South Place, but plays a strong hand all round.
The Angler restaurant on the seventh floor of the South Place Hotel offers a carousel of culinary masterpieces amid a skyscraper, seen inside Imax thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows. There is also a terrace option (photo)
Ted and his family check into a huge corner studio, pictured, with an elegant black and gray L-shaped sofa
South Place Hotel looks like an office from the outside, but inside it functions as a luxury hotel
The location is fantastic – trendy Shoreditch and Moorgate tube stations are a step away – and while it looks like an office building from the outside, inside it’s sophisticated, homely, hip, playful and even a little avant-garde thanks to the interior designers – the famous Conran and Partners.
In the public areas, the seating is plush, eclectic art fills shelving, bold paintings of voluptuous lips by contemporary artist Sara Pope line the walls, and bright inverted flowers embellish lighting fixtures.
In our huge corner studio, the tone is more muted, the styling swish. There’s an elegant black-and-grey L-shaped sofa with lime-colored cushions, striking lamps hanging on either side of the bed – which is huge and plush – and there’s a marble and slate-clad bathroom with an oversized walk-in shower and a similarly epic bath. .
There’s technology, too: touch-screen mood lighting, a giant Bang & Olufsen TV and blackout curtains that pop out of the floor at the touch of a button.
I am with my partner and our young daughter and the room turns out to be a wonderfully luxurious box for her and the nanny.
We leave them with room service pasta and descend to the ground floor bar for a pre-fisher tasting menu.
The bathroom in Ted’s suite (pictured) is clad in marble and slate and has an oversized walk-in shower and epic soaking tub
The ground floor bar (pictured) makes carefully crafted cocktails. Fancy something with a kick? Try an ‘El Diablo’ (chili-infused Gem and Bolt Mezcal, citrus and protein)
Bold paintings of voluptuous lips by contemporary artist Sara Pope line the walls of South Place Hotel
The hotel’s Michelin star package costs from £395 and includes a five-course tasting menu at Angler. Pictured is the chef’s table of the restaurant
LEFT: One of the snacks Ted is treated to – a fried shrimp and squid cracker served with taramasalata – made from smoked cod roe – Espelette pepper powder and lemon zest. RIGHT: A slice of Newlyn cod with an ornate diorama of Scottish girolles, line-caught squid and Alsatian grass gravy
LEFT: Cornish mackerel tartare with oyster cream (Ted has the sea bass version). RIGHT: A Black Forest dark chocolate cake with cherry blossom ice cream
Ted and his family were hosted by South Place Hotel, where rooms cost from £200. The hotel’s Michelin star package costs from £395 and includes:
- Overnight stay on Friday or Saturday
- Half bottle of champagne in your room on arrival
- Five-course tasting menu with Michelin stars in Angler
- £50 shared breakfast allowance at the South Place Chop House
My partner drinks an ‘El Diablo’ (chili infused Gem and Bolt Mezcal, citrus and protein) while I have a margarita.
We sit in silence and enjoy our expertly crafted drinks as we adjust to the feeling of having a moment to ourselves.
Then we ascend to Angler on the seventh floor for a carousel of culinary masterpieces amid a skyscraper, viewed in Imax through floor-to-ceiling windows.
After the bread and butter – and an aperitif from Arteis & Co Brut Champagne 2008 – we are served several delicious ‘snacks’.
There is a fried shrimp and squid cracker served with taramasalata – made from smoked cod roe – Espelette pepper powder and lemon zest.
We also get heavenly crispy pork brawns – pork balls cut from the head and deep-fried in breadcrumbs – topped with a scoop of roasted apple ketchup.
Then onto small tarts made of savory pastry topped with caramelized onion ketchup, chives and black garlic emulsion, and finished with Beaufort cheese fondue.
Executive Chef Gary Foulkes then caps off the snack feast with Beaufort gougères, made from rice flour pastry, filled with a Beaufort cheese and finished with grated Beaufort cheese on top.
This is followed by a sea bass tartare with a delicious oyster cream sauce, followed by a slice of Newlyn cod with an ornate diorama of Scottish girolles, line-caught squid and Alsatian grass gravy.
To finish, it’s a crushed peach, lemon thyme and yogurt pink praline – and a dark Black Forest chocolate cake with cherry blossom ice cream, artfully arranged on a plate decorated with a painting of a tree to create a miniature forest landscape.
It’s a huge struggle to enjoy it and not blow it up in seconds.
The paired wines we have meanwhile are strong, with a rounded and fruity English number, a 2019 D&D Cru Bacchus Fume (Bacchus is the grape), the most impressive.
And it’s one of the hotel’s own concoctions – D&D London is the company that owns it.
The service, meanwhile, is faultless throughout – and I enjoy watching the choreography involved, a team of waiters bringing trays of food from the kitchen to the restaurant perimeter and another team putting the dishes on the table.
Compliments to the chefs are offered as we leave.
Later I understand that Gary is aiming for a second Michelin star.
I’d say he’s on track.
Angler’s Executive Chef Gary Foulkes, who oversees a sophisticated operation with ‘faultless service’
In the mornings, breakfast at the ground floor South Place Chop House restaurant is pleasant but less sophisticated, with loud pop music and the chef oscillating between raucous laughter and berating various staff in the background.
It’s all a bit tumultuous, I feel for a morning in a swanky hotel (especially after our Bacchus indulgences and staying up a bit late the night before), though the crowd is young and comfortable with the beats – and the coffee is good, service fast and fragmented and my full english very satisfactory.
We check out and agree that this hotel disguised as an office building…is the business.