When the Mandarin Oriental emailed Miss Jones a couple of days ago to invite us to Lunch at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, our response was a foregone conclusion.
The restaurant is renowned for being about as easy to book into as getting Heston himself to cook dinner for you and the kids in your semi-detached one evening, and now having dined there, it's easy to understand why. They have used the natural surrounding scenery to great effect, with large windows over looking Hyde Park, allowing natural light to spill in while guests enjoy the view. The interior has a neo-classical feel; dark wood with high ceilings so as to overcome the claustrophobic effect that can have, the right amount of space between tables (not too private, not too 'sat in your lap'), and a glass partition meaning one can watch in awe as the chef sears those scallops, and the pineapple is slowly roasted on a spit for the Tipsy Cake (highly recommended!).
The food itself is the star of the show. The menu has a very quaint feel, what with the Victorian recipe influences, which creates a perfect balance with the modern surroundings. Each dish has the date of which it was first discovered, and even the menu holder gives a little historical tit-bit for diners to enjoy. The exquisite Rice and Flesh was my personal favourite; the saffron, which can be overpowering if even slightly too much is used, was perfectly fused with the rice and calf tail, and the light, slightly smoky, Spanish white wine was a wonderful accompaniment.
For my main I took the advice of our server, David, and had the Spiced Pigeon - and it did not disappoint. The meat was almost like chocolate, the way it melted on my tongue, and even the roasted carrots were like nothing I'd ever tasted, so I gleefully announced to my fellow diners that there was a party in my mouth! The party didn't stop there - the desserts were brought out and a stunned silence gripped the table. Not one of us wanted to cut into the dessert first, it would be like stabbing the Mona Lisa in the face, but boy were we glad we did. It went from party to full on festival, and by this point, the Miss Jones collective were set to broken record. 'Thank you, thank you, so wonderful, thank you, how can we thank you, so beautiful' etc. I'm surprised Isabella didn't have Justina, Henrietta and I forcibly removed from the building. Just one more indication of the incredible hosting that the Mandarin Oriental, and Dinner, never fail to deliver.
So book yourself in, when you can, and make sure it's through Miss Jones...