‘If you were about to die, what would be your last ever dinner choice? ’
Much murmuring and muttering from around the table, a few shrieks of ‘George Clooney’s elbows!’ and ‘make mine Liam Neeson!’ and then a resounding agreement: the food we had all just had the pleasure of tucking into at Marcus Wareing would be a very strong contender.
At the start of the evening we were welcomed (with Champagne, of course) into the Pomerol Room, the private dining area at Marcus Wareing. Canapés were served before we were seated while guests ‘worked the room’, and the ever hawk eyed Marcus Wareing team made sure that no glass was empty and no delectable morsel untouched. There was a slightly awkward moment for me, however:
‘Wow, they look amazing! What are they?’ I said, blissfully un-suspecting.
‘Oh, I don’t know? They look like they’ve been bathed in white chocolate!’ replied my equally un-suspecting fellow diner.
‘Ooh, I’m going to try one.’
As I reached for the source of seduction, a not so un-suspecting fellow diner slapped my hand away, looking appalled.
It transpired that what I was about to take a big bite into was actually the butter. Well, I thought, if the butter looks that good I think we’re in for a night of fabulous food. I wasn’t disappointed:
We were seated and presented with our menus, all signed by Marcus himself, which, I admit, I got rather over-excited about (I may or may not have taken 3 home with me…), but the real star of the show, and it goes without saying, was the food. Tomato juice as I’d never seen it before, almost crystal clear, as an amuse bouche; Quail and pea puree followed by Cornish Pollock in the most delectable Vanilla dressing; and my favourite of the night: an Earl Grey parfait with milk and caramelised honey. Oh, I could relive that moment over and over again: caressing my stomach, probably in quite a disturbing manner, taking my time over the dessert before me, it was heaven on a sable (The short cookies, not the fur).
Après dinner, during coffee and herbal-infused-tea time, we decided to walk off the meal with a tour of the kitchen (which, by the way, is offered to all private diners) and to meet the artists who make Marcus Wareing so deservedly popular. I caught a glimpse of the Chef’s table, perfectly placed to observe the kitchen theatrics but still private enough to debate to pros and cons of Rafa Nadal’s bum, and admired the shining silver surfaces of the kitchen where the proverbial ‘magic happens’.
We were eventually joined by Marcus himself and the whole table transformed from formidable business women to simpering little girls in one battering of Marcus’ eyelashes. His recipe books were generously given out to all of us, and Marcus most graciously signed personal messages into each one (I not so much hinted but bellowed that it was my 25th birthday next week…) and we were able to chat recipes and family with him and his wife, Jane, who had joined us for dinner, for the remainder of the evening.
It was the most wonderful evening and not just from a foodies point of view; the little extras we were given, the conscientiousness of the Marcus Wareing team, and the hysterical laughter inducing company on the night made the experience extra special.