While in London celebrating my 40th birthday with friends, I was also on assignment for Today’s Bride magazine, researching an article on royal-themed honeymoons. One of my goals was to check out restaurants and pubs that one of the young royals (William, Kate or Harry) has been known to visit.
One stop was Clos Maggiore, a French restaurant in Covent Garden where Kate was once seen dining with her mother and sister Pippa (also voted World’s Most Romantic Restaurant). After yet another amazing day as tourists, we got all dressed up and headed out to dine.
Not to spoil things for any Today’s Bride readers, but I can tell you that this incredible restaurant will have a great recommendation in my magazine piece. In addition, however, I just had to share our personal experience at Clos Maggiore here on This Mom Loves because the three of us agree that it was our best restaurant meal ever (and I’ve been to a lot of restaurants).
Before even mentioning the food, the out-of-this-world service must be discussed. We were greeted warmly, directed to the lounge to wait for our table (we had arrived early) and offered cocktails. It seemed like several people were involved in keeping us happy throughout the evening – someone with bread, the sommelier who was able to choose a wine to go with pasta, duck and beef, our server, and the list goes on. Note that when visiting somewhere for a review (which staff is aware of) I always make sure to look at how others are being treated, not just my party, and I can assure you that this attentive service was taking place at every table.
When shown to our spot in the cozy conservatory (there were seven tables in the room the evening we visited), it took my breath away. A photo of the conservatory, which gives you just a small idea of the beauty of the restaurant, is below.
Clos Maggiore is an oasis of calm in the heart of Covent Garden. Influenced by the stylish country inns of Provence and Tuscany the unique interiors create an unparalleled warmth and intimacy. The cherry blossomed adorned conservatory features a fully retractable glass roof creating a bright and airy dining space in summer months and in winter months it is transformed at night by candles, starlight and a crackling fire.
A note about the food at Clos Maggiore:
Influenced by the stylish country inns of Provence and Tuscany, Head Chef Marcellin Marc combines the freshest ingredients with a passion for bringing out inherent flavours in a contemporary approach to Provençal inspired dishes. Marcellin is committed to using locally sourced seasonal ingredients to create perfectly balanced menus which have been awarded three AA-rosettes since 2008.
As a very selective eater, I am certainly no food critic, but from our starters (Thinly Sliced Roasted Rump of Limousin Veal, Triple Cooked Chips, Hand Picked Dorset Crab Mayonnaise & Crushed Avocado) to mains (Hand Rolled Fresh Pappardella with Grated Fresh Truffle, Honey Glazed Breast of Goosnargh Duck & Crispy Duck Leg Pastilla, Slow Cooked Black Angus Short Rib of Beef; I can honestly say my beef was the best I have ever eaten – see my amateur photography below) to desserts (English Raspberries & Citrus Tart, Clos Maggiore Caramelised Valrhona Chocolate Sensation for two; I hope you won’t think me crass if I say OMG), we couldn’t come up with a single point of improvement for our meals. Everything was beautifully presented, but not in the artistic-yet-tiny-portioned sense that many high-end restaurant lean towards. By all accounts, the cocktails, wine and dessert wines (also chosen to go with what we had ordered) were absolutely perfect as well. One friend was so impressed by her gin and tonic that she went hunting for the same gin (Sacred, with grapefruit) while out shopping the next day.
I had mentioned months ago to my contact for the restaurant that I would be in town celebrating my birthday, and along with our ordered desserts they also discreetly delivered me a “Happy Birthday” plate with some extra sweet treats to enjoy.
I had to leave a bit earlier than my friends (I had an important event to get to, which I will talk about it another post) and I felt like a princess myself as staff hailed me a cab and opened the door for me. That personal touch makes such a world of difference.
In terms of pricing, this is definitely a special-occasion restaurant for middle-classers such as ourselves (and I wouldn’t bring the kids) but well worth it for those wanting to celebrate on a trip to London. I couldn’t have chosen a better place for my 40th birthday dinner with my friends, and I would highly recommend it.
You can find information including menus (there’s a pre- and post-theatre menu you may want to take note of), hours and online booking, on the Clos Maggiore website.
Disclosure: Our meal at Clos Maggiore was provided for review purposes. Opinions are, as always, my own.