We had our work's Christmas do last night. There's only three of us so we always just go for drinks and dinner somewhere new. As the years pass we've dropped the nightclub part of the evening and started to dress more for the weather than the season and last night the silver shoes and skirts were replaced by trousers and boots which considering we started with a walk over a bitterly cold bridge to my favourite London building, the Royal Festival Hall was no bad thing.
Skylon is a stunning bar and restaurant with an amazing view over a twinkling Thames. The service is good, the cocktails are fabulous (I had a Marcus Way and a NZpolitan) but something is not quite right. It's a tiny bit flat, a little bit cold maybe. Years ago we'd been before when it was The People's Palace and it wasn't quite right then either. Some places just never are.
The exact opposite can be said about Great Queen Street where we had our dinner reservation. From the moment we opened the door and stepped from the cold into the cosy hustle and bustle, the wafts of roasting meat surrounding us, there was an unmistakable feeling that you're somewhere a bit special. We take seats at the bar, study the menu and sip a glass of Prosecco as we wait for our table. We ask the barman what he recommends and as he talks about his favourite dishes, we all fall quiet. "There's something about that bar man isn't there" one of us whispers. "Mmm" we other two reply, unable to look up in case we catch his eye and fall off our stools.
Tom Norrington-Davies is the chef/owner and he's a Peckham lad. I only know him a bit, his books line up next to ours in the window of the local Review book shop and he writes often for delicious magazine of which one of us, Angela, is the food editor so she knows him well. He sends Maldon oysters to our table which is a great start. Most of the things on the menu are for sharing, rib steak, bearnaise and chips for two, a leg of lamb for four and even a 'goose feast' for eight! It's tricky for three but we share a steak pie for two (which would have served four) and a confit of belly pork followed by pear sorbet with a cheese biscuit, a yummy muscat creme caramel and St James cheese. Anyway, the food is fabulous, it's very reasonably priced and the service is excellent but there is something more than all of that here - I think it might be passion. Anyway, you should go there - it's not posh, it is very dark and rather romantic so take your loved one and share a pie.
Anyway, Saturday Night Fever was 30 years old yesterday, so we're going to have a dance to this before we set off for the Frost Fair this morning...