Licence to grill: the Beaumont and Bond

Tom Moggach enjoys a glitzy late lunch before seeing the latest 007 movie

Thursday, 14th October 2021 — By Tom Moggach

Colony Grill Room Credit Cristian Barnett

The prawn cocktail at The Colony Grill. Photo: Christian Barnett

THE new Bond film, No Time To Die, is a national event – and the perfect excuse to dress up for dinner.

I dusted off my only suit for a late lunch at The Colony Grill, the revamped restaurant at The Beaumont hotel, before an early evening screening on the first day of release. A friend of mine went a step better – wearing black tie and a kilt to visit the multiplex in his local shopping centre.

The Colony Grill is undeniably a glitzy sort of place, serving dishes that reflect the transatlantic ambience of the hotel and its guests. The vibe is 1920s New York – sophisticated but not too stiff and fussy.

The whole building has just re-opened after the owners made the best of Covid to do a extensive refurbishment.
The hotel stands on a quiet garden square, a two-minute walk from Oxford Street. The restaurant is the back half of the ground floor.

We slid into our banquette in the dining room, decorated on three sides with abstract paintings of the four seasons.

The tablecloth, of course, is stiff linen and we spurted hand sanitiser from a faux golden dispenser.

Prices are high – but that’s as they should be. In fact, they seemed about right for the overall experience. Ingredients are high quality and the friendly staff serve with a theatrical flair.

A starter of beef tartare costs £12. But the waiter pushes a gleaming trolley to your table, set with dishes of chopped capers, chives and onions so they can mix it to order.

A New York shrimp cocktail, £18, was a knock-out: half a dozen huge prawns draped on the rim of an ice-filed china goblet, with torn leaves of white chicory and a spiced mayonnaise.

The salads here are from Crate to Plate, a new start up in Elephant and Castle, that grows sustainable, chemical- and pesticide-free produce in hydroponic tunnels.

For the main event, there are well-priced options such as a risotto with Jerusalem artichokes – a touch under £20 – topped with sunflowers seeds, truffle pesto and pickled sultanas.

Grilled British meat is a speciality: matured on site then cooked over English charcoal and carved at your table.

We shared a rib-eye with red wine bordelaise and a fillet of Scottish halibut, pan-fried until golden then brushed with buttered crab, served with a sauce of crab bisque.

Dinner at The Colony Grill is a special occasion, for sure. But you can also pop in for breakfast or weekend brunch, where the menu features buttermilk pancakes with smoked maple syrup and cured bacon or over-easy eggs with salt beef, hash brown and Portobello mushroom.

We finished off with a cocktail at their Le Magritte bar. Ordering a Martini seemed a step too far, but they made the perfect Manhattan – stirred not shaken.

The Colony Grill
The Beaumont
8 Balderton Street
Brown Hart Gardens, W1K
020 7499 9499

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