Apsleys: Heinz Beck’s restaurant in London – glamourous and exquisite dining

Apsley's, detail (Photo: Apsley's archive)

Apsleys, detail (Photo: Apsley’s archive)

I’m very picky regarding food and places. There are quite some fashionable places where people more or less go to show off. Places where you have to be seen. I really don’t like them. I once even cancelled a date because the guy chose one of such places. Our choices are our mirrors. What is so wrong about those places? Most of them have nice looking food – too beautiful to be true but that dishes really taste like plastic – or better they have no real taste at all – or the combinations of tastes are vulgar and not equilibrated. So I always avoid such places in a big curve.

Then there are some places with excellent food and simply honest ambience . I prefer those second much more than the first ones. It’s like with people – character evokes in us emotions and leaves a trace, appearance instead leaves just a pale impression. So we better go for character.

But then there are moments when we wish to live like in a dream. Moments when we like to be specially spoiled, finding ourselves indulged with glamour, right measure of attention, enough intimacy and old fashioned charm. Finding such a place where food is as aristocratic as the ambience, is a rarity and whenever I find it, my heart gets attached to it and I am really looking forward to return. Apsleys is one of such precious jewels.

Wonderful interior of Apsleys (Photo: Apsley's archive)

Wonderful interior of Apsleys (Photo: Apsleys archive)

Ambient is glamorous and elegant, it looks like one of those wonderful places from the end of 19th / beginning of 20th century where it seems that time stands still, where every moment breaths greatness and pleasure and where you wouldn’t be surprised to meet some divas of those times like Sarah Bernhardt or Eleonora Duse or later the great Greta Garbo. So it is also not strange that quite some celebrities chose Apsley’s as one of their favourite restaurants – between them also modern times diva Nicole Kidman.

Service in Apsleys is outstanding. When I arrived I was surprised to be greeted in Slovenian language. Staff was informed about my arrival and since they knew that I’m Slovenian, they have given to my table Robert, who is Slovenian too, so I could order food and wines in my native language and feel even more relaxed. And relaxed is magical word! Even if Apsleys is very elegant place it’s not artificial – people are relaxed – staff and guests. Robert, who was serving us, is great – like also all other staff in the restaurant. They are very attentive about every detail, but they appear just and only when needed. Discretion and kindness of the highest level. Robert Dokler who was serving my table is now responsible of the private dining at Apsleys, so if you decide for a special celebration, contact him. I know he will do his best.

One of the dishes served at Apsley's (Photo: Apsley's archive)

One of the dishes served at Apsle’s (Photo: Apsleys archive)

Regarding food: I had special pleasure that at the evening of my visit there was the great Heinz Beck personally in the kitchen (I was there during my visit in London for the World’s 50 best restaurants award ceremony when all best chefs arrive to the big smoke). Heinz Beck, who has his flagship restaurant in Rome – La Pergola with three Michelin stars – is a legend. German by blood and education but Italian or better Roman by choice, he unites the best of both cultures. Italian flair, passion, creativity and ingredients with German organisation, precision, perfection and reliability. Out of this comes cuisine that is a celebration of taste, perfectly cooked and beautifully presented. Best ingredients united with Beck’s perfection in cooking technique, his sensibility for tastes and his creativity and sense of beauty create out of every dish a celebration of pleasures. When Heinz Beck is in Rome is in the kitchen of Apsleys Heros De Agostinis, who was working with Heinz Beck at La Pergola for many years. Most all staff of Apsleys worked with Beck in Rome so all are trained at highest level – your pleasure is thus in good hands.

How did our dinner look like? Photos bellow are pale image of it (sorry, I didn’t have professional photographer and  right lights), but I hope they can at least a bit show what pleasures are awaiting you there.

Wonderful evening started with Ruiart Blanc de Blancs and with starter: amberjack tartare with white tomato mousse and Tagiasche olives

Wonderful evening started with Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and with starter: amberjack tartare with white tomato mousse and Tagiasche olives (served in the cloud of mint)

Foie gras terrine with smoked apple and amaretti was served with Muffato 2007, Castello della Sala

Lovely foie gras terrine with smoked apple and amaretti was served with Muffato 2007, Castello della Sala

Delicious Carbonara Fagotelli was served with Sauvignon 2011, Ignaz Niedrist

Delicious carbonara Fagotelli was served with Sauvignon 2011, Ignaz Niedrist

Wonderful grilled scalopes with green asparagus puree and basil vinaigrette (I loved this crispy asparagus!) was served with Derthona 2010 Vignetti Massa (I love wines created by Walter Massa since a few years)

Wonderful grilled scallops with green asparagus puree and basil vinaigrette (I loved this wonderful dish with nice crispy asparagus!) was served with Derthona 2010 Vignetti Massa (excellent as always!)

Very tasty turbot fillet, curry flavour and light pesto sauce and with it Gewurztraminer 2011, Tramin

Very tasty turbot fillet, curry flavour and light pesto sauce and with it Gewurztraminer 2011, Tramin

Stunning etouffe pigeon, corn puree, cassava and coffee crumble and with it Tassinaia 2006, Castello del Terriccio

Stunning etouffe pigeon, corn puree, cassava and coffee crumble and with it Tassinaia 2006, Castello del Terriccio

Pre-dessert was a lovely ouverture

Pre-dessert was a lovely ouverture

And dessert represented in milk chocolate, coconut and pineapple sorbet was a piece of art. With it it was served I Capitelli 2008, Anselmi

And dessert represented in milk chocolate, coconut and pineapple sorbet was a piece of art. With it it was served I Capitelli 2008, Anselmi

And for goodbye delicious small pastry, coffee and grappa.

And for goodbye delicious small pastry, coffee and grappa.

Unforgettable experience which has to be repeated.

Apsleys which was opened in 2009, gained well deserved Michelin star already in 2010. The restaurant is in the wonderful Lanesborough hotel in Knightsbridge: http://www.lanesborough.com/en/apsleys_restaurant_london.

You can reserve your table at: +44(0)207 333 7254 or apsleys@lanesborough.com.

I hope you will enjoy your experience just as I did!

Andreja Lajh

Privare dinig at Apsley's (Photo: Apsley's archive)

Private dining at Apsleys (Photo: Apsleys archive)

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