The weather is warming up, bringing colour, (occasional) sunshine, and loads of fresh produce to London. Some of our favourite restaurants really showcase this seasonal produce on new menus. Why not celebrate the change of season by treating your taste buds to the flavours of spring!
1. Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester
The ‘Menu Jardin’ vegetarian tasting menu at three Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester is the perfect dining experience to welcome in the new season. The ‘Menu Jardin’ showcases spring’s most sought-after produce. Expect beautifully presented vegetarian dishes created by Chef Alain Ducasse – a chef at the very top of his profession, holding 18 Michelin stars.
2. The Glasshouse
Rooted in the locale, the Glasshouse is named after Decimus burton’s world-famous glasshouse structure in nearby Kew Gardens. The triangular restaurant has floor to ceiling glass windows and modern décor, giving the dining room plenty of gorgeous spring sunshine. The natural beauty of the nearby gardens is matched by Head Chef Berwyn Davies’ produce-led approach to haute cuisine. His outstanding French-inspired spring menu acts as a seasonal roll-call of favourite dishes beloved in Britain, combining fresh spring ingredients and big flavours expertly. The result is dishes such as “Confit duck leg with crushed turnips, endive tarte fine and sour cherry purée” and for a dessert a crisp “Pineapple tarte tatin with lime ice cream”.
Translated as ‘cricket’ in French (the insect, not the sport), at Cigalon you will find an atmosphere of warmth and elegance, as beautiful as a spring day. Housed in a light-filled former book auction room with a huge greenhouse glass roof, the airy room holds the very essence of a Meditteranean spring; walls are overlaid with basket-weave struts, foliage hangs from the ceiling, and potted olive trees transport you to sunny Corsica. Described as “a small Provençal paradise”, Cigalon serves traditional Provençal cuisine, which is earthy, fresh and unembellished. Dishes range from starters like “Spinach Tagliatelle, Peas & Wild Garlic,” to mains like “Seared Trout, Salsify & Smoked Haddock Cream.” Even the sound of spring is in the air, with the chirping song of cicadas playing as diners enter.
4. The Greenhouse
The Greenhouse is an oasis in the middle of Mayfair. Become fully immersed in the beauty of the season, entering by the tree-lined walkway, and sit surrounded by natural decor and full-length windows looking out onto a tranquil garden view. In springtime the menu really shines! The set menu is actually called Taste of Spring, and includes dishes such as “Rabbit with chickpeas, pequillos and mint,” “Dorset crab with mint jelly, cauliflower, granny smith and curry,” and “Green shiso with yuzu.”
Awarded a Michelin Star in 2010 for its excellent healthy cuisine and exquisite wines, Texture Restaurant and Champagne Bar seek to emphasise the wonderful aspects of nature. The seven-course tasting menu offers modern European dishes with Scandinavian influences, combining British produce sourced from both the earth and sea with ingredients from head chef Aggi Sverrisson’s native Iceland. Possibilities include dishes such as “Devon Creedy Carver Duck” and “Celeriac, Cranberries, Flower Sprouts.” With a mission to create cuisine that involves all the senses, and encourages guests to explore different textures of food, you can be sure to try new and exciting flavours this spring!
What’s your favourite seasonal menu? Send me suggestions in the comments!