Arriving just half an hour after we the time we had been invited we were feeling rather good about how prompt we were as we approached 50 St James place, only to be confronted with a queue stretching around the block of hungry oligarchs trying to wheedle their way in. Already the venue was full capacity and but we were smuggled in under the guise of being ‘journalists’ – LOL. The concept of the restaurant is that it remains for a limited time only, which is why I guess everyone was dying to get in before it disappears.
We ascended the mahogany staircase lined with candles where at the top hung an enormous flashing red cross, it was reminiscent of a paired down version of my favourite seen in Romeo + Juliet. In the main dining room a larger then life old master hung on the wall which had been covered in the LV logo, a bit like the famous picture of Lil Kim by Lachapelle. There was a definite theme running, an eclectic mixture of kitsch and baroque decor juxtaposed with very contemporary light sculptures and photographs of Madonna. A neon basketball hoop hung from the ceiling dripping like a chandelier with cut glass and long Banquet tables adorned with ivy and other such vegetation stretched out across the middle of the main room.
The only slight problemo was that the place was so totally heaving it was difficult to find a spot to indulge in the deliciousness that consisted of rare roast beef with parsnip crisps, leaf green broad beans and mashed potato, mini tuna hamburgers accompanied by an oyster in a glass of tonic and Bergamot lemon juice, fritto misto and a kind of ragu esque pot with horseradish. Prêt- a- Diner describes itself as ‘ not a pop-up-restaurant but a dining experience’ not many temporary restaurants can boast menus created by three Michelin star chefs and we were far from disappointed. It is a rare luxury to be treated not only free drinks but free food as well, Sam and Louie took full advantage looking like little Auschwitz children who hadn’t eaten in weeks they chowed down on plate after plate.
The fleeting nature of Prêt-a-Diner did make us feel lucky that we had been and tasted the delights. I would really recommend getting down to the beautiful grade II listed building before it is closes for some unsurpassable scrumptiousness.
Posted by Mimi on 11/05/12