Before the Christmas rush truly starts, and everyone’s social calendars start filling up, Ismay and I booked a brunch date at Hotel Chantelle in Mayfair. With a successful sister restaurant in New York, their promise of brioche french toast meant I was pressing the reserve button on my browser in no time. Tucked under an archway by the Bonbonniere club, up the moodily lit stairwell, to the sounds of Dandy Wellington and his band welcoming you in.
Tip number 1- book a table on the terrace. Aside from looking cosier, it means you probably don’t have to struggle to hear your table buddies over the music.
Speaking of which, the band were great. Dandy Wellington also sings at the Hotel Chantelle in New York, where’s he’s from, so you’ll get the full on New York experience in the middle of Mayfair.
Bloody Mary’s and Martini cocktails in hand, service was a teensy bit slow but then again, being a Sunday and all- we’re all taking it a little easy.
Also, I don’t even like Bloody Marys (is it a drink or an appetiser?!) but this one tasted really good. Spicy and tomatoey and not at all soup-like.
Right. So down to some serious food business.
With my recent teenage boy style appetite, I was ravenous. I ordered the French Toast with a side of sausage, Ismay went for the Lobster Benedict and we shared an order of Brunch Pops.
Brunch Pops. Don’t let the name fool you- they’re pancake battered sausages served on a washing line peg (more for novelty as I can’t connect the two?…) with a dipping sauce of cinnamon agave syrup. They’re really good and definitely the most recommended item out of our entire meal.
My enormous French Toast.
It was door stopper style huge and I only managed half of it. The brioche loaf – because, that is definitely what it was– was crusted with frosted flakes before fried and dusted with icing sugar. Hidden in the middle is a gooey maple flavoured ricotta and marscapone cream. It’s served with a tiny bottle of pecan maple syrup- it was very sweet, very rich and if you do order it, I would go with a side order of something savoury to balance it out.
I think Ismay won with the food order. Her Lobster Benedict looked so good- chunks of lobster and samphire with a generous dollop of hollandaise sauce and a poached egg. The muffins were soft and buttery and after the sugary overload of my French Toast, I admit, I kept picking at her plate instead.
Do you do that? Pick at friend’s plates? It’s something we’ve always done since forever, and sometimes, it weirds people out. But sharing is caring and you get to taste so much more good food!
Being Mayfair and all, I knew our bill was going to be on the pricier side but I wasn’t expecting to be hit with an eyewatering £44 each. Service charge is added on top of the final bill, but come on…this is just brunch.
Would I return for another Brunch session? Probably not but would I recommend it as a place to get some cocktails and dinner with a group of friends or as a date place? For sure.
23 Orchard Street
020 7299 2522