I don’t think I’ve ever had brunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant before. I’ll be honest and come right out and say brunch is usually a rather intense “bottomless booze in New York City” sort of event. But, I’ve recently been shown the error of my ways at Celeste, in The Lanesborough, London. And it all started with the best Bloody Mary in town. No really, I don’t know what their secret was, but this concoction was simply divine.
Of course when one enters the room at Celeste, you can be pretty confident that nothing will beat the beauty of the duck egg blue walls or the ornate chandeliers that have you questioning whether you are sitting with the Royal Family for breakfast or just your partner in crime. But, then you get your first course and you realize that the beauty of the room is almost surpassed by the ornate presentation of each and every dish. Food and atmosphere are actually in competition for your attention. Naturally, food always wins out, especially in a restaurant such as this, with a Michelin star. They don’t just hand those out to every Tom, Dick or Harry, you know? Of course you know that. But remember, this is brunch… and it’s beautiful… and it’s delicious… and I am, at every moment, thinking this should be an event ever visitor to this great city should experience.
Brunch at Celeste is a treat. It’s not inexpensive, but it’s not at the top of the spend spectrum either. It’s an event for special occasions, for celebrations, or for a weekend where you just feel “I deserve to treat myself.” Sadly, I am always feeling the need to treat myself and I fear my bank account may suffer as a result, knowing now that this exists.
In all seriousness, here’s a run down of what you must do. First of all, make the reservation. Then, the minute you sit down accept The Lanesborough’s offer of champagne. They wheel out a beautiful trolley and serve it right at the table. It’s always pink bubbles for me. Then, pace yourself in your consumption. I highly recommend the idea of a two course brunch, something savory and something sweet. This is where it gets difficult as I have so many things to recommend. So here’s my suggestion. If you are a party of two, order four different dishes between you. Then you can try a little bit of everything. The Scottish Egg is a must. It’s the most beautifully presented dish I’ve ever seen in my life. The pancakes are fluffy sweet sensations sent from heaven straight down to Celeste. The Roast Chicken, for two, is an event all in itself. Oh, and the beef wellington will bring a tear to your eye. Yes, it’s that good. And the Bloody Mary… order it! It even comes with it’s own beautifully presented spice kit.
Make this happen, people. Whether you are a tourist in London or call this your hometown, this is definitely a brunch to experience at least once in your lifetime. Get booking.
Hyde Park Corner