September 2006
  Travel, Hotel & Restaurants

JUST ST. JAMES - 12 St. James' Street SW1
Tel: 020 7976 2222


St. James Street, just around the corner from the Ritz Hotel, is a Mayfair street that has maintained a Beau Brummel elegance with its London Clubs, Gentlemen's Outfitters and Country Pursuit shops including Davidoff Cigars.

A lot of top notch Restaurants was once Banks and Just St. James is situated in a spacious beautifully designed building that was once Lloyds Bank. A Minstrels Gallery can still be seen over the entrance. No doubt, when Dandies like Beau Brummell entered, the musicians would play suitable music.

It has a lovely ambience, whether for a Working Lunch, Discreet Dinner or a Milestone Event.

I was amused by a black lifestyle statue for a bicycle ridden either by a Lobster or Dover Sole, which greets visitors in the Entrance Hall adjacent to the Bar. Apparently it came from the Royal Academy.

We were shown to our table with capacious Menus to study. Head Chef Karl Byron's Menu uses only the freshest ingredients obtainable, with emphasis on strictly seasonal fish, organic meats and the freshest vegetables, funghi and garden herbs.

The owner of the Restaurant owns vineyards in England so I was particularly interested in the English Wines. As I let the bubbles trill over my palate from an English Sparkling Wine, Methode Champenoise, I was torn between the signature Home-smoked Salmon Fishcakes, or Vale of Evesham Asparagus with lightly poached egg and balsamic reduction. I chose a Ballotine of Foie Gras as that always appeals to my exotic taste buds. For a main course my companion adored his Saddle of Lamb with glazed beetroot, baby y onions, lemon and thyme juice.

Perhaps it was the Fish on the Bicycle that influenced my choice of Seared King Scallops and Tiger Prawns, which were superb. Desserts delicious, full of summer fruits. Enjoy Yourself.

Of course, you can drink your way happily and beneficially around the clock, says Denzil Batchelor in this light-hearted timetable. Champagne for breakfast, Dry Sherry at, Claret at luncheon, Burgundy for dinner and to bed on Brandy. But, he counsels the young… Beware of those soda water bubbles that tend to increase ones weight.

As the Slender Gourmet, I start the day with Champagne whenever possible, as I like to ensure that the rest of the day is a gastronomic crescendo…

Happy Bubbles - JOAN

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