I got my man to park his carriage in St James’s; admired the hand-made shoes in the window of John Lobb, then the custom-made top hats in Lock & Co. Then barely a minute later I was being ushered through the all-day Café Marcel to my leather banquette seat in Boulestin, all in a manner I could get accustomed to.
Good customer service is expected, and often provided, in this old-fashioned part of London. It wasn’t so long ago – just a few doors away – that my ‘lady companion’ was presented with a menu bearing no prices, while the men’s had the full damage detailed.
Marcel Boulestin opened a restaurant near Leicester Square in 1925, now long-closed. This brand-new Boulestin is no relation, though it does pay homage to the era of the great chef. The menu lists oeufs en gelée – a dish which, much like old-school St James’s, is preserved in aspic. Classic French cooking at its best shines in dishes such as daube of beef, which was slow-cooked and wonderfully tender. A boudin noir was moist and earthy-flavoured, the black pudding succulent with cooked blood.
A few dishes seem almost daringly modern with their rocket and preserved lemons; but for the most part, this menu is as classic, French and retro as the grand setting. Rather than trying to impersonate an old master, this Boulestin is a sensitively updated reproduction. It aims to be as classic as a carefully poured glass of old Bordeaux, and is priced accordingly.
by Guy Dimond
5 St James's St
|Opening hours:||7am-10.30pm, Mon-Fri; 10am-10.30pm, Sat.|
|Transport:||Tube: Green Park|
|Price:||Main courses £12.50-£33.50.|
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It's expensive, but the food is exquisite and the service impeccable. So you get what you pay for. I very much enjoyed my dinner here - more details and pictures here: http://hyhoi.com/2014/06/boulestin-flawless-french-brasserie-st-jamess/
Have You Heard Of It? restaurant & bar blogger | HYHOI.com
I was at Boulestin on Friday night with a couple of friends and I've got to say we were rather impressed. The food was good the service was excellent and the waiters knew exactly what they were talking about when it came to the wine. The restaurant had a warm, inviting atmosphere, and I for one am very looking forward to going again, perhaps for breakfast this time!
I went to Boulestin this morning for a quick breakfast at their Cafe section which they call "Cafe Marcel". To my surprise there was an entire menu dedicated just to breakfast with quite a vast selection, from a traditional English breakfast to French brioches and croissants. My waiter was excellent very cheerful and had a bit of a French accent, making the experience all the more French. The food was good too, the croissants were freshly baked, served warm and the portions were rather generous. I definitely recommend it, as it's a great way to start the day. Looking forward to coming back for lunch and/or dinner!