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Beauchamp Place is usually a good place to eat out if you have money burning a hole in your pocket but don’t mind mediocrity. That’s why we were delighted to discover this new wine bar and brasserie that does much to raise expectations locally.
A lot of effort has been put into the interior, the wine preservation system, the staff training and – we daresay – the ‘concept’. At first glance, it looks much as any upmarket Knightsbridge restaurant does. Unless you knew it was really trying to be a wine bar and breakfast place and everything else all at once, you might easily be scared away by its sheen and glitz. Don’t be.
Galoupet is run by the owners of a vineyard in France – which, like running a restaurant in London, is a good way to start with a large fortune and end up with a small one. The staff are solicitous and smiling, and the vinous selection excellent, if a little on the pricey side (no duff plonk here). It’s clear that showcasing great grapes is a priority: the first thing you see on entering is a wall of well-tended wine dispensers.
A basement space houses the dining room proper, but the entry-level is where the far more appealing, light-filled ‘wine bar’ is found (pictured above; the same menu is served in both areas).
The menu ticks the boxes of many current trends: small plates, foraged ingredients, Asian and Mediteranean influences, seasonal. Therein lies the problem: it doesn’t seem to know where its culinary focus lies.
We tried a dish of onglet steak with mandarin, peanut brittle and papaya. A Westernised take on a South East Asian dish, this unfortunately lacked the spice kick or the sour notes of fish sauce which would have given it a rounded, balanced set of flavours. Organic sea trout was more Scandinavian in style, served with olive oil, citrus and wood sorrel, but the sour oxalic flavour of the wood sorrel couldn’t disguise the blandness of the fish.
We did better with a plate of lamb, pickled fennel and pistachio, though the sommelier’s attempt to match a wine to such a complex of flavours was, we felt, a bit of a lost cause. Yet all of the dishes come with the option of a recommended wine by the glass, something which
We decided against staying for dessert, lovely though the place and service was. It could be worth returning for breakfast though – interesting and easier-to-execute dishes include spelt waffles with maple syrup, granola with coconut and cherry, or British chorizo with sweet potato, peppers and chilli. We’d also pop in again for a glass of wine, if we had some time on our hands while shopping for trinkets in Knightsbridge.
13 Beauchamp Place
|Transport:||Tube: Knightsbridge tube|
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