WhereAndNow.com London restaurants

Apr 5

Boisdale, Belgravia

Posted in Where to Eat & Drink Now

So if you love Scotland, but don't want to travel the 500 miles to get there, then perhaps you should head down to Boisdale in Belgravia, as in this restaurant the Highlands meets Havana in this bizarre mix of a restaurant that celebrates owner Ranald Macdonald's four great loves: Scottish food, whisky, jazz & cigars. I don't think that Ranald has missed elements that lead to a great night out.

Boisdale comes complete with the requisite tartan fabrics, mounted stags’ heads & blood-red walls and if you didn't know any better you might think you were sitting in a Castle drawing room ready for the butler to bring you a wee dram and the paper. It’s a venue of many parts, encompassing a restaurant, private dining rooms, a courtyard garden, bars and a heated ‘cigar terrace’. Scotland’s larder is the platform for a menu that jigs its way across the land, perhaps kicking off with Shetland king scallops or Lochcarnan hot-smoked salmon, before mains including aged Aberdeenshire steak, and the day’s game or fish special. If you are like me and love the taste of real Haggis then this is the place to come to have it, as it doesn't get much better than this. 
 
Boisdale is clearly doing something right, as the place was packed for dinner and we had an early booking. It occupies an entire house, and offers five places to eat and drink - six if you count the private dining room - including a 'cigar terrace' that beats the smoking ban in style. The two bars are the least expensive places: either the pub-style Back bar or the clubby Macdonald bar. Both offer simpler food, with meals costing around half those of the main restaurant. Seafood and beef are the stars. We stuck with burgers (both made from great Aberdeen Angus beef and both cooked correctly to order) and a shared side of excellent thick-cut chips.
 
 
Marine life features in various guises including sandwiches and small plates of salmon, herring, oysters and crab. Boisdale was buzzy yet fairly sedate during our lunch. At night, it might get more boisterous as locals let down their hair, helped by those single malts. The outstanding wine list is surprisingly affordable, with house selections starting at under £20. Finish off with a dram from the encyclopedic whisky list & relax to the sounds of the Boisdale Blue Rhythm Band which play 5 nights a week in the restaurant.
 
So this is why we all aspire to live in Belgravia, as not only do you get to eat in Boisdale on a regular basis, but you can also rub shoulders with politicians, as this seems to be a clear hang out for them and I wonder if much of the country’s state of affairs are decided in the very red walls with a whisky and Cigar in hand. It wouldn't surprise me at all.
 
Top Tip: Make sure you book in advance and ask for a table opposite the Jazz Band so you get the best view of the evening.
 
13-15 Eccleston Street, 
Belgravia, 
London, 
SW1W 9LX
 
www.boisdale.co.uk/belgravia/
 
Boisdale on Urbanspoon
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