A mere three minute walk from Lancaster Gate tube station – two minutes if there is no traffic and you can cross the road quickly – is Angelus. Angelus on Bathurst Street is a wonderful French bistro, serving up oodles of ooh la la charm along with fabulous food and excellent wine.
Not an eyebrow was raised by the lovely receptionist as a wet and wildly dishevelled woman shot through the door demanding to know where the Ladies was so she could dry off and tidy up before joining friends. I emerged, more presentable, a few minutes later into a pretty, comfortable, lounge area before joining friends who were already ensconced in the main restaurant at a table dressed with a crisp white cloth, polished glasses and cutlery.
The building was once a pub favoured by politicians including Winston Churchill but today it houses not only that comfortable lounge, but also a cosy, attractive dining room, with Art Nouveau mirrors and pictures, dark crimson banquettes, discrete chandeliers and a wooden floor typical of a Parisian brasserie.
In the basement is a private dining room and wine cellar plus the kitchen with a ‘chef’s table’ in an alcove. The kitchen, presided over by the very talented chef Pierre Needham, produces stunningly delicious food. They serve a two course lunch for £22, three courses for £27, plus á la carte and even an all-day brunch.
From the set menu I chose beautifully cooked calves liver as a starter, followed by confit duck on a red cabbage puree, both were terrific, though personally I would have liked a tad more acidity in the puree. My friend and I shared the very rich, but utterly delicious, salted caramel tart with white chocolate ice cream. The set menu (a choice of three dishes in each section) is incredibly good value as it also includes bread, coffee and homemade petit fours.
Incidentally when possible many of the vegetables served come from the local community charity garden project ‘Meanwhile Sky Gardens’.
Angelus owner, the charming Thierry Tomasin, runs a magnficent wine cellar, with a superb wine list featuring chiefly French wines. Wine by the glass is £6.
Running until 23 December before closing for the holidays until 3 January 2015 Angelus is offering a delicious sounding Christmas menus. The á la carte menu includes Pan fried Orkney Scallops, grilled salsify, mixed Cornish sea vegetables, Roast Goose Breast, persimmon puree, chestnuts, savoy cabbage and an Assiette of desserts. Whilst the set lunch includes Home cured mallard breast, Hand wrapped Turkey parcels and Buche de Noel .
Angelus is open for brunch: Monday – Sunday 10.00am – 10:00pm; Lunch: Monday – Sunday 12:00pm – 5:30pm; Dinner: Monday – Saturday 6:00pm – 11:00pm; Dinner: Sunday 6:00pm – 10:00pm.
Ooh la la indeed; we can’t wait to go back. www.angelusrestaurant.co.uk