The Saturday of Easter weekend we made a lunch reservation at Fera at Claridges and took the train down to London for the day
After a lovely morning exploring the city, we arrived slightly ahead of our reservation time so that we could enjoy a pre-dinner drink. We sat at the bar and I ordered the ‘J’adore’ cocktail which consisted of fresh pear, raspberry vodka and apple liqueur topped up with Laurent Perrier champagne – it was gorgeous! We sat for a while talking to the fabulous bar manager Dennis about some of the high end whiskies they have on offer – fascinating but eye-wateringly expensive!
When our reservation time arrived, we were shown through the cloaked entrance way and into the vast, bright art deco restaurant with vaulted ceilings and stained glass
Once seated, we were greeted with an amuse bouche – a delicate cracker with goats cheese, edible flowers, tangy fruit gel & micro herbs
Having been to Dominique Ansel Bakery and indulged in frozen s’mores and pain au chocolat for breakfast, we decided against the tasting menu and instead ordered from the three course set lunch menu and added ‘Simon’s signature snacks’.
The Simon in question is Simon Rogan who has been at the helm of Fera since 2014, and who gained the restaurant a Michelin star just a year after opening. However on 30th April 2017, just 3 days before this post went live, Rogan hung up his apron at Fera and headed on to start some new and exciting ventures, leaving his protege Matt Starling in charge
Onto the food and the first of the snacks (and actually one of my highlights of the meal) was a beautifully rich stewed rabbit croquette with a crunchy textured outer shell, served with a vibrant, almost grassy flavored lovage puree – simply stunning
Next was a warm pot of tender artichoke and smooth creamy Ragstone (a ripened & unpasturized goats cheese) topped with a hazelnut crumb
Lastly was the lightest of the snacks – a crisp seaweed cracker, topped with fresh squid & sea herbs – a little mouthful that tasted of the sea
I have to say that the snacks were rather more substantial than we’d expected! This didn’t however stop us from tucking into the treacly bread with whipped butter (and a certain someone may have asked for seconds…)
For starters we both chose the slow cooked ox tongue, heritage carrots & wild garlic – gorgeously tender pieces of smoky ox tongue melted in your mouth, whilst the carrots provided a contrasting crunch. The vibrant wild garlic purée was subtle and the carrot jus brought all the ingredients together
My choice of main course was the Herdwick hogget – Herdwick being the type of sheep and hogget meaning a sheep aged 1-2 years – older than lamb but younger than mutton. The hogget was served wonderfully pink and the meat cut like butter. Accompanied by salt baked kholrabi & sweet roasted onions, the whole dish was perfectly seasoned and very moreish
A sucker for anything pear, dessert had to be the soft poached Williams pear with silky buttermilk custard, moist walnut cake & thyme – sweet but not overly so, each element complimented the other well
We decided against coffee but were delighted to still receive petit fours! A beetroot & hibiscus pastille and a chocolate & rosemary teacake were a lovely end to our meal
One thing we both agreed on was that for us, the courses were a little too close together – we’d have preferred to have slightly longer between each but as you’d expect, we couldn’t fault the food, the service or the grand setting
Our visit to Fera has left me eager to visit Simon’s 2 Michelin star restaurant L’Enclume in Cumbria and I’m excited to see what’s now in store for not only Simon Rogan, but for Fera and Claridges – I guess we’ll watch this space!