Our Inspector's View
Since becoming Britain's 'Best Young Chef' in 1996, Jason Atherton has never looked back. Not only has he gathered an ever-growing list of prestigious awards, but he has opened restaurants and bars around the globe, from the Philippines to St Moritz, and from Shanghai to New York City. He also has a portfolio of venues in London, but Pollen Street Social remains the capital's flagship. Squeezed down a Mayfair side street, so narrow you could step from pavement to pavement, it's jolly handy for when it's time to seek refuge from arduous West End shopping expeditions. Inside, the impression of a classy, contemporary look stems largely from the wooden floors, linen-clothed tables and white walls punctuated by modern British artworks, while a glass-fronted pass to the kitchen adds to the mix. Atherton’s concept is 'relaxed fine dining', although it's left to head chef Dale Bainbridge and his team to produce the inventive interpretations which look so good on the plate that briefly it seems almost sacrilegious to disturb them by tucking in. With produce arriving from across Britain, including Orkney oysters, Cumbrian suckling pig, Cornish sea bass and Norfolk quail, there are plenty of temptations on the set lunch, the eight-course tasting menu, the carte and the vegetarian and vegan options. Page space precludes highlighting much: suffice to say a typical carte selection might include Paignton Harbour crab salad with apple, coriander, lemon purée and brown crab on toast; Wye Valley asparagus with morels stuffed with Creedy Carver chicken mousse and Madeira jus; and dry-aged Lake District beef fillet with aubergine and miso purée, roasted garlic and snails. Veggies might head for Isle of Wight tomato tartare with verjus granita and sourdough croûtons; or roasted celeriac risotto with woodland mushrooms, truffle, aged parmesan, garlic and parsley.
Facilities – at a glance
Breathtaking panache from Jason Atherton’s London flagship
- Seats: 52
- Private dining available
- Wheelchair accessible
- Accessible toilets
- Assist dogs welcome
- Days Closed: Sunday
- Lunch served from: 12
- Lunch served until: 2.30
- Dinner served from: 6
- Dinner served until: 10.30
- Wines under £30: 1
- Wines over £30:
- Wines by the glass: 40
- Cuisine style: Modern British
- Vegetarian menu
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About The area
Discover London Postal Districts
The UK's capital was founded by the Romans shortly after they invaded in 43AD. Since then it’s evolved into one of the greatest cities on earth. From a bloody, squalid history to the vanguard of fashion in the Swinging 1960s to the buzzing metropolis it is today, London has something for everyone. There are very British pursuits like the Oxford and Cambridge boat race, changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and an impressive collection of traditional English pubs. And that’s not to mention world-renowned arts venues, galleries and museums, award-winning theatre and unrivalled shopping – all found within a few Tube stops of each other.
London’s royal history is not to be missed. Visitors can roam around one of Britain’s finest medieval castles and royal prison, and learn about the final days of Anne Boleyn at the Tower of London or, for the less bloodthirsty, visit the Queen’s London home, Buckingham Palace. Don’t miss out on exploring the capital’s Royal Parks – from St James’ Park and Hyde Park in the centre to the majestic Hampton Court and wilderness of Richmond Park in the southwest.
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