Many will think dining at the decadent Michelin star restaurant Fera at Claridges is reserved only for very special occasions due to the price tag. You’d be right. Unless of course you book the irresistible Opentable offer! There was no contest when I had to decide where to meet a very good friend of mine on a flying visit from Australia.
Upon entering the luxurious 5-star hotel you’re surrounded by shiny marble floors, open fire places and glittering chandeliers. The entrance to Fera is though a narrow passageway draped with dark heavy velvet curtains, feeling almost like you’re about to enter a different world. It leads into a striking art deco dining room, featuring stained-glass ceiling panels, awash with subdued greys and greens, walnut tables and a twisted, spindly tree as a centrepiece surrounded by candles.
As soon as we planted our derrieres on the comfy moss-green leather seats Lyndsey, Sobia and I couldn’t stop yakking. The poor waitress had to come round twice to take our order. Well there was a lot to chat about. Back in the day I met these ladies from a five girl house share in Ealing, where we all enjoyed happy, carefree days. And the rest as they say is history.
In the meantime a lovely glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne was poured. All part of the offer might I add. You’re all probably wondering what this offer is. Are you ready for this? Three courses and a glass of champagne for £42. Now you see why I wasn’t going to miss out.
When we finally got round to looking at the set menu by the renowned British Chef Simon Rogan, it was full of the finest organic ingredients. Some of which are actually from Simon’s own 12 acre farm in the Lake District. The word Fera means ‘wild’ in Latin and the essence of nature is captured in the decor of and in Simon’s cooking.
Whilst sipping on the rather nice champagne the amuse bouche arrived on an attractive piece of bark. In the form of a chickpea wafer topped with a blue cheese mousse and edible flowers. It was almost too pretty to eat. Well, for around the fifteen seconds it took me to get a good snap from a couple of different angles. Then we all dived in. Crispy, smooth and fresh tasting. There was also a zesty twist to it, which came from the dotted berry gel.
The hot chunky pieces of brown bread followed with caramelised butter. Crunchy on the outside and warm and soft in the centre the nutty, sweet flavour of the butter meant it didn’t last very long.
To start both Lyndsey and Sobia went for hake and parsley mousse with puffed barley and chicory. It looked lovely, but I couldn’t tell you how it tasted as I forgot to ask. Yes, we were still very busy putting the world to rights.
Being vegetarian I had the option of choosing from the à la carte menu too – Bonus! My starter was a dreamy affair of pink fir potato with artichoke, watercress and Tunworth cheese. The balls of potatoes literally melted in my mouth and the cheesy creamy sauce I could have licked clean if I wasn’t sat in a posh restaurant.
My main of BBQ beetroots with hazelnut, chicory and pear was a stunning dish with beautiful flavours. The light smokiness married perfectly with sweetness of the pear and crumbled hazelnuts.
The rest of table went for steamed cod with parsnip, fennel, sea lettuce and dill. The light, perfectly cooked dish went own well with my hungry companions.
For dessert I stuck with the pear theme and ordered the poached williams pears with buttermilk, walnut and lemon thyme. The thin slithers of pear were divine and the crumbly walnut cake was light in texture and gave the whole dish a real comfort factor.
The girls remained with their twinning dishes until the end and went for the pineapple weed ice cream,
honey mousse, and lemon cake.
And our eating adventure didn’t end there. Petit fours were served in the form of chocolate ganache with apple and cinnamon and smoked beetroot with hibiscus flower. And let me just tell you about the latter. I was in heaven chewing those small jelly delights. Why you ask? Well, as a once meat-eating individual the smoky element gave them a distinct bacon-like taste. A flavour I crave as a long-term vegetarian. Now only attained through packets of Frazzles or Walkers smoky bacon crisps. But here it was in jelly form. I was so overcome with joy I told the waitress. Who upon witnessing my sheer delight offered me a second helping. I mean who am I too refuse! I sat there like the cat who got the bacon chomping through my second plate.
We had a wonderful reunion at Fera. The Opentable offer is incredible, especially when you take into account the extra dishes offered. If you consider the prices on the à la carte menu, you are receiving fantastic value for money in the most sumptuous surroundings. Claridges is such a special place, the opulent decor, flawless service and inventive, modern cuisine. It means only one thing: You need to book this offer now.
Have you been to Claridges? What did you think? I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments box below.
Claridges | Brook St | Mayfair | London |W1K 4HR
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