Escaping the cold, I stopped by charming The Balcon restaurant located within the Sofitel St James. This grand building is not hard to miss on the corner of Pall Mall and Waterloo Place. The Balcon is perfectly situated for theatres, museums, and shopping being just a short walk from Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, and the Strand. The last time I was here I saw Joe Jonas so I was feeling hopeful for another celebrity sighting.
The lunch and dinner menu offers French inspired cuisine using seasonal and British produce. There’s also an afternoon tea with a selection of mouth-watering Parisienne pastries served every day; while on the weekend, a stunning brunch with free flowing champagne is on offer – which is something I am tempted to return for!
On arrival a basket of freshly baked bread was placed on our table along with an iPad with the drink menu on – very interesting! We decided to share a refreshing bottle of Viognier de Pennautier (£26 for a 500ml carafe).
The drinks menu is lengthy with a great variety. The St James Bar at Sofitel London St James, adjacent to The Balcon Restaurant, recently launched a series of magical cocktails designed by their team of expert bartenders. Inspired by well-known fairy tales and legends, the cocktails re-tell those stories via the creative and imaginative use of delicious ingredients. The quirky menu is titled ‘Once Upon a Time’ and features incredible fairy tale inspired drawings of the bartender who created the cocktails.
For starters my guest opted for the Scallop and avocado mousseline, lobster, brioche (£9) – a rich but refreshing flavoursome dish.
Being a goats cheese fanatic I went for the Roasted goat’s cheese with pomegranate honey and almonds (£8). A perfectly (very generously) sized portion for someone like me who is such a big fan. Each dish was beautifully presented and gave us high expectations for the main course.
The Balcon has a very elegant dining room with absolutely incredible decor including beautiful chandeliers and a balcony. Although a fine dining restaurant, The Balcon has a relaxing atmosphere. The service was absolutely flawless, the staff made sure we didn’t have a dry glass the whole night and were very attentive without being too overbearing.
For the main course, my guest chose the beef brisket which was cooked to absolute perfection.
I opted for the salmon which came served with a heavenly crisp skin with delicious potato and leek cakes in tasty creamy sauce. It was definitely a memorable dining experience, there wasn’t a single thing to fault about the whole experience.
After such an enjoyable two courses we HAD to sample the dessert menu. We went for the Honey ice cream macaroon with gingerbread and honey comb (£8) which is the dessert of all desserts. It was beautifully presented with a gold macaron which had a glittering gold shimmer. The most regal dessert I have ever seen!
Being a chocoholic I had to go for the Dark chocolate fondant with poached pear and hazelnut praline (£8). It was light and fluffy with a gorgeous rich chocolate centre which was complemented by the poached pear.
We may have gone the whole evening without a celebrity sighting but with it’s five star service, impressive decor – with the grand double spiral staircase and opulent wine displays – and an equally impressive menu, The Balcon proves it is the place to be right now in London.
8 Pall Mall