02 May | Places
Discovering 45 Jermyn St - a magical restaurant in the heart of St James's, London.

45 Jermyn St, PiccadillyThere's no shortage of great places to eat in central London. Standing out from the crowd is incredibly hard for most new restaurants that spring up in London's busy heartland. But then 45 Jermyn St isn't most restaurants. Through a combination of gorgeous, old school glamour, incredible food and exquisite service, 45 Jermyn St has made the tricky business of making an impression seem effortlessly easy.

As we turned off Piccadilly and trooped down to the corner of Duke Street and Jermyn Street, the first thing we noticed was a small queue outside. Except it wasn't a queue at all, but regulars chatting happily with the most charming doorman - possibly the coolest too, in his natty flat cap - we've ever encountered in the capital. And once inside, the magic really started.

The decor is unspeakably beautiful. Inspired by the golden age of glamour, it's a combination of soft tones and bold details; of mid-century glitz mixed with contemporary cool. But enough of the look and feel. The real purpose of our visit, of course, is to eat, drink and be merry.

On the advice of our bartender, we order a signature Beau’s Negroni; a Martini 45 made with Hepple Gin, Vermouth, Sherry; and a No.7 Rickie which, for the uninitiated is a homemade Blood Orange and Thyme syrup mixed with 45's House Blend Acid (yes, acid...), carbonated soda and, at our barman's insistence, topped off with Bruichladdich whisky. Each was delicious. The Ice Cream Floats, a range of incredible 1950s-inspired drinks, looked incredible too.

Drinks done, we took our table. A trolley wheeled its way towards us topped with caviar, served by the gram, making it accessible for all - leading a caviar renaissance. Our server walked us through the options, all served with scrambled egg and baked new potatoes. Come dinner-time proper, we scoffed our way through oysters, grilled bones (again: yes, bones...) with parmesan and parsley salt and soft boiled Gull Eggs currently in their short season. Rare Glenarm rib steak, hay-baked Eddystone Rocks turbot and Peter’s Farm Veal with peas and broad beans completed our feast.

We managed to find room for the highlight of the night - a Knickerbocker Glory like no other, it has to be seen to be believed. Finally, saying no to another Bloody Mary was impossible. At the end of the night, we rolled out of 45 Jermyn St utterly satisfied. As great lovers of exploration in all its forms, this is a trip we can heartily recommend to anyone with a taste for memorable food and serious drinks.