When it comes to drinking, I am not much of a drinker. I enjoy the odd glass of red wine now and then to relax and unwind, but you definitely won’t catch me with a WKD in hand like my 15 year old self or even out on the tiles in general really because I am the world’s biggest granny. So having a “local” is definitely not something that I have or have even considered.
And then an invite popped into my inbox inviting me down to Smith and Whistle, located at The Park Lane hotel which I absolutely adore, and marketed as Mayfair’s newest local complete with a cool and quirky detective/mystery themed bar and menu… now, this is a local that I can get on board with.
Now, because I have the patience of 4 year old, I’m giving away a major spoiler here in the fact that I absolutely loved Smith and Whistle. From the stunning surroundings and exquisite food, it was one of my favourite dining experiences of late (and trust me, I have done all the eating out recently). However before I start practising my best food critic impression – which we all know will fall short and only serve to make me look a complete and utter tit! – I wanted to show you around Smith and whistle because the interiors really are something special. Read, look and start pinning everything to your home interiors Pinterest board ladies, and don’t feel sorry about it for a single second…
Once I had picked my jaw up from the floor and stopped snapping away at all of the copper, geometric, marble goodness – I mean, really, they couldn’t have got any more #BloggerGoals if they’d tried, could they? – it was time to be introduced to the menu. Dan and I were greeted by David, manager of Smith and whistle, who firstly explained to us the whole concept of Smith and whistle and then went on to explain the menu, talking through each option, how to order – the food comes up in mini jars so guests tend to order 3/4 dishes for 2 people – and offering us whatever we liked. I’d just like to take a moment to say that service as wonderful as David’s (and all of the Smith and Whistle staff, Kamil and Olda included) really is what puts the cherry on top of the cake. For me personally, you can take me to the most wonderful restaurant but if the customer service is lacklustre and the staff don’t care, it immediately dampens my experience. I can safely say that the customer service received from Smith and whistle set us up for the most perfect evening.
I also wanted to add for the coeliacs out there, that David, Kamil and Olda – the Smith and Whistle staff looking after us – were perfect when it came to gluten free options. Double checking each dish and alerting the kitchen to be extra diligent, I felt in safe hands from the off set.
The extremely extensive drinks menu, while incredible, also left me with a bit of FOMO (that’s “fear of missing out” Mum) because while the cocktails looked incredible (and are kinda’ one of Smith and Whistles selling points) I was very much craving a sparkling wine. I went with my heart, deciding to go back for a cocktail later because Yolo..
We then picked out some appetisers to begin with which included the best pork crackling I have ever eaten in my life. Crunchy, but light, and rich but not greasy or over powering, it became a battle as to who could eat the most in the shortest time.
I, of course, won that battle…
Alongside the most delicious mix of olives, sun blushed tomatoes and artichoke which I could’ve eaten all day long!
When the decision comes for you to go hard or go home, you always go hard…
We opted for the brawn of pork and piccalilli, potted south Devon crab – which I couldn’t have as it wasn’t gluten free – roast haddock and mussels with quinoa and broccoli and my all time favourite, the curious brew battered fish fingers with chips. The battered fish fingers were made gluten free, and my heart was made happy for the entire week following.
The Brawn of Pork and Piccalilli, I have to admit, was not what I was expecting. It came up almost like a juicy pate – which I personally love – and full of a rich, punchy flavour, served with gluten free bread… it was an absolute delight. The perfect way to start off our main course.
As I mentioned, the potted crab wasn’t gluten free so as much as I would have loved to have delved in, I obviously couldn’t. Dan loved this dish however, saying it was extremely tasty and he was glad that it wasn’t GF so that he could actually finish it off without me pinching any. #RelationshipGoals 😉
I loved, loved, loved this dish. The Haddock was cooked to perfection – being able to reheat leftovers totally makes me qualified to say this, right? 😉 – and was so tasty but the quinoa mix was my favourite. I have no idea how to describe it other than beyond tasty (which is beyond useless… so I highly recommend ordering this if you check out Smith and whistle).
I need to take a moment to compose myself otherwise this section of the post could be a complete fangirl/word vomit moment. At this meal, I ate battered fish for the first time in 5 years. But it wasn’t just any old battered fish (and it wasn’t M&S fish either…) It really was the lightest, most flavourful I’ve ever eaten. Dan, who can and does eat all the gluten said it was the best he’s eaten too which I really feel is testament in itself. The chips were thick and amazing, and it came complete with a crumbed mushy pea ball – Hi, I’m Elle, and I have the descriptive skills of a 5 year old – that wasn’t gluten free but I have it on good authority that it tasted amazing.
Topping up on drinks in between, we ordered a beer for Dan – because, lads… – and a Sticky Fingers for me which was amazing but so strong (and I’d asked for it with less alcohol) so if you’re not really into your alcohol/spirits, I’d maybe stick to the non alcoholic versions or a nice glass of wine instead. But it did taste incredible in a “knocks your socks off” kinda way.
Despite starting to get full, we soldiered on – which is no surprise as I am legit known for my horrendously large appetite – I finished off my 3 course meal with poached fruit and lemon verbena sabayon (yep, I have no idea what that is either) and it was stunning. I actually never opt for fruit (read: anything healthy) for dessert however this was the only gluten free option, and actually, it was the perfect, refreshing end to the meal. Dan went for the spiced rum chocolate mousse, and judging by the fact that he said “I so wish you could taste this” 3 times, I think he really liked it!
Now, if you wasn’t already impressed by the mushy pea balls, the gluten free battered fish and bread; prepare for something very, very special. Ladies and gents, prepare for what the cool kids call, “latte art”…
… pretty special right?
I am well aware that this has become a pretty hefty post, but I still have a few little bits left to say [insert bored/tried face emoji here]. Being invited to Smith and Whistle, being allowed to take my fiancee along with me, being treated to the most stunning food and drink, and generally just being waited on hand and foot by the most wonderful team of staff… it’s times like this that I am so grateful for my job, and that I get to experience the things that I do. A huge thank you to the Smith and whistle team and everyone involved with setting this review up, I am already looking forward to taking my family back there and letting them discover Mayfair’s newest – and most amazing – local. And the Elle next door’s newest place to fangirl over… 😉
As always, thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!
*We were very kindly gifted our meal in exchange for a review. All thoughts, photo’s and love of gluten free battered fish, my own.