New Neighbourhood Restaurant In St James's Park, London
The latest neighbourhood restaurant in St James's Park, London, the Caxton Grill is now open for lunch and dinner. With 72 covers and a private dining room for eight, the Caxton Grill offers fine quality, uncomplicated British food with European accents, served with impeccable, friendly style in warm relaxed surroundings. (www.caxtongrill.co.uk).
The first restaurant for talented young London chef, Hus Vedat, his concept for Caxton is for the food to be simple yet creative, elegant and familiar. "I like to cook in a way that respects the ingredients and enhances the original flavours, influenced by the cuisines of France, Spain and Italy; straightforward cooking that delivers fantastic taste and real pleasure," commented Hus.
A firm believer in the 'Field to Fork' movement, Hus monitors the provenance of all food served and unnecessary travel is avoided. Meats from Laverstoke Park organic farm in Hampshire, fish from British waters caught by day boats, primarily out of Looe in Cornwall and vegetables from Secretts in Surrey. Honey is direct from the roof where 75,000 Buckfast bees have happily settled in to their hives, gathering nectar from the nearby royal gardens of St James's Park and Buckingham Palace.
Signature dishes use a Josper grill, a Spanish design indoor charcoal oven that cooks at very high temperatures and delivers a distinctive smoky flavour to meat and fish. And the speed of cooking at intense temperatures retains far more flavour and succulence than traditional methods. Dishes include organic sirloin of beef with mushroom rub and smoked béarnaise sauce (220g, £20), middle white pork loin with confit belly (£22) and whole lobster with honey, garlic and cream sauce (£28). A Caxton Quick menu at lunchtime offers two courses at £20 and three at £25.
A concise wine list offers primarily French, Spanish and New World varieties carefully selected for depth and flavour with a well priced entry point of £19 for Vina Mariola Joven or Vera Estano Blanco Flor Requena, both from Spain. Two English wines are offered, a sparkling Gusbourne 2006 Blanc de Blancs from Kent (£59) and white Wickham Estate Fume 2009 from Hampshire (£38.50). Chef's family vineyard in Spain – Bodegas Findesiglo – also features with a bottle of Riba Guda Crianza offered at £39.
From it's main entrance at No 2 Caxton Street, Caxton Grill spans one corner of the lush courtyard garden of the newly transformed St Ermin's Hotel, just reopened following a £30m restoration and redesign. Large, full height windows along the 'L' shaped wall ensures the atmosphere is naturally bright and airy, while a low density lay out provides for easy conversation. In the evening, the oversize glass ceiling lamps and cloth-covered window shutters create a cosy, more intimate ambience. Design is contemporary shades of brown, cream and slate grey with touches of burnt orange and highly textural from wide, dark wood floor boards, through leather and rich cloth-backed banquet seating and chairs with appliquéd cushions.
Drinks and more casual meals are available in the Caxton Bar – an original haunt of Cambridge Five spies, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean – and the first floor Caxton Terrace which overlooks the restored and replanted courtyard garden.
Caxton Grill is currently open for lunch and dinner during the week; on Saturdays and Sundays serves full breakfasts through to 12 noon and opens for dinner.