I’ve been waiting years to go to Clos Maggiore. It’s one of those special occasion restaurants that’s been on my bucket list for a while, albeit at the very bottom, simply because it is so notoriously difficult to book a table.
Luckily, my date thought well in advance. Three months in advance to be exact. He booked a table for Valentine’s Day in… November. #keen. You’d think that would be enough to guarantee two seats for a romantic candlelit dinner under the fairy lights, but the only sitting they had left for a post-Valentine’s Saturday was for lunch at 2pm. Beggars can’t be choosers it seems. Jokes aside, the advance planning was very much appreciated and the meal really did live up to expectations.
Clos Maggiore has been billed as the most romantic restaurant in London (or in the world if you go by their website), and it’s easy to see why. Those who know it will recognise it as the French/Tuscan restaurant that is covered in white flowers. I was worried that it might be a little corny and cliche for Valentine’s, but actually, so what?
Luckily we were sat in the main dining area – the one of photos – which is actually a lot smaller than I pictured. It was intimate and quaint, and our corner table had the best view of the conservatory bedecked in white blossoms. I found it quite difficult not to gape at the floral canopy, it couldn’t get more fairy-tale than this.
Romantic wow-factor setting, check. But would the food be any good? Yes! And not as expensive as you’d think. For lunch, you can order a set menu of three dishes and half a bottle of house wine for just under £40. Not bad at all for central London, and a restaurant that Kate Middleton is a fan of, so they say.
I had the langoustine risotto to start, which was good, but not as memorable as my fillet of prime American beef. The cut was one of the best I’ve tasted in London, and I was so happy that I could leave saying the food was on a par with the magical setting.
Our dessert was another show-stopper. We paid the small supplement for the Clos Maggiore Chocolate Sensation (for two). Burnt honey ice cream, armagnac jelly, at least three different types of chocolate… I was in heaven.
This will forever be one of my favourite dates in London… Thanks Valentine!
Date factor: great for special occasions, dinner dates
Price: £40 per person for three-course set menu at lunch
Getting there: 5-minute walk from Covent Garden
More info: http://www.closmaggiore.com/