Where to dine this Valentine’s Day
A roundup of where to dine and drink this Valentine's in London
5 February 2019
It wasn‘t long after Kitty Fisher‘s launched in Shepherd‘s Market before prime ministers, supermodels and film stars were all clamouring for a table. London being London, owners Oliver Milburn, Tom Mullion and Tim Steel looked to build on their successes with a second site (named for an infamous British courtesan in fin-de-siecle Paris), and opted for a narrow room on Henrietta Street, just a stone‘s throw from Covent Garden market. We visited on a chilly January night and were quickly won over by Cora Pearl‘s feminine wiles.
With a pale green and pink colour scheme, parquet flooring, art nouveau paintings, art deco lamps and wall sconces the room splits the difference between buttoned-up and louche. Downstairs you‘ll find an underground cocktail boite which is perfect for punchy aperitifs. We sat in the back and enjoyed the ambience which was very much similar to Kitty Fisher‘s: a London take on the Parisian bistro. A pair of crystal coupettes arrived at the table teeming with an exceptionally effervescent Esterlin Brut champagne while we navigated George Barson‘s excellent neo-British menu.
Make sure you spend some time in the snack section. Devilled eggs were sine qua non with a ridiculously creamy interior. Our hearts were similarly won over by a grown-up toasty with pulled ham hock, cheese and branston pickle. A starter of cow‘s curd agnolotti was as fresh as a sunny summer day in Kew Gardens, shot through with Jerusalem artichokes and truffle. Veal fillet with celeriac and bordelaise (freighted with great big gobs of bone marrow) was richness incarnate. The dish that has been received the most rapturously across broadsheets, blogs and Insta is hands down the chips, and they lived up to the hype: shards of potato stacked in deep-fried cuboids. And the milk and cookies are really something else - a beautiful blossoming cloud of foam stacked upon chocolate chip cookies and orbs of ganache.
Cora Pearl continues the legacy established by Kitty Fisher‘s. For something classy in the heart of Theatreland, there‘s not much better.
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