Oops, in trying not to repeat myself, I completely left out my visit to Sartoria, in Savile Row, earlier this year.
Why would you care?
Because Francesco Mazzei, the new(ish) chef patron, might possibly be the best Italian chef in town – one of, at least – and if you love Italian food, as I do, hustle yourself over there ASAP.
Previously, Francesco Mazzei was at L’Anima in the City for several years, serving up some stunning food. Consequently, when I heard he’d moved to Sartoria, I booked as fast as I was able, arranging an early Saturday supper with some longstanding foodie friends.
Sartoria is a D&D, formerly a Conran, restaurant so I was confident about access as all the former Conran restaurants seem to have great access and friends confirmed there was a ramped entrance. Obvs, though, I checked on booking and they confirmed full access for wheelchairs.
On arrival, to my horror, the easy ramp access had been converted to an open terrace – more profitable, I’m sure – but there was a wheelchair lift in situ so, no problem, right?
Sadly, the base of my powerchair was too long to fit on the wheelchair lift. Gods, don’t you hate when that happens? Why don’t suppliers make sure they fit – it’s always just a couple of inches but the difference between access and none?
As ever, everyone, inside the restaurant and outside, were staring at the drama unfolding – with me trying frontwards, backwards, wiggling the chair to tuck in my wheels and feet – as I waved at my friends, thinking this might be the closest I get to them. No luck and then …
One of the staff suggested using the goods entrance. Not glamorous but the glamour ship was sunk at this point anyway, no? And I’m used to the tradesmen entrances as, I’m sure, are most of us wheelies. So, off I rolled.
And, it was fine. Slightly cabbage-y but it wasn’t an aroma that lingered. Maybe the slope was a little steeper than I’d like with my – then – badly numb hands making my wheelchair control a little … iffy.
Who cares? I was in via the rear doors, the ‘trauma’ quickly forgotten in the thrill of seeing friends and eating fabulous food.
We all loved the comfortable, sleek, Savile Row lunch club, interior of the restaurant and I’m happy to say Francesco Mazzei is maintaining his culinary standards. Yum.
I’d definitely recommend a visit for the food and leisurely ambience (I’m assuming you want to talk – to each other – here); Sartoria is wheelchair accessible but just remember to mention the goods entrance, should you have any trouble at all with the wheelchair lift.
PS Fiona Jarvis of Blue Badge Style tweeted that Sartoria’s wheelchair lift was broken when she turned up recently. Maybe Sartoria should just direct us all straight to the goods entrance – you know, they could pretty it up (though why bother if it’s just for us) – and *light-bulb-moment* call it the wheelchair access entrance … I don’t even charge for this advice but, using Caitlin Moran in The Times as a guide, that’d be £777,777 if I did. Smiles.