Sunday Brunch – who doesn’t love it? I spent mine, yesterday, at one of my favourite local restaurants Charlotte’s W5, in Ealing.
I’ve written about the great wheelchair access at Charlotte’s W5 before and it is one of the few places I’ve returned to on a number of occasions … which led me to thinking about some of my other favourite restaurants – all reviewed here at least once but returned to, by me, again and again.
So, what makes a great restaurant for me? Sorry, but if it’s trendy, bling-y, busy and bustling – gods forbid it involves a queue – and has poor wheelchair access … that’s not it. Move away now, if that’s your schtick.
I like easy wheelchair access; a welcome that doesn’t draw all eyes to me and the wheelchair; friendly but not intrusive service; fantastic food – doesn’t have to be complex but it does need to be good; comfortable surroundings with space and volume to chat; and, a nice leisurely time to enjoy the experience – maybe not a long time but quality time is where I’m at.
Finally, the food I eat, the experience I have, has to be better than anything I’d normally serve up or experience at home. This means I don’t do fast food nor most high street restaurants. I’m happy to spend my money on quality whether I’m in for burger and chips or Michelin Stars. As you know, this doesn’t often come cheap, especially in London.
My favourite restaurants have these things in spades and, if I like, I return, usually with friends as it’s often easier for me and D to go out with friends who do not have wheelchair accessible homes. In fact, for most friends and family, it tends to be go out or entertain at home and whilst at home is fun on occasion, it’s not so much fun when it’s every time you want to socialise.
So, this is my top five list of 2017, for happy socialising and your reference should you be so inclined.
Our first visit was in January 2017, our most recent in their private room with a passel of friends in January 2018, with several other visits in between. We’ve enjoyed every experience here – a lot – and the food is fantastic – simple fine dining without the Haute formalities. Sunday Lunch, at £50 for three courses, might kick off some quality foodie love for anyone who cares to try it.
Our fine dining pick of 2017 – we returned most recently for Christmas Day Lunch. The white millefeuille – sadly not on the Christmas menu – is every bit as good as its’ reputation. The Four Seasons At 10 Trinity Square is a gorgeous Hotel. The La Dame de Pic Restaurant is a beautiful space. A treat of a dining experience albeit a rare one at these £££.
We last lunched here on New Year’s Day 2018. This is my place of foodie Zen: Hélène Darroze is a restaurant that oozes comfort, luxury, old-world service. It is brilliantly accessible via a built-in ramp on Mount Street, entering via the bar. When I’m stressed and wanting to enter a world of calm and ease, you’ll find me here. A classic.
Since our first visit, this has been our favourite drop-in place for supper, drinks, snacks and hot chocolate. I know. Hot chocolate. All I am able to say is that, on a chilly, wintry night or day, it is to die for. The chocolat-iest of hot chocolates (referencing the ‘plummiest of plums’ from The English Patient). It’s a dessert on its own. Plus Burgers, Prawn Tempura, Lobster sandwiches, chips … All the yummiest elements of American food. If that’s what you want, this is the place for the very best of such foodie chow-downs. If you go, you’ll probably see us there …
It’s local; it’s good; it’s accessible; it’s a lovely space, inside and out. We’ve done lunch, brunch, dinner and more. It’s one of three West London Charlotte’s and our favourite by far. Since opening, they’ve moved away from the small plates menu, mentioned in my first visit blog, to a more conventional, easier to understand, menu. No difference in nice vibes and good food though. Try it.