It's rare I get to go out for lunch as there is a little thing called the job that get's in the way. Yet when I received an invite from Laurent Perrier to come join them and 3 other bloggers for lunch at Fera, Claridges I couldn't say no. It's what annual leave was made for.
Fera is a Michelin-starred restaurant by Simon Rogan in the world famous Claridge’s. It centers around the changing seasons of Britain, which reflects in its ever changing British menu. Most of the ingredients and produce come from Simon's own farm in the Lake District making it a truly personal experience.
Fera is distinctive for it's huge tree that takes centre stage in the restaurant. Created by British designer, Guy Oliver, it reflects that everything comes from nature- no processed, pre made food here!
Of course being a guest of Laurent Perrier's, we started with champagne.
Laurent Perrier- the largest family owned champagne house- is fast becoming my favorite champagne, having been given some as gifts previously.
Today we were drinking Laurent-Perrier Brut NV. It is lighter than other varieties, with a hint of citrus, making it perfect for lunch time.
We were being treated to a summer tasting menu, promising light, creamy and fresh dishes.
We started with a rosemary cracker with a creamy blue cheese mousse and edible flowers. Tangy, smooth and yet so light.
And also so pretty.
Next was a little pop of stewed rabbit with lovage, rolled in crisp onion tapioca with a lovage puree on the side. Is you were like me and have no clue what lovage is, it is a large edible white-flowered plant of the parsley family according to Google.
But fear not, the chunky hearty meat worked so well with the parsley-esque sauce.
The next dish was incredibly beautiful. Almost too good to ruin with a spoon. A cute little pot of pea mousse with cod and calamint (another type of leafy plant) amuse.
See what I mean about it being so pretty? Fellow guest and keen pea mousse photographer, Lex from The Lex Chapter.
Next up was a salt baked turnip with egg yolk, and black truffle, mustard and a good helping of turnip cream poured all over.
I told you summer meant creamy. The combination may sound a little odd, but oh no, it worked incredibly well. Especially the truffle- I have a soft sport for truffles. Naughty.
Of course being northern I was grateful of the bread presented to mop up the sauce. I was skeptical of the stout infused part, but actually it's only a subtle hint, and gives it a more rustic flavour.
We then moved onto more hearty dishes. First being cod, mussels with a tomato and grilled fennel sauce with a drizzle of rapeseed oil. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fish person, but this cod was so soft and just melted away with the back of a fork, it really was hard not to love.
However it will always be meat that wins my true heart. A fine piece of 55 dry-aged pork topped with grilled carrots and nasturtium- a South American trailing plant with round leaves and bright orange, yellow, or red flowers. So many new words in to days post. See it is educational to read blogs.
I love pork but it isn't always done right. However as expected, it was just perfect.
Finally we came onto sweets. We started with pre-dessert. I think this should be made compulsory. Presented was a little cloud of pears, honeycomb and lemon thyme. Sweet, tangy and with a fantastic texture. Crunchy and a sort of melting effect on the tongue.
When the real dessert came, if this doesn't scream British summer I don't know what will. Strawberries, custard, buttermilk and sorrel- again another herb. A theme here at Fera eh? It was like happiness in a bowl. It may not be the best weather we've had, but this will make you think of blue skies and sunny days.
Now Claridge's being one of the world's most iconic hotels has fed some of the world's most famous people. So when asked would we like to see inside the kitchen's, the eager beaver in me was quick of the mark.
Well these talented chef's had fed the like's of Kate Moss and Lily James after all,
I find it fascinating to see the behind the scenes of a restaurant. It's like a mixture of a lab and an art studio.
It was also lovely to meet Dan Cox who is currently running the kitchen for Simon Rogan. I take my hat off to you sir.
I'd highly recommend dining at Fera and popping open a bottle of LP. I think it was worth taking a day of work for eh?