On a misty Cornish evening we set off for the bright lights of London via the A30 as our flight was cancelled due to the North Coast fog. Arriving after midnight we had the roads to ourselves as we made our way past Harrods, Buckingham Palace and London eye lit up in all their glory.
After meeting up with family for breakfast at Piccadilly circus, we checked out and opted to walk to our hotel for the next two nights. We crossed Westminster bridge past Big Ben and walked through St. James Park before turning left at Buckingham Palace following Princess Dianas Walk into Hyde Park and arriving at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House.
We shared some antipasti and a glass of Pinot Grigio at Carluccios, set off for some Jazz at Ronnie Scott’s followed by some awesome Korean at Jinjuu Soho. Waking the next day to a day of childless leisure we were let loose in Harrods, Hamley’s and Fortnum & Mason.
Biltong is officially mainstream as it was in both stores proudly displayed next to the Prosciutto and Jamon. We munched our nutella cronuts on the walk back to the hotel stopping for a photo outside of La Gavroche before having a rest before the big night ahead.
We were not only here for leisure, we travelled to London as we were invited to the annual AA Hospitality awards which is held at a gala event at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House and attended by the who’s who of Hospitality. After jazzing up in a black dinner suit, brogues and showing off my newly acquired bow tie tying skills my beautiful wife and I went down to the lobby for some photos.
In a room full of our food heroes with fizz in hand we made it down to our table where our new plate stood proudly with three rosettes on it. After enjoying one of the best banqueting meals any of us have had thanks to Ritz Chef John Williams MBE we explored the room chatting to chefs and old friends. Jude and I were both surprised to see each other, and it was a great year for the South Coast as both ourselves and Kota received our third rosettes.
The achievement was made even sweeter after being congratulated by the likes of Gareth Ward from Ynishir and chatting to the amazing Clare Smyth from Core. The evening culminated in arriving at Richard Corrigans for late night drinks surrounded by some of the country’s best chefs.
It was with sore heads and elation that we returned to Falmouth proudly carrying our new plate.