The Doctor’s finest of 2014

Naturellement, everyone is doing a retrospective at this time of year. Mes amis! one will not be outdone. So let’s whizz through some of the Doctor’s gastronomic highlights to set your taste buds atingle. Should I visit any of your favourites next year? Maybe you could let me know. Oh, and of course if you think this blog is vaguely useful, one would be most grateful if you would let your chums and chummettes know about it. Firstly..top of one’s list. Budapest, yes of course you visit regularly. If you are planning a trip in 2015 a real must is Costes. A stupendously good value Michelin star restaurant with glorious, delightfully presented food. Almost worth a visit to Budapest on its own and currently number one in the Doctor’s Top Ten Restaurants. Of course while you are there you must visit the Opera and the Gellert Baths. Then make sure you drink a local Kekfrankos. A visit to Simon Rogan’s L’enclume in the Lake District in the North of England did not disappoint. Twenty one courses, each one a surprise and a most memorable experience. Another one straight into the top ten. Go mes amis.. it’s not cheap but Cartmel is a delightful little village and you can visit the second restaurant, Rogan & co. if the desire takes you as it is in the same village. For a splurge you can even stay at one or t’other. London The finest of London dining was to be found in Michelin-starred The Ledbury near Notting Hill. Not a cheap lunch but the food was excellent and merited its high ratings and the Doctor has it now firmly ensconced at number five in his top ten. A review yet to be shared would include The Kitchen Table as an experience to be savoured although one is not sure that one would return as it is not the most convivial atmosphere to go for dinner. You are seated around the “kitchen” at a stainless steel bench with 18 others. Review to come mes amis..shortly! At the budget end, one found an excellent old style Italian restaurant in East Sheen in South West London called Mamma Mia. This has become a staunch favourite of your dear Doctor and you are encouraged to stay away! One must review it for one’s readers in due course but one fears there may be a flood of gastronomes to East Sheen. USA One has no great love for the restaurants of Fort Lauderdale, Florida where one often resides. They provide decent enough American fare but after a while one hankers for one of the awful pies at McSpiggets tavern in one’s homeland. There were however a few good experiences. Among them were Felidia’s in New York, an institution which serves a stupendously spiffing Negroni. The White Barn Inn north of Boston in the quaint town of Kennebunkport was most memorable and in Boston itself one found the excellent L’Espalier, a modern restaurant with some delicious offerings and a stupendous cheese trolley worthy of the finest French restaurant. Meanwhile…Elsewhere Nearer home, one was fortunate to make a grand tour of France which one highlighted in one’s post. The highlight was a rustic type restaurant called Gabriel et Albert in Bordeaux which was a real surprise. The owner ate there himself and one was served what he found at the market that morning. It was very gallic, very tasty and most delicious. The owner, Guillaume Henin was a most charming man who gave us a hearty and friendly welcome to his small piece of heaven. And..finally the biggest disappointment of the year was the brasserie at Chateau Haut Smith Lafitte in Bordeaux. One found the food extremely disappointing. The restaurant ended up more as something for a coach party rather than the classy restaurant that it should have been. One would not recommend a visit even to see the hare sculpture. Having looked back at the manic year that was 2014 for your dear Doctor, one realises that one did not do enough to report one’s findings. Next year, a resolution….mayhap to report more assiduously. Meanwhile, I entreat you to try some of the links above or in the list below. All are pricey, so if you want some more reasonably priced recommendations then why not use the filters at the top of the page? Costes – Budapest The Ledbury – London L’enclume – Cartmel, UK L’Espalier – Boston, USA The White Barn Inn – Kennebunkport (north of Boston) – USA Felidia’s – New York – USA Gabriel et Albert – Bordeaux, France The Doctor’s Top Ten Restaurants Top Ten London Here’s to a wonderful 2015 for you all. Already there are a few restaurants catching one’s eye.  Wild Honey (really should have visited already) the new London skyscraper restaurants such as Oblix in The Shard and The Sky Garden complex at the top of the Walkie Talkie. Although one is not so impressed by these high rise trendy eateries, they are quite fun for one visit.  Keep posting your messages a bientôt mes amis! Doctor Lunch 2015 – Londinium (ensconced in a suitable hostelry, by a warm fire, with a pint of bitter in hand)

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Categories: Anecdotes, Doctor Lunch, Outside the UK, UK

Tags: , ,

3 replies

  1. Ian, a very Happy New Year, hope our paths cross in 2015. Kindest Regards, Henry

  2. Good set of appetizing food pics.

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