Hawksmoor – Air Street

I won’t lie, I felt a little “tired” on my visit due to some slightly over enthusiastic gin drinking the previous evening (sorry mum).

Nearing the end of a week’s staycation I had arranged to meet one of my bestest pals who was coming into town for a catch up and having a day off from her busy mum job.

Hawksmoor had been on the list for a while but it’s not the cheapest and I viewed it very much as a special occasion place, suitable for die-hard carnivores only.

Well I was happy to be proved wrong – finding a great deal on their summer menu – £30 for three courses which included a cocktail or glass of holey wine (champagne).

The restaurant is a chain of 9 which includes Manchester and NYC, has been voted as one of the most sustainable eateries in the UK. They take animal welfare very seriously and are resolute that Britain produces the best beef, working with small farms to source their ingredients. Thumbs up.

I didn’t realise they specialised in seafood too – produce arriving daily from Brixham market without setting foot/fin inside a warehouse.

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The Air Street branch overlooks manic Regent Street but sitting behind the gorgeous art deco frosted windows you soon forget about the chaos that is passing underneath.

The restaurant is light and airy, stylish yet relaxed. All the staff we encountered were friendly and good-humoured. The clientele today seemed more of the businessy variety, but tables were really well spaced so no being forced to hear about Nigel’s projected sales figures as you enjoyed your meal.

Starting with a pre-dinner drink, in a rare flash of being sensible I start with a softie. Expertly advised I chose a grapefruit and bergamot iced tea. Life giving and delicious I was back to my normal self.

Hawksmoor has a dizzying array of cocktails split down on the menu into various times of the day. I was thrilled to see a section entitled Disco Drinks. We had four options for our set menu so I chose a Tom and Jerez containing gin, almond, sherry and pear, which was not too sweet, ice-cold and refreshing – perfect pre dinner. My friend had a Hawksmoor Cup – a delicate pinky cocktail made with strawberry gin. These drinks were small and perfectly formed – just enough before food.

So moving onto said food we both opted for identical meals (not uncommon for us two).

As starters go this was up there in terms of size and deliciousness. Not one but two excellent Yorkshire puddings, gravy and potted beef and bacon. My friend and I were uncharacteristically quiet as we ate this.

As this was Hawksmoor we went for steak. 35 day dry-aged rump served with triple cooked chips and homemade ketchup. Arriving on hot plates (a rare thing these days) it was tender delicious and cooked to perfection. We couldn’t fault it.

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Now to the only disappointing part of the meal. There was an inexplicable lack of desserts available, just ice cream (no sundaes either) or cheese. We picked three ‘homemade Rolos’ covered in dark chocolate and filled with salted caramel which were actually really delicious and probably preferable to a sleep inducing dessert.

Wine wise we both had a large glass of gorgeous Picpoul coming in at £7.50. There’s three white wines (bottles) on the menu sub £30 – so not bad for such a good quality place.

Check out their pre and post theatre menus, and express menu too. On a Monday you can even take any bottle in for a corkage of a fiver. The snazziest BYOB I’ve ever encountered.

This place is great – high quality – simple menu and great service. If you’re looking for somewhere excellent and don’t want to fork out a shed load then there’s several great menu options and locations you can pick.

Mooo-ve it. (sorry)

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