Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Caxton Grill, Victoria

The Caxton Grill
                                                                      2 Caxton Street,
                                                                       SW1H 0QW, 

Well, having said in an earlier blog that there were few and far between good places to eat in Victoria, low and behold I found another one. The Caxton Grill, which forms part of the also unknown to me St Ermins Hotel, is worth a visit if you are in Victoria or not.

The Caxton Grill defies the normal hotel dining room feel and once in it you really would be hard pushed to know you were in an hotel. The room is bright and airy and the chairs are some of the more comfortable I have sat on, thus making a long leisurely lunch a joy.

With the close proximity to Scotland Yard and The houses of Parliament you are quite likely to be sitting beside some of the countries high fliers. The tables are set far enough apart to stop any eves dropping so I guess they feel safe.

What however is more important is the food. To call it the Caxton Grill is a bit of a misnomer as the main cooking utensil is in fact a Josper Grill, which is like an inferno of charcoal that cooks meat within seconds, depending on how you like it, the only draw back Io this method of cooking is that all fat has to be trimmed off the meat as it would cause a volcanic eruption within said Josper should it be left on the meat, so if you like a bit of fat on your meat then maybe it isn't for you. But to be honest, I do, but the quality of the meat was such that I couldn't have been happier. The Josper Grill is in the fine hands of Head chef Hus Vedat, who makes great play of sourcing his product, and this does shine through with the obvious freshness of everything.

About the meat, it is sourced from Laverstock Park the biodynamic and organic farm set up by former formula 1 ace Jody Scheckter who started his organic/biodynamic farm in Hampshire to produce the best-tasting, healthiest food without compromise for himself and his family.
However, when he realised as a smallholder that it meant eating beef continuously for eight weeks whenever a cow was slaughtered he decided to make the same food available to the public. Jody explains “We want to sell our food regionally and "from the field to the fork". We sell what we produce i.e. we want to be a genuine “farm shop” not just a shop on a farm”.

The service is good and well informed, especially when it came to the cheeses, the amount of knowledge on that alone would have got our waitress a good A* at A level. I always enjoy listening to someone who actually has a passion for what they are talking about and sadly this rarely happens these days in restaurants so when it does I suggest you just sit back and enjoy.

The wine list is as comprehensive as anywhere else and caters for all pockets.

The fact that I had never heard of the St Ermins Hotel came as a bit of a shock as I learnt that it was the place where our countries secrets were bandied about by the terrible 4 i.e Burgess, Philby and Maclean and eventually Blunt. All this seems highly infeasible as today it has been gussied up into a world ranking hotel and the images of seedy goings on are hard to place but as they say fact is fact and this is where it happened. It was also one of Churchill's pit stops during the war. The designer has done such a good job of the refurbishment that it really would be a place to recommend to anyone looking for a central hotel.

To sum up the Caxton Grill is a place of great worth and should you find yourself in Victoria you could do no better than to make tracks as fast as your little legs can take you there.

Directions to The Caxton Grill, Bar and Terrace is ideally situated in the heart of London and is supported by excellent transport links.
St. James's Park is the nearest tube station. At the Broadway exit, turn right onto Broadway, the second turning on the right is Caxton Street. Caxton is immediately on the right.
Caxton can also be reached via a 7 minute walk from Victoria Station (District & Victoria lines and overland trains) and a 9 minute walk from Westminster Tube Station (Jubilee line). The Thames Riverboat service can be obtained at Westminster Pier, again only a short walk away.

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