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The virtues of a lunch club…and a trip to Launceston Place

August 17, 2011

Anyone that knows me, or has read more than one of my blogs, will realise that I like food.  No actually, ‘like’ is far too much of a dismissive understatement.  I’m deeply passionate about food.

I’m lucky enough to have found a bloke that also likes a good bit of grub too,  but he doesn’t quite get the whole obsession. Neither do my family.  Fortunately for me, some of my friends, do.

Which is how the Posh Scoff Lunch Club came about.  I was talking one day with my food soulmate and friend, Gina, about the endless amounts of fabulous restaurants that keep popping up (especially in London) and how it was such a shame that I only got to visit one a year, on my birthday, because nobody else wanted to pay that amount of money regularly, just to go out to eat.  Either that, or they didn’t have that kind of money (Not that I do, but who needs new carpets, anyway?!)

So, Gina and I agreed a pact to eat out in a fabulous restaurant every three months.  And then Alison joined our gang.  And then another Alison joined our gang.  And believe it or not (yes, another ‘and’ after a full-stop!), we’re trying to recruit a third Alison to the club.  There is a Rachel too, but she’s yet to actually make an event.  We each take it in turns to choose the restaurant for a Saturday lunch (or a Friday evening when that’s not available).  So far we’ve had a triumphant (yet eye-wateringly expensive) lunch at three-Michelin starred L’Atelier; a fabulous-food-but-not-so-fabulous service dinner from Roux at Parliament Square and some top tucker at Jamie’s Fifteen.  Our fourth adventure took us to Tristan Welch’s Launceston Place last Saturday and I have to say it’s probably been my favourite so far.

From left to right: Gina, me (Dawn), Alison and Alison

The reason our lunch club works so well is that we are all so enthusiastic about, well, everything! Firstly, there’s the planning and talking about it.  “Who’s turn is it to choose?” “Where are we going to go?” “How shall we travel there?”

Then there’s the joy of getting dressed up in a pretty frock, or the likes of, on a Saturday morning and heading out whilst Saturday Kitchen is still chirping away on the TV.  Top that with the rising excitement as we’re chatting away on the train, picking one of the Alisons up on the way in to London, and it’s a wonder we even make it to the restaurant.  Then there’s the “ooohs” and “ahhhs” as we marvel at the decor, the place settings, the smart maître d’…

But the real joys come from the magical platefuls of food that appear before us and the delightful glasses of delicious wines (that seem to magically fill themselves up after every sip) that are supplied by the ever knowledgeable Sommeliers.  And we’re all happy to dig deep and get the best we can afford, so there are never any awkward occasions when you want the tasting menu but others don’t.  We ALWAYS want the tasting menu!

I’d recommend anyone give it a go.  You don’t even need to know the people that well – as long as you know you’ve got that shared love of fine food, it’ll be a hit!

So, to lunch at Launceston Place.  I won’t waffle on anymore – instead, I’ll share the pictures and leave you with a whole-hearted recommendation to try it yourself.  I will definitely be going back!

Crisps on a ribbon, anyone?

I was too busy “oohing and aahing” at the food and wine to start with, so I forgot to take a picture of the Amuse Bouche, which was a de-constructed Waldorf Salad (who would have thought celery sorbet would be delicious? But it was!) and the grilled sardines with English peas, broad beans and Jersey Royal potatoes.  You’ll have to take my word for it that they looked as pretty as a picture.

West coast scallop roasted with aromatic herbs from the coastline

Truffled duck egg on toast

One of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten!!!

Baked Cornish lemon sole, shrimps, coastline vegetables, early potatoes

Rump and sweetbread of Rose veal, beef tomatoes and sweet cicely

I’ve never had the opportunity to try sweetbreads before now, but I’m glad I did. What a treat!

An alternative to the Veal: New season milk fed lamb, Jersey Royal potatoes

Dark chocolate soufflé, Laphroaig whiskey ice cream - this was the only course that we didn't like...but we were too full up to properly care!

We’re now all counting down to the next lunch…think it’s around 80 days away!

Here are all the details for Launceston Place if you fancy giving it a go.  It’s also on Twitter @LauncestonPlace, as is @TristanWelch


From → Eating Out

  1. Alison permalink

    Yep it was a wonderful lunch with stunning food and great company. Can’t wait till next time!

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