Early in January we dressed up for formal fine dining in elegant Belle Epoque style surroundings, recently refurbished, at the Savile Club, based in an elegant 18th-century house in Brook Street, Mayfair. This is a social ‘gentlemen’s’ members’ club. Many celebrated writers, artists, musicians, media people and scientists have been members. We enjoyed a classy menu, with wines chosen to match each course.
Later in the month a smaller number of us dined more informally at Grumbles, a bistro in Pimlico. Its décor deliberately remains the same as when it opened in 1964 in what was then an unfashionable and run down location: brown wood for the panelled walls, floors, tables and chairs, and ‘rustic wooden booths’, and of course prints, posters and cartoons – now rather a ‘shabby-chic’ ambiance, imbued in its history – and nothing wrong with that! From the start this restaurant has attracted pop stars and other celebrities, such as Mick Jagger, Julie Christie, Rod Steiger and Princess Diana (when she was Diana Spencer).
The food was unpretentious and good, we chose a most agreeable white Macon and a red Rioja from the list, the service was friendly, and our conversation flowed – a relaxing evening.