There is something very lovely about an evening out in a smart London restaurant. Of course I eat out all the time for work, but it’s usually either for breakfast or at an event with a cast of, well, more than two. It’s very unusual for me to actually go out for dinner like what normal people do, to get a little dressed up, and talk about things other than polite conversation.
Last week my father zoomed down the M1 to pick me up en route to 34 Mayfair for a very traditional, and very lovely, supper.
Above: the rather glorious entrance to 34
I had been invited by the restaurant to discover the fruits of their collaboration with the House of Creed, one of London’s most venerable perfumers.
Founded by James Henry Creed in the same year as George III’s accession, the House of Creed has since created over 200 fragrances in the intervening 260 years. Over the centuries, the Creed family has produced , and the house has passed from father to son through seven generations. Today Olivier Creed, direct descendant of James Henry Creed, is the house’s Créateur Parfumeur accompanied by his son Erwin. Based in Paris, with a factory at Fontainebleau, Creed manufactures many of its own essences using rare traditional techniques, enabling Creed to maintain the superior quality and authenticity of its fragrances. The raw ingredients and perfume are weighed out, mixed and macerated by hand.
I adore Creed scents – as does my mother, who tells my that my grandmother used to wear them too. (I often wear Love in White, above.) And the Creed connection to 34 Mayfair? The restaurant has designed its cocktail list so that each double page speaks to a luxury house with a connection in the area – there is a page dedicated to drinks inspired by Georg Jensen on Mount Street, for example.
This summer they have also created both a limited edition cocktail and a dessert inspired by one of Creed’s scents, Virgin Island Water, (above) which is available throughout August and into September. (Creed’s London boutique is at 99 Mount Street.)
The scent draws its inspiration, both visual and olfactory, from the Caribbean. Simultaneously fresh and warm, the floral scent of coconut and the delicious fragrance of ylang ylang flowers is married with the punch of crisp green lime juice. Just imagine how delicious that is in a cocktail!
But really it was all about the pudding – the evening’s main event, taking the coconut and lime accents of the Creed scent and transforming them into the prettiest – and most delicious – of tropical desserts.
My father and I were not the only ones licking our chops that evening. I begged the steak bone from my father’s plate and was presented it with much ceremony in a 34 carrier bag to take home with me.
My but Lettice was beside herself. All I could hear for the next hour was the tap tap tap of the bone on the kitchen floor as she set to. In fact the bone is still in the garden, as she likes to bury it and then dig it up every day or two. Truly, the gift that keeps on giving.
With many thanks to 34 Mayfair for hosting myself and my father in August 2017