This is a Sponsored Post in association with Le Caprice
It’s always surprising to me how few places there are that I would like to have a drink in the afternoon and evening in and around Mayfair that aren’t chic hotels. Sure, there are lots of pubs, many exceedingly smart and very busy bars, and the afore-mentioned chic hotels (Duke’s and The Stafford are particular favourites), but finding somewhere that isn’t rammed, where I can always sit down (heels and age do not make me a fan of standing in any circumstance) and where the drinks and snacks are utterly delicious usually feels like a Sisyphean task.
So hurrah a thousand times over for the Caprice.
This summer, they’ve turned their small but perfectly formed Arlington Street terrace into a secret garden, serving a menu of lighter bites, alongside a specially created Grey Goose cocktail menu.
I love the Caprice – I used to book tables there for my very first bosses at Conde Nast – the legendary Peter Stuart of GQ, and Nicholas Coleridge the Managing Director, in my very early twenties, graduated to eating there of my own account a few years later, and even celebrated my thirtieth birthday in its warm embrace with my family, so I am very happy to know that I can now go there not just for delicious meals, but to sit outdoors for something a little lighter.
To create their Secret Jardin, the Caprice’s terrace has been enclosed with a wall of plants, herbs and botanicals; citrus trees line the sides of the space, walls of climbers create a barrier between the terrace and street, wisteria flowers hang from the ceiling and a selection of potted herbs reflect the ingredients of the specially created Grey Goose cocktail menu.
Le Caprice’s Head Chef, Will Halsall, has created a menu of dishes which are ideal for enjoying al fresco, so those who are ravenous post-work can enjoy a lovely aperitivo.
I took Holly Hannah and Chloe for drinks and snacks after our day at Royal Ascot; happily no one batted an eyelid at our spectacular Rachel Trevor Morgan hats.
After a day outdoors in the sun at the races, we were delighted to see lovely, long refreshing drinks on the menu – the Secret Jardin cocktails created especially for the space include a Garden Goose, made with Grey Goose vodka, elderflower cordial, lemon juice, thyme, rosemary, sage and basil leaves, a Le Grand Fizz, with Grey Goose vodka, St-Germain, lime juice and soda, a French Negroni, with Grey Goose L’Orange, Campari, Martini Rosso, and a Goose Bloody Mary.
We were hungry after our racing exertions, so mulled over the menu – too many things amongst which to choose – from Norfolk asparagus, served hot with hollandaise or cold with herb vinaigrette, to a crispy duck salad with pineapple, pink grapefruit and spiced cashews.
Above: the pickled and raw beetroot salad, goats cheese and multi seed granola crisp, and the Isle of Mull scallops. And, because I am a fervent lover of the high low mix – some of the Caprice’s legendarily delicious French fries.
And, if you ask, nicely, they’ll even let you order pud from the main menu.
The Le Caprice x Grey Goose Secret Jardin is open from now until Sunday, 30 September