Poshest burger in London: Bar Boulud
Many people agree that Bar Boulud has one of the best burgers in town (THE best, I say). Yes, that Bar Boulud: the London outpost of Manhattan’s original Bar Boulud, this one set in the opulent Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the heart of Knightsbridge. With its superb and extensive wine selection and a French bistro style menu, you may ask: isn’t it all seriously grown up with hotel residents, business people and couples having romantic candlelight dinner?
Yes, it may seem an unlikely place to take children to. But turn up with your children on their scooters and you will be warmly welcomed by the friendly staff. Just use the separate street entrance directly into the restaurant, instead of going through the hotel so the scooters or buggies can be stowed away neatly in the cloakroom. The atmosphere is lively and grow-up but casual enough for you not to feel out of place with little ones. Ask to be seated in the bar area rather than the adjacent restaurant, as the atmosphere is more fun and vibrant.
Let the children enjoy their colouring activity (yes, they even offer colouring kit) and choose a dish from the ‘kids’ menu’. (They don’t have this printed out but will tell you what’s on offer.) The kids menu consists of simple fare such as grilled chicken, pasta with cheese or tomato sauce, steak and chips, burger (same adult portion but the garnish will be left out on the side if requested), ‘fish and chips’ which is my 4 year old’s go-to dish. It’s not your typical greasy fried fish but instead proper grilled lemon sole with deliciously sauteed broccoli and french fries on the side.
As for adults, oh, where to begin? What to choose? I always find myself agonizing too much over the menu. Their charcuterie from Gilles Verot in Paris is very popular. A large variety of delicious terrine/pate and sausages are on offer as well. But if you had to choose one place in London with the highest-quality gourmet burger, Bar Boulud is it. I don’t normally care for burgers but it’s hard to resist their ‘Piggie’ burger with beef patty, BBQ pulled pork, and jalapeno mayo. Another delectable choice is ‘BB’ burger — a beef patty, foie gras (it’s a bit naughty of me as I was one of those who initially welcomed California’s ban on foie gras, which was overturned. but that’s another story), short ribs and horseradish mayo. Wash them down with a glass of St-Emilion or Pinot Noir, or a fantastically fragrant Brewdog beer.
Their Sunday Brunch menu is equally exciting and perfect for special occasions. Available between 11:00 and 15:30, the price of £39 (£25 for children) includes aperitif (you can have a glass of organic vegetable juice instead), starter, main and dessert. The starters served at the buffet bar include a large variety of ham, pate, salad, freshly baked bread, crackers and dips. Frankly, after the main course with the classic bistro dishes there is no more room for anything else, but who can possibly turn down the dessert of freshly made crispy waffle with salted caramel sauce (or chocolate if you prefer)?
Just convince yourself that everything will be fine when you take the children to Hyde Park (a few steps behind the Mandarin Oriental Hotel) and start chasing after them for hours.
-If you want to plan a perfectly laid-back Sunday afternoon in the Hyde Park followed by an early dinner at Bar Boulud click here.