My friend Dave had one of those “special” birthdays the other week. One of the ones with a zero at the end, which, for some reason, we all seem to think of as milestone birthdays. I suppose they are too, the start of a new decade, and all that. Anyway, it was an excuse to celebrate.
I knew that Dave would not enjoy the thought of entering another decade, I recall him not being over-enamoured the last time round, so I thought, take the boy out for a nice lunch. He’ll enjoy that, it’ll be something for him to remember and it’ll be fun.
I invited the boys, Paul and Paul, to join us too. Not because I thought Dave wouldn’t enjoy being out with me alone, but because they are good company and I though it would make it more party-fied. I left the choice of restaurant up to Dave and he chose Brasserie Zedel in Sherwood Street, Piccadilly.
Dictionary.com defines the word brasserie as “an unpretentious restaurant, tavern or the like that serves drink, especially beer, and simple or hearty food.” By that standard, Brasserie Zedel is poorly named. There is nothing plain or unpretentious about it. Quite the opposite. The restaurant is Art Deco and has marble pillars topped with gold leaf architraves and is very opulent. It can seat 220 people, so it’s big and can get a wee bit noisy.
It was once part of the Regent Palace Hotel, when that existed, which was built by the Lyons Tea Group company. When it opened in May 1915, it was the biggest hotel in Europe, with 1028 rooms. I remember staying there back in the 1980s, and remember thinking it was a bit dated as the rooms didn’t have en suite in those days.
Zedel is run by Chris Corbyn and Jeremy King, the same pair who run the Wolseley and the Delaunay, amongst others, so they know a thing or two about restaurants. I’ve read some disparaging reviews about Zedel, but I liked it, and so did the boys. The portions were good and the prices were good too, at about £50 per head, which included much wine. There was nothing to complain about in the food, and I do know how to complain if I’m not happy.
We went for drinks in the Ham Yard Bar afterwards, which was all very civilised. The only fly in the ointment was that my travel card jumped out of my pocket somewhere on the way from the bar to the station. I retraced my steps to search for it, but fortunately for me, someone handed it in at Piccadilly Circus (thank you, whoever you are) so all ended well.
© Susan Shirley 2016