We were invited to the Cumberland Hotel on Hyde Park to a ‘Blogger Outreach Event’ earlier this month for a four-course meal. The meal was to be served in their Brasserie restaurant – one of seven restaurants/bars that the Cumberland Hotel has to offer – which “serves a menu of European classics with a distinctly British twist”.
The doorman greeted us and we stepped into a very large spacious and light reception area/lobby which is most impressive containing original modern art. We were to congregate at the restaurant’s bar where we were given champagne and canapés. The canapés were quite large and we wondered if we would have enough room to eat our meal. We had a hot fish soup canapé in a little miniature mug, another was a slice of sausage on a piece of toast topped with chutney and another was a warm beetroot risotto served on a large spoon. There were also some rather delicious nuts on the table which we couldn’t help nibbling.
We were shown into the restaurant and found a place at a table with other bloggers. Not every blogger there was a foodie, some had other interests in and around London. We were served still or sparkling water and red or white wine. The waiters were all very friendly and made sure the wine glasses were topped up all evening.
First course was a very light starter with small cubes of roquefort – some hard and some more like a mousse – served with candied walnuts with a port and walnut dressing. Slices of poached pear went particularly well with the cheese and fresh chicory salad leaves. This was very nicely presented with a sprinkling of red amaranth cress which always looks pretty.
Next up was a risotto topped with a seared scallop and a slice of caramelised shallot, with an orange and red wine fish jus. This was fairly pleasant but not enough to eat it all and we wanted to make room for the main course.
The main course looked interesting, a slice of confit potato, topped with steak, and then a chicken & truffle ‘mousse’ – it wasn’t a soft mousse, more of a baked mousse or soufflé – looking rather odd all stacked on top of each other especially the courgettes which were wrapped around the mousse as if it were a parcel. The steak was medium to well done – remember this was a free blogger event and there were a number of us so it couldn’t be cooked to everyone’s taste – no fat or gristle, which is good, nor was it chewy or dry either, so it was very nice.
The dessert – which was the best course of the evening – was a slice of blackcurrant Bavarois – like a dense mousse – topped with blackcurrant jelly. The Bavarois didn’t have a lot of taste to it on it’s own but eaten together with the rich and fruity blackcurrant sorbet and the extremely tasty sugared pistachio nut & berry fool - I could taste a hint of fennel in it, which wasn’t mentioned on the menu – was superb.
This menu is similar to their Valentine’s at £39 each – I think I would have been rather disappointed had I paid this amount of money. I’ve certainly tasted better for a lot less so unfortunately it’s not somewhere we would rush back to but it was a pleasant meal all the same. It was a good evening though and it was nice to meet and chat to other bloggers who we swapped cards and will keep in touch with.
Living life, loving cake,