Aurelia, London

Published on Bon Vivant on 15th March 2013:

Just a stone’s throw from the Royal Academy is Aurelia London, a Mediterranean restaurant nestled in the heart of Mayfair.

The restaurant is named after Via Aurelia, the historic route which spanned across the Mediterranean, from Rome down to Santiago de Compostela. The food pays homage to the same landmass, where rabbit and swordfish appear alongside plenty of olives, garlic and anchovies.

Everything is light, delicate and calling for glorious sunshine and ice cold rosé.

You can go as formal or informal as you like and sharing is definitely encouraged – this is no stuffy Mayfair restaurant.

A selection of breads and the house olive oil begins our lunch at Aurelia London. The peppery notes in the oil did well to indicate that it was an extra-virgin olive oil of sound quality – a good start.

Crisp, thin slices of octopus rostie, sprinkled with a light dusting of chives, soon arrived atop boiled new potatoes, skins still on. The hint of heat in the mild Galician flavours were offset by the cool tuna carpaccio which served as the other starter.

The carpaccio, doused in a slightly sweet sauce, rested on top of a finely shredded bed of salad was topped with yet more chives.

The food at Aurelia London was rustic but good; rather like the restaurant’s interiors which were lined with little portraits and vintage photographs, all reminiscent of little bistros in the Côte d’Azur. It has just the right amount of kitsch to put you right at ease.

For mains, monkfish a la Provençal offered an interesting contrast against the pappardelle with rabbit ragu. Tomatoes, olives and plenty of parsley made a delicious sauce, well matched to the relative firmness of the monkfish. The rabbit ragu, with a shaving of creamy cheese, was more reserved in flavour but well placed for the wintry London weather.

After two well-portioned but light courses, there was still plenty of room for dessert. Carefully arranged red wine poached pear with ice cream and warm chocolate fondant with orange compote provided the answer.

The menu at Aurelia London, filled with Mediterranean flavours, managed to be both wintry and light. All was washed down with fresh mint tea and all just over an hour.

It’s not committed to a single cuisine but with so many restaurants specialising in smaller and smaller niches, Aurelia London is probably one of the few places that’s still focusing on a wide region and doing it well.

It’s obvious really; if they’re packed on a Monday lunchtime, they must be doing something right.

42Raw, Mayfair

Published in Scout London Magazine November 26 – December 02 2012 Issue number 18:

London’s restaurant scene isn’t short of Scandinavian influence, and this is another concept to hail from Copenhagen. Recently opened as a café/restaurant at the Royal Academy, the idea is that everything it serves is either raw or “cooked” to below 42ºC. The menu is filled with healthy lunch options (it’s only open to 6pm) that are boxed up and ready to be taken away. Raw noodles of carrot and courgette are served in a sauce made of curry, chilli, ginger and coconut oil, while the “lasagne” is made up of courgette slices, tomato sauce, nut pestos and baby spinach. A Thai soup is unique on the menu for being both hot and delicious, but the rest, unfortunately, leaves us cold. Still, if you’re in a rush, their selection of healthy juices will certainly give you a boost.


For art lovers – The Royal Academy

Published on The Times website on 10th March 2011:

The new restaurant at the Royal Academy is an art lovers’ delight with  golden-lit sculptures at the heart of the room and plush red armchairs in  contrast to the slate floor. It’s very chic, very Parisian. The nuances of  texture and colour are also reflected in the afternoon teas. “The Joshua” offers a choice of cold-cuts including fine-grained wild boar mortadella and  country terrine, salami and dry cured ham. “The Royal”, meanwhile, offers  fresh Mersea Island oysters, sea bass carpaccio, cured salmon and prawn  cocktail. For those in search of tradition, “The Classic” has a daily  changing assortment of finger sandwiches. Chocolate cake, banoffee tart and  mini scones accompany all three on a three-tiered stand, with Cornish  clotted cream, Peyton and Byrne jam and a berry trifle to the side. Let’s  not forget the tea – with 15 black, green, white and herbal blends on offer,  there’s plenty to choose from.

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BD; tel.  0207 300 5608;  The Classic, Joshua and Royal Afternoon Teas are available from 3pm – 5.30pm  daily at £16.50, £19.50, and £25 respectively. There is the option of  upgrading with either prosecco (Manzanilla for Joshua) or champagne.