The Galley – Fortnum and Masons
It always seemed to me to be a bit weird how much love there was for royalty. Where I originally come from, the last emperor was some time ago and imperial majesty is not much in vogue. In contrast, in the UK, everyone seemingly wants a piece of the crown and it is big business to be linked with nobility. This is embodied in awards of the royal warrant to many different suppliers. This is a great way to boost sales.
The range is quite phenomenal as it features Crockett and Jones, suppliers of fine footwear to the crown (and Mr Bond) to AJ Freezer, suppliers of irrigation equipment supplies. More importantly for me, it also applies to what is deemed fit for consumption at the Queen’s table. To find this out, you merely have to make a visit to the royal grocer, Fortnum and Masons.
Situated in easy proximity to the palace, this stalwart of imperial majesty is located just around the corner from Green Park. This is where you go if you are idle, curious or bored, or perhaps any combination of the above.
Grilled octopus, chorizo and chickpeas. My first thought was that this was a quite generous serving for an appetiser. Definitely a good match for a kingly appetite. The octopus was nicely grilled and avoiding the cardinal sin of overcooking. The chickpeas and chorizo meaty and balanced in a tomato based sauce.
Tagliatelle, wild mushroom and truffle. This was meaty, full bodied and delicious. Yet, it had one major problem, it was so big that it almost killed me. Think of two (or even three) portions piled on to a plate. The surface lulls you into a false sense of security as below what seems to be a thin layer were layers of more. And beneath that, more. And beneath even that, uncharted depths of pasta. Perhaps it should carry a warning about quantity like bed sizes. These start at single and move upwards to twin, queen, king, emperor and the latest and greatest, Caesar. Perhaps sizes of dishes might follow a similar method, in which case I suggest you could call this consul or something else similarly elevated.
In this esteemed district, with the palace within spitting distance, lies this generous and atmospheric eating place. A great place if you are entertaining overseas guests and you can show them around the district before lunch or dinner to better soak up the stately grounds and shops servicing the upper class. If while engaging in sightseeing, you feel a bit peckish, you could do worse than stop by the Galley for a gigantean meal. Perhaps fittingly as the royal family mascot is a rather large cat, as this is something sized for a lion’s appetite.
A quiet eating 7/10.
Lunch (2 courses) was GBP25 including a drink but excluding service.
181 Piccadilly, St. James’s,
London W1A 1ER