There's a fantastic French restaurant in St James's called Boulestin, which opened last year - if you haven't already been, December is a good opportunity to visit as head chef Andrew Woodford has devised a Christmas menu including all sorts of winter treats from quail, duck, oysters, steak, cassoulet to foie gras and truffles. It's as indulgent and delicious as it sounds.
I recently attended a bloggers dinner there to sample their new festive fare and I'm trying to think of an excuse to go back later this month. I started with half a dozen super fresh Duchy of Cornwall Native No 2 oysters with chopped shallots and lemon juice - sublime - and the roasted duck breast as a main, served with a little pot of duck en croute, spiced red cabbage, pan-fried duck liver and cherry jus.
Even though the meat has such a strong flavour, it somehow wasn't too rich and we shared plates of fries, green beans and pommes Anna (a layered dauphinoise-y potato gratin, which was the best I've ever had) as sides. To finish, I went for the parfait and vowed to do some Pilates the next morning. (I didn't.) We shared a couple of bottles of Chardonnay - the friendly Italian sommelier Alessandro kept the Les Templiers 2012 from Cotes de Thongue topped up - and soaked up the warm, cosy atmosphere.
The place has a great ambience and feels a little like a smart old library or living room, with green leather seats, black and white tiled floors and large mirrors and framed photographs neatly arranged on the walls, which seems fitting for the location. There's a private dining room for up to 40 people too, perfect for the party season. Go before 24 December!
Boulestin, 5 St James’ Street, London, SW1A 1EF