Date of Last Visit: Friday, November 13th, 2009
The Victims: Feathers, Jen, Niculie
The Damage: £25 each
The Background: I don't often get out of the office for lunch. But somehow, the other Friday, the stars aligned and I managed to convince a few of my colleagues to escape their inboxes and their Blackberries for a while. I wanted to try out The Luxe. Mainly because I'd read about the chairs. Somewhere. I can't remember where. And I'm a sucker for chairs. (Screw the food. Just show me the chairs! Hey, maybe I should start a new blog. A restaurant chair blog. Or I could do somewhat akin to the lovely but seemingly short-lived Silver Spoon blog, which ended each restaurant review with a photo of the cutlery. Clever.)
The Entrance: But I digress, as always. We enter The Luxe. And we give our name and are shown our table. (While we're waiting to check in, we're behind the party of 10 who showed up at The Luxe at 1 p.m. on a FRIDAY without a booking. Really people, what were you thinking???)
I like the look of The Luxe. We spend some time massaging the wallpaper, flocked with birds that appear to have been sewn onto the paper. I spend some time massaging the chairs. And then it's down to business.
The Starters: Jerusalem artichoke soup for me. Feathers and Jen love it. I think it's just okay. It's too creamy. It's dull. It looks nice though. I'm struck, once again, by the thought…maybe if I just didn't eat out so much, I'd really like this.
The Main: For me, it's the risotto, and I really have to stop doing this to myself. It's mushroom risotto and firstly, you know I don't like mushrooms. And secondly, you know I think risotto is monotonous. So I kinda don't enjoy this. (Surprise.) Although I would say that the risotto is pretty perfectly prepared. It's still just that right amount creamy. Ah, and there are some generous shavings of parmesean sprinkled all over. I liked those.
The Service: Started out strong, but then our mains took ages and ages to arrive–I had to ask, "Um, when?" (Initially, we were in synch with the table next to us…they ordered right before us, and we got our starters immediately after them. But then they got our mains and were nearly finished before we got ours. They were four. We were four.) And then when we asked for the bill, the first time, it said £120. That was incorrect. The second time, it said £110. That was incorrect too. And the third time, it said £100. Bingo. But come on…Feathers practically had to write out the bill FOR our server. Not good.
The Verdict: Go for the chairs. And the wallpaper. Not the food. Or the service.