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Curating luxury for the discerning traveller

Year of the pig: Blue Boar restaurant

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A firm staple in the heart of Westminster for good British fodder, Blue Boar at the Conrad London St. James offers a seasonal and ever-changing menu boasting myriad regional ingredients. Decked out in dark wood and quirky artworks featuring familiar political faces, this hotel restaurant has been a London favourite for the past six years. Executive chef Michael Riordan has been at the helm since 2015 and has championed the use of seasonal and regional ingredients in his menus throughout his 30-year career. His passion for British cuisine is threaded through my meal, which celebrates fine ingredients sourced in the UK, including seafood caught fresh off the coastlines of Devon and Cornwall.

To start, I enjoy delicate slices of smoked salmon that has previously been steeped in Suffolk Ale, giving it a sweet yet smoky flavour. It’s topped with candied beetroot and a hard-boiled quail’s egg, accompanied by sumptuous dill and oyster mayonnaise and airy seaweed wafers, which tie the plate together with a satiating crunch. The crisp glass of Champagne I’m quaffing alongside this elegant dish complements it perfectly.

Dining
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The great reputation of Gressingham duck, from a British company renowned for prioritising the welfare of its birds, guides my next choice. The pan-roasted duck breast arrives with pumpkin and Flemish red cabbage dotted with jus. Lean and juicy, the flavour is robust and goes perfectly with a glass of full-bodied Chilean Merlot.

The grand finale of this wonderful show comes in the form of the spiced apple and pumpkin pie, served with creamy vanilla-bean ice cream. The dish is somewhat deconstructed, revealing how all the different elements come  together. The pastry is realised in a stunning cross-hatched cylinder that is dusted over with icing sugar and perched atop a fine crumble. Visible through the slats in the pastry is a stew of sweet apple and pumpkin  chunks, enriched with cinnamon to give it some spice. This delight is accompanied by a snifter of Cyprès de Climens dessert wine and followed by a cleansing lemon verbena tea.

Hearty and familiar yet balanced and innovative, Riordan’s rendition of  seasonal British classics is a delight. For a relaxed evening with delectable flavours, great wine and impeccable service, head to Blue Boar.

Blue Boar at the Conrad London St. James, 45 Tothill Street, SW1H 9LQ.
020 3301 8080 | blueboarlondon.com

Images courtesy of Conrad London St. James

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