I had lovely weather in Hamburg last week. My al fresco dining on the Aussen Alster lake made me long for more outdoor meals. Thankfully it was so warm in London on Monday that my dinner meeting with Red Carnation Hotels and London Hotels Insight took place outside on the Montague Hotel restaurant’s Terrace and Wood Deck.
I arrived at the hotel and met my fellow diners at the indoor bar. The room was decorated in tartan, dark wood, and all things traditionally English. We enjoyed pre-dinner drinks there before being shown to our table on the large deck outside. I had been there once for afternoon tea, but never for a meal. I was excited.
The terrace was well covered in case of rain, and had a huge grill at the back. As we perused the Blue Door Bistro menus, I learned that many of the wines came from Bouchard Finlayson in South Africa, which only exports a small quantity each year. I was excited to try something new, and our knowledgeable server recommended a great Pinot Noir.
On the food front, the Montague Hotel restaurant’s menu featured the classics. There was also a separate burger menu for the outdoor grill. On the not-so-classic front, there was an assortment of breads, and the unsalted butter came with selections of fleur de sel, vanilla salt, and a a kind of mesquite salt.
I started with black pepper prawns on baby gem lettuce. The prawns were excellent, with the perfect amount of spice and flavor. The lettuce could have used some more dressing or zest, but it was fresh and provided a nice crunchy contrast to the prawns.
For my main I had the breast of Barbary duck with a fig tart and Armagnac jus. The duck was tender, moist, and flavorful, and the fig tart was a great companion to it.
My sweet ending came in the form of rice pudding with salted caramel sauce and candied mixed nuts. It was divine. The pudding and sauce were sweet but not overly so, and complimented one another well.
After dinner on the Montague Hotel restaurant’s Wood Deck we moved into the lounge area to finish our drinks. The room was cozy, and we sat on overstuffed sofas as we talked about all things travel. It made me want to return in the winter to curl up in the comfort of the surroundings. But for now I will stick with al fresco dining for as long as the weather in London permits.