With the biggest celebrity hotspot and most talked about restaurant of the year, Marylebone (pronounced ‘Marry-leh-bon’, not ‘bone’… or so I’m told) is now an area of London to see and be seen.
The Cavendish – not to be confused with the Mayfair hotel of the same name – at 35 New Cavendish Street, is a new addition to this foodies’ paradise.
Its Spanish head chef Alfonso Lillo Fas moved to London from Spain (with a stint at El Bulli) and promises to source the freshest ingredients for his modern European-style cuisine with crisp and simple dishes.
The ground floor bar has a feel of a posh gastropub with huge windows, round stools and tables and parquet floors, while the restaurant upstairs is designed with a smarter look of banquettes and white table cloths.
We get a table in a room that is usually reserved for private parties, but is open for all diners the evening we visit.
Plush comfortable green chairs and green wallpaper, heavy curtains and a group of distinguished looking gentleman at a table next to us creates the feel of dining at an elegant private club.
The Cavendish’s dining menu has a section called the ‘Raw Bar’ that offers oysters, ceviche and other seafood dishes.
The other starters such as risotto, carpaccio and Iberian ham have Spanish and Italian flavours, while main courses include a good selection of meat and fish dishes.
We begin with a glass of lovely Drappier Brut Nature Zero Dosage champagne (£12) and a Mix of Ceviche (£22) and Beef Carpaccio (£17).
I’m a big fan of a classic Peruvian ceviche dish served with sweet potatoes, onions and corn and so I am a bit disappointed with the tiny size of my ceviche starter, but the dish is fresh and delicious.
My friend, whose appetite is not as big as mine, is quite happy with the size of her carpaccio that is served with capers, rocket and Parmigiano flakes.
We both go for a portion of fabulous Chargrilled Yellowfin Tuna (£26) with roasted baby leaks and salsa verde for our mains combined with a glorious glass of SV Dillons Point Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough in New Zealand (£9.50/175ml).
We are having a great time at The Cavendish and go to the downstairs bar for a nightcap. The place is bustling and beautifully decorated for the festive season and I don’t feel like leaving at all, but, thankfully, the bar stops serving at 11pm and so we catch the last carriages home.
Our conclusion – don’t worry if you can’t get a table at Chiltern Firehouse, there are plenty more good places to eat and drink in ‘Marry-leh-bon’.
Read our guide to the best restaurants in Marylebone.
Vilma dined as the restaurant’s guest, but we hope you agree that this didn’t influence her review – you can read our editorial policy here.