By Christopher A. Pape
What’s in a name; a rose by any other name smells just as sweet. And so it is with The Montague, on the Garden a four-star hotel, which seems to inhabit two worlds. With its ideal location – directly in front of it is the British Museum and the hustle and bustle of tourist London it is perfect for the visitor. To the rear there’s a serene private garden, cut off from the city by a rectangle of fine Georgian townhouses. And between these two words is the stately, comforting and one might even say, perfect The Montague, on the Garden Hotel.
While the hotel transports you to a different time and place, it is the dining that touches the soul. The team has thought of every nuance and for every mood and for every time of day, there’s a place to eat, drink, or relax with friends. Their main restaurant, The Blue Door Bistro offers a menu that delivers both modern British cuisine as well as comfort dish classics.
Delving deeper into the dining options at the hotel is like discovering a pristine, untapped world. It is simultaneously magical and exhilarating. The Blue Door Bistro provides a welcoming, bistro-style setting, with a thoughtful menu to match. Light and airy at lunchtime, warm and cozy by evening, the room is decorated on three sides with a panoramic view of London circa 1849: together with the rich mahogany paneled walls, effective use of mirrored glass and contemporary wrought iron wall lights, an ambience rooted in the hotel’s location is beautifully achieved.
From start to finish we loved every bite. For example, the chicken liver pâté with toasted onion bread or the Pran and lobster cocktail ‘A Red Carnation Favorite’ were outstanding portents of things to come. The lobster was so succulent that we hardly had to chew! “Like butta” – Barbra Streisand would say. Moving onto to the main courses a duck cottage pie with winter vegetables warmed both body and soul. And the pan-fried sea bass with orange glazed fennel and black olive mash was made with care, technique and was an absolute pleasure to eat.
Executive chef, Martin Halls, blends the freshest of seasonal ingredients and herbs from the hotel’s herb garden with classical preparation techniques to create wonderful seasonal British menus. The dishes you find on the menu are also combined with the influence of Beatrice Tollman, President and Founder of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection. Beatrice has a particular passion for food and entrusts her famous signature dishes to Martin.
The Blue Door Bistro is commended with an AA rosette and is accredited by the Sustainable Restaurant Association. They make every effort to avoid using any genetically modified foods and insist on only the freshest of ingredients. We loved it and are sure you will too! •
15 Montague Street
Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5BJ
+44 (0) 207 958 7731