Wild Honey reopens as a swanky brasserie in St James’s within the Sofitel hotel
A few months after the closure of its original Mayfair site, fine-dining restaurant Wild Honey has re-opened at the Sofitel in St James’s. The completely refurbished dining room, the work of interior designer Jim Hamilton, features high ceilings and 110 seats split over two levels. Guests can sit either close to the bar, where they can enjoy a lighter / more casual meal (though the restaurant’s menu is available too) or by the actual dining area, where comfortable blue velvet banquettes and caramel leather chairs fill the floor.
Chef Anthony Demetre, who ran two michelin-star restaurants for several years – Arbutus and Wild Honey – is known for his French-influenced cooking style. With Arbutus, he tried to bring to London the success of Parisian gastro-bistros; then he added the tablecloth fine-dining to the portfolio.
Wild Honey St James is a swanky brasserie, and the menu reflects it. We tried a mix of starters: first the Handcut Macaroni Cacio e Pepe. It comes with crispy boneless chicken wings, which are juicy and rich, but you can’t have pasta and chicken on the same plate, it’s just not allowed. The Grilled Galician Octopus is a show-stopper but it was the Crisp Pig’s Head that delivered the best flavours.
Of all the mains, the rabbit’s saddle is Demetre’s jewel. It’s prepared as a sliced roulade just like at the Mayfair site, and it comes with shoulder cottage pie as well as girolles and Italian green beans. For pescatarians – or anyway those who favour fish – the grilled plaice is a comforting option.
Given the restaurant’s name, it more than makes sense that one of the desserts is ice cream made from honey, served with fresh honey taken from the frame in front of the customers. Currently, it’s sourced from Burford (Cotswolds) but in future they plan to have their own. Another dessert worthy to be tried is the warm chocolate soup with toasted rice ice cream.
For a buzzy, casual meal – with good food – Wild Honey St James won’t disappoint. They also have a spacious, 16-seat private room full of artworks, as well as a very convenient set lunch (£24 two dishes / £27 three dishes). Next to the restaurant, the newly refurbished St James Bar offers its own snacks menu (also looked after by the chef) and over 100 labels of whiskey. Wild Honey is a smart, easy place to dine at.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
To book a table at Wild Honey St James, 8 Pall Mall London SW1Y 5NG, call 020 7968 2900 or visit their website here.