Central London

Published on August 27th, 2014 | by Sophie Coulthard


The Oval Restaurant at The Wellesley, Knightsbridge

The Oval Restaurant at The Wellesley, Knightsbridge Sophie Coulthard

Summary: The Oval Restaurant is the hottest ticket in town. Come armed with high expectations, an empty stomach and an extended credit limit on your Mastercard.


Truly Exceptional

Choosing a restaurant for a special occasion? You could use the boring, go-to formula and pick a venue with a view, take a couple of Instagram-worthy skyline shots and spend most of your evening glued to your phone, checking to see how many people have liked them.

Or, you could forget The Shard, bypass the Heron Tower and ignore the city’s Tower 42; it’s time develop your tastes and dine in style at London’s best kept secret. Located in Knightsbridge and just a stone’s throw away from Hyde Park Corner tube station is the stunning, intimate Oval Restaurant that looks like something straight out of Baz Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby.

Housed in The Wellesley, London’s first boutique-grand hotel, the restaurant takes its name from the unusual shape of the room, which seats just 28 guests at a time. Inspired by the retro glamour of the 1920s like the rest of the hotel, (guests can stay in suites named after prominent figures of the time period such as Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin and Ivor Novelli), The Oval restaurant offers a truly exceptional dining experience from start to finish.


Guests entering The Wellesley will find it hard to miss the personalised hotel Rolls Royce parked outside the hotel, available for chauffeuring staying guests within a 1.5 mile radius (free of charge). Once shown to the restaurant, a crisp glass of ice-cold champagne is offered as you take in the surroundings, allowing you to admire the beautifully detailed marble flooring, exquisite crystal chandelier and white and gold scalloped wall details, all bathed in blue lighting. Service is impeccable – as you sink into the cream, buttery-soft leather booths, a waiter immediately appears to talk you through the impressive menu and serve an expensive-tasting breadbasket with beautiful Italian olive oil.

Having recently welcomed a new Executive Chef, The Oval Restaurant also debuted a new menu in June to showcase Michele del Monaco’s talents. You won’t be disappointed. Offering his modern take on authentic Italian dining, guests can dine either a la carte or from an innovative tasting menu. No prizes for guessing which option we chose…

The Foie Gras and Raspberry amuse bouche was a creamy and smooth glassful, perfect for smearing on the last few bits of bread we had left – a perfect lead-in to the first course. This was a beautifully presented Langoustine Carpaccio, served with an unusual but delicious crab and almond meringue. Flavours were delicate and subtle and not overpoweringly fishy, and the generous portion of crab and opaque carpaccio was decorated with jewel-like vegetables cut into the tiniest cubes imaginable with great precision.

Oval Knightsbridge

The next course offered three, jet-black packages of yet more seafood deliciousness. The Mediterranean Prawns in Squid Ink Ravioli was served with salty lobster bisque reduction and basil, and followed the sophisticated presentation we had by now become accustomed to. The Canon of Lamb main course, served with a swirl of pea puree and standing curls of caramelised shallots, was a piece of art, though was a slightly disappointingly sized portion.

This was then explained when the somewhat ordinary dessert of Dark Chocolate Fondant served with vanilla ice cream appeared. A little out of place on the unusual menu, guests shrieked with delight as the dish came out topped with a cloud of candyfloss and served with peanut brittle. Decadent, naughty and oozing opulence and melted chocolate, the dessert ensured there wasn’t a single millimetre of space for anything more…until the chocolate truffle box appeared filled with delights. This is definitely a restaurant where you leave your diet at the door.

The Wellesley

If you’re celebrating a special occasion, The Oval Restaurant is the hottest ticket in town. Come armed with high expectations, an empty stomach and an extended credit limit on your Mastercard.


The Wellesley, 11 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7LY

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