Thursday, 28 March 2013


Now my head has finally cleared after an amazing night out at Boisdale of Canary Wharf I can report that I wasn't disappointed. The food, the music and the ambience is unique and worthy of the cost to enjoy pure unadulterated quality at a venue that clearly cares about all of its clientele.

My son and I arrived in a freezing north east wind-swept London with a few hours to spare before the event so we spent it wandering around Piccadilly Circus to kill some time. Then it was back to the hotel in central London to get our glad rags on and head for the tube to take us to Canary Wharf via London Bridge. As a visitor, I love the tube and could spend hours travelling on that with no particular destination in mind. I guess if I worked or lived in London then I might have a different view.

The warmth of the restaurant hit us as we entered and we immediately felt at home. We were given a free glass of Italian champagne each as we browsed through the menu. I chose potted smoked mackerel served chilled with horseradish chantilly and melba toast as a starter, and followed that with a main course of fish cake with cod and smoked haddock served with gentleman's relish and lemon. It was sublime. My son eyed up the rib-eye steak and devoured it, and ordered himself a scotch whiskey afterwards. The opulent and cultural setting is unlike anything available at home where restaurants however hard they try are pretty standard.

All of this was serenaded by the gentle jazz of Mark Crooks on horn and clarinet as part of a trio of players that included a cellist and a guitarist playing the music of Artie Shaw. They didn't just play, they caressed those instruments to make them sing and bring life and emotion to the music. It really hit a nerve and stopped me mid-mouthful as I ate to marvel at the talent on offer. My son also looked on in admiration.

When the band took a break, we left the restaurant and headed down to the Cigar Bar and Terrace. My son bought two cigars and we shared one. He kept the other as a souvenir. As a smoker, nights out are often ruined by being forced outside and the air that night was freezing. A waiter noted my discomfort and brought me, and other diners outside, a blanket which was very much appreciated. A humble act of care that makes all the difference.

It was my first proper cigar and I enjoyed it immensely although I hadn't realised that you could smoke it inside the warm and comfort of the bar with other cigar smokers. It was only when my son told me how he'd got 20 per cent off the price for the discomfort of smoking outside that it became apparent. Oh well, next time perhaps.

We then went back upstairs to finish our drinks and listen to more music before we headed off back to the hotel, exhausted after our day and splendid night out. I guess between us we spent about £100 but it was well worth it and definitely a place we'd both visit again as a special treat if we found ourselves in London. As part of the competition I won, I get free honorary membership and I feel sure that will come in useful. I simply can't wait for the next time which might well be when the next free choice event is held which I hear is on the cards.

For more information about forthcoming Boisdale competitions see HERE and for more information about Boisdales and what's coming up see HERE

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