The Colony Grill Room at the glamorous Beaumont is where you would undoubtedly find Don Draper dining (and seducing) if he was in town. As for the lady he would be dining with, who knows. Oozing Manhattan sophistication, the flattering lighting, clubby yet romantic oxblood red leather booth seating, black and white photographs of long since departed legends and stylised Art Deco-style murals set the tone of a bygone era we long to return to.
As does the wide ranging all-day à la carte crammed with crowd pleasing American classics such as a New York-style shrimp cocktail (no Iceberg in sight, naturally) to the hot dog, hamburger and lobster roll, all complete with UK/US sandwich flag to show the restaurant’s dual loyalty. If things couldn’t get any better or more playful, the finale to a meal here has to be The Colony’s famed customisable ice cream sundae with as many sauces and toppings as you can muster.
Aside from the fun and informal fare on offer here, there are plenty of dishes you’d expect to find in the grandest of New York grills such as Dover sole with Béarnaise sauce or grain fed USDA prime rib eye, making it an ideal venue for a celebration or intimate dinner for two. Pa and I went for the special of beef Wellington with a rich red wine jus, and what a celebratory dish it was. The perfectly rare fillet (Ayrshire 30-day dry aged Aberdeen Angus), encased in the headiest mushroom duxelle, spinach, crêpe and meltingly delicious shortcrust pastry. I’m not sure if that or the side of pomme purée contained more butter.
Having dined here on countless occasions and sampled food at both ends of the culinary spectrum, I can vouch for their attention to detail and consistency regardless of ingredient. Rest assured, if you do come here and splash out, everything will be on point, while it’s equally good to know that no-one will judge you if you want to pig out on the simple but unparalleled pleasure of buttermilk fried chicken, complete with moorish French fries and that good American staple, Heinz ketchup. For afters, that New Orleans classic and Colony signature, Banana Foster, complete with a rum and caramel sauce should tickle your sweet tooth. Just remember though, just because I fancy a hamburger doesn’t mean that I don’t want champagne with it.
The Colony Grill Room has the exclusive feel of a private members club, and as such they make you feel extremely welcome (not least the entirely loveable Italian maître d’). It’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll sign up to becoming a regularly here and will find yourself popping back whenever you’re in the area, if only for a quality coffee and a to-die-for slice of ‘Jimmy’s Chocolate Cake’. End the evening in the adjacent American Bar with an Old Fashioned, Don Draper’s drink of choice, complete with the lulling sounds of classic jazz.
It’s very easy to lose track of the time here, but if you still haven’t had enough of the place when it comes to last orders, go back the next day for a refreshing morning shave at the Beaumont’s barber shop-esque Salon (or a wash and blowdry if you be female) followed by a hearty breakfast or brunch. The Colony makes a mean American pancake and duck egg corned beef hash, simply perfect when washed down with a Bloody Mary.
The Colony Grill Room at The Beaumont, 8 Balderton Street, Brown Hart Gardens, London W1K 6TNLondon. For more information and to book a table please call 020 7499 9499 or visit the website.