This is the first of my blog posts dedicated to eateries that – in my experience – give such great service to free-from customers that they deserve bells and whistles and general over-zealous congratulations.
Enter the Firmdale Hotels. There are seven in London and one in New York – and although I’ve only been to two so far, I am aiming to make my way around the rest (including The Crosby in NYC – you know, if someone else pays for the flights) by the end of the year.
My first Firmdale experience was at Oscar in the Charlotte Street Hotel. Right in the heart of Fitzrovia, it wasn’t the food but the Film Club that initially drew me in - a Sunday afternoon offering of a 3 course meal or afternoon tea, followed by a showing of a great movie in the hotel’s luxury screening room – all for only £35 per person.
I had mentioned my allergies when I made the booking – just to check that there would be something on the menu I could eat (I’m used to the one-choice-if-any menu scenario). So it was a real treat when when upon arrival we were greeted by a waitor fully prepped in what I could eat. Which actually turned out to be pretty much everything.
So greeted with far more choice than I ever usually have – I went for a creamy pumpkin soup, followed by roast lamb (I really am sorry I don’t have photos of these amazing dishes). I must admit, I did think I was going to be disappointed when it came to pudding. There wasn’t anything on the menu they could easily alter – but this didn’t matter, oh no! They brought out a delicious, warm coconut cake served with mango sorbet, and it was better than anything else on the menu (in all likelihood…)
I was so impressed with my experience that when it fell to me to organise a Christmas party last year – I new exactly where I wanted to go (that’s not to say I didn’t consider others, I did. Just not as much as myself.) I organised private dining at the Covent Garden Hotel – and both the service and food were just as great as I’d hoped. I have to give a particular shout-out to the chef, who topped off my Christmas dinner by whipping up a totally free-from apple crumble with custard. Yes, YUM.
Admittedly for most (myself included), this is probably not an every day eating-out choice, but if I was going fancy, I would go Firmdale. I found the service just as impeccable as the surroundings – and I would trust them with my diet any day of the week.