Lucie Loves...Lobster Virgins // Date night @Bentleys_London with @jmgcreative
Those of you who read my blog who are also in long-distance relationships will understand the importance of ‘Date Night’. But then again, I suppose even those of you who live with your boyfriend or girlfriend or are single will know how exciting going on a date can be?
JMG and I have been together for over 5 years now. Where’s the ring? I hear you ask… *ahem* Haha!
We’ve prioritised saving up to live together again over 'putting a ring on it.’
Before I moved to London to take a new job, JMG and I had lived together for 3 years. So, it’s fair to say that I miss him.
But… not living with someone also has some perks. The old 'absence makes the heart grow fonder’ saying is something we can both definitely relate to.
THANK GOD for FaceTime!
That really is a life/relationship saver. I can catch up with my mum and family hundreds of miles away up north in Warrington and also speak regularly to my boyfriend. I probably FaceTime more than I call him and my mum these days.
Anyway, back to 'Date Night’…
It had been 3 weeks of not seeing one another - trying to save the pennies for our own Grand Design and all that - and I was craving a romantic night out with JMG. I wanted a surprise. I wanted to go somewhere I hadn’t been before and try food I’d never tasted. I wanted to flirt outrageously!
And so… after work, I dashed home, threw on a change of clothes and touched up my make-up and jumped on a tube with my man to Piccadilly circus to head to our 9pm table booking.
I had no idea where we were going until I saw the sign for Swallow Street and my heart did a little leap!!
Months ago, I’d been to a tech event with my housemates and had passed some pretty amazing looking fish and oyster restaurants, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of central London, on Swallow Street.
I must have enthused about wanting to go there some day, as I do about most tasty food places, and he had remembered! YESSS!
We walked through the doors of Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill and waited whilst the lady took our coats and gestured for someone to come and guide us to our table. We walked past the long marble-top and red leather banquette seating area of the traditional Oyster Bar and were shown to a table for two upstairs in The Grill. A rather traditional style dining room complete with linen tablecloths, napkins, and William Morris design fabric and fishy artwork-adorned walls.
Richard Corrigan has certainly done very well creating a place like Bentley’s.
I had fretted about going for a white wine as it was fish we were going to order, but the waitress told me to go for whatever I wanted from their extensive wine list.
We looked at the wine menu and after much 'umming and aaaahing’ decided to order a bottle of 2011 Malbec Finca La Linda Luigi Bosca– Argentinian red wine, £25.
We were both eager to try Lobster for the first time but were a little overwhelmed by the menu and the various ways to order it… Lobster thermidor or grilled? Whole or half? One between two? One each? Arghhh!? How much meat would you get? Half a Lobster is priced at £24.50 or for a whole one it’s £48.
As we’d never eaten it before, we thought it best to go for half, with a side of homemade chips, £4.75 and spring greens, £4.75. I order Baked Fillet of Sea Bass, Salsify, Blood Orange & Brown Shrimp, £24.75.
It was utterly delicious.
And the lobster was very more-ish too, so much so that we actually wish we’d ordered a whole one. Turns out there isn’t much meat on half a lobster - not for a grown man or woman with a growling stomach anyway… We’ll know for next time anyway. I’m excited to try Burger & Lobster now, to see how the quality of their Lobster holds up to the superb one we had at Bentley’s.
Bentley’s is the benchmark.
We finished off our date with cocktails at Mark’s Bar at HIX, Soho.
I’ve been here a couple of times now - the first time was with my friend Roz who introduced me to the place. I love it! I’ve never been to New York, but I get the feeling it’ll be a lot like Mark’s Bar at HIX…
The cocktails are fantastic! Some of THE BEST I’ve had in London. They aren’t cheap, at around £12, but watching them being made is like having front row seats to some sort of magical performance artist. It’s definitely date-worthy. If you want to impress someone, you will, if you take them here.
This. Is. The. Place.
Summary: We thoroughly enjoyed our meal at Bentley’s, it was perfectly proportioned, cooked and presented. My only small gripe is that when the waitress came over with our bottle of wine there was no “Who would like to try it?” She immediately offered it to JMG. The man. As, I suppose, is the tradition? However, “TO HELL WITH TRADITION! Let me try the wine lady!" Just saying…
I love Mark’s Bar at HIX - JMG liked it too - the drinks were good, the lighting was ambient (I love the NEON), the music was great!
If you’d like to try Bentley’s, I recommend booking a table as it can get very busy - especially on a Friday and Saturday night.
11-15 Swallow Street, London W1B 4DG
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus
T: 02077344756 or 02074999943
Photography © Lucie Kerley