The other day, me and Guy kicked off our Festive break by going for brunch at L'Etranger in South Kensington, courtesy of Give Truly. As you can imagine, we were very excited.
L'Etranger is situated about a 5 minute walk from Gloucester Road tube station, which is one of my top five fave tube stations. What, you mean you don't have a top five fave tube stations? Hmmm...
Anyway, let's talk about brunch, baby. L'Etranger is a tasteful and chic little place that feels like a secret once you're inside. The lighting is stupendously flattering and the decor is fab.
The Give Truly gift entitles you to a glass of Champagne on arrival, with a three-course meal from the set lunch menu. From working in catering for a long time, I often shy away from set menus, as the ones in the hotel where I worked were always rubbish. Not so at L'Etranger: the set menu is an absolute delight.
To start, I chose the beef tartare and Guy had the eggs benedict. Both were absolutely lush and, inkeeping with the French/Japanese theme of the restaurant, had brilliant balance between the luxury of French cooking and the simplicity of Japanese. Since learning how to make sushi, I am obsessed with Japanese cuisine, so I loved my bento-box-stylee tartare with some creamy, sharp wasabi on the side.
We both went for confit lamb shoulder to follow, as we're such awful carnivores we never turn down a red meat. This was by far some of the most delicious lamb I have ever had, and Guy says it is "the best main I have ever had," which is high praise indeed from him. I absolutely 100% recommend the lamb. Seriously, it is almost life changingly good.
For dessert, I would have loved to try the chocolate parfait, but I was soooooo stuffed I had to opt for ice cream, while Guy went for sorbet. I had chocolate caramel sorbet and Guy had a range of citrus sorbets. It was all utterly delicious, and a great way to finish a brilliant meal.
As far as experience gifts go, I know a lot of people think they're naff or that you don't get what you pay for, but I can put my hand on my heart and say that you absolutely get what you pay for with Give Truly. This brunch is one of the best meals I have had (and I have eaten in Michelin-starred establishments!) and everything was pretty much perfect. If you want to treat someone, Give Truly is a brilliant option.
L'Etranger is a lovely place and, after experiencing the excellent food, top-notch service and a rather tasty Champagne, I will certainly be returning. Totally fantastic. Oh, and they were piping an e-book of a very nice French man reading something or other into the loos. He may well have been reading a shopping list or a Dan Brown novel, but it sounded great and was, I thought, a witty touch.
*This experience was gifted to my by Give Truly but this is a 100% honest review. This place is excellent.
* The photos are taken from L'Etranger's website. I abhor people who take photos in nice restaurants, and I wouldn't dream of including photos of the food, as I am of the opinion that with food, first impressions count, and I'd hate to spoil the surprise of just how pretty these plates look.