We're hosting a dinner on behalf of Wine Relief 2013 on Monday 4 March. It will be held at The Quality Chop House, a wine-lovers' restaurant recently re-opened by our son Will Lander and co-owner Josie Stead, who was previously in charge of service at Heston Blumenthal's Dinner and Sketch.
The food isn't anything like Dinner or Sketch in fact but is decidedly British with a daily-changing menu based on thoroughly British ingredients and transformed into deliciously nourishing food by the calmest chef in London Shaun Searley. There are three parts to the establishment: the Grade II listed restaurant with the original booths from its beginnings as a Victorian working man's dining room (right); a wine bar (below); and a private room with seating for up to 10 upstairs. Nick and his bridge cronies have already commandeered the private room.
The wine policy is to offer seriously interesting glasses, bottles and magnums - everything from unusual finds to really mature classics - at lower-than-usual mark-ups. I must say that when I saw the first wine list I was, for a nanosecond, rather put out as I loved it, yet had had nothing to do with it. Harrumph, I thought, where the heck did he learn all this? But my disgruntlement rapidly gave way to maternal pride.
The place - you can read all about it at www.thequalitychophouse.com - has already earned rave reviews from Tracey MacLeod in The Independent as well as several besotted tweets from The Times restaurant critic Giles Coren, who wrote recently, 'Wow. The new Quality Chop House. Soft roes, grey leg on toast, best house red I've ever had for £4. Don't wait for my stupid review. Go NOW. I said NOW. This is one of only half a dozen places to open in England this century that understands what a restaurant is supposed to be.' The Huffington Post observed, in a long and enthusiastic review, 'The house wines are very acceptable but oenophiles will surely have a good time.'
Our idea is to have that good time on Monday 4 March. The restaurant will be given over to a Wine Relief dinner, one four-course menu for £50 a head including service and VAT. The Chop House will provide all the food and service, and such wine as you choose. We're hoping to raise several thousand pounds for Wine Relief and to have a very good time into the bargain.
Please book directly with The Quality Chop House as below, in parties of six since that is how many each booth can accommodate.
Once the place is full, it's full, I'm afraid. And since places are limited and this is for charity, we would be grateful if, if by any chance you can't make it, you field someone else in your place. Hope you understand.
Reservations are not taken for the wine bar shown above that is just off the restaurant. You can order charcuterie, cheese and lighter dishes here.
WHAT Wine Relief Dinner
WHEN Evening of Monday 4 March 2013
WHERE The Quality Chop House, 92/94 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3EA (nearest station Farringdon)
HOW MUCH £50 a head plus wine
HOW TO BOOK tel 020 7278 1452 or email firstname.lastname@example.org