The slow pace

Le Chalet, London

Every year we try to visit London just before Christmas. It’s the perfect start to the holiday season and  it makes us happy: those bright lights, all that frenzy shopping, the hundreds of people in a specially good mood… and the food. Of course. On a very cold Friday we looked for shelter in, ehem, Selfridges, and had the most festive lunch at Le Chalet, the Winter rooftop restaurant. If that corridor doesn’t put you in a Christmas mood, I don’t know what will.

As soon as we walked in, we felt like singing carols and drinking coktails and since we didn’t have reservations that’s what we did on the bar. Well, we didn’t sing carols out loud but in my head it was “jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way” on repeat. We waited for about half an hour but honestly we didn’t care. The place was so lively and beautiful that time flew. The decor was charming: tartan blankets, wood, thousands of twinkling lights and lots of green touches. It felt cosy and glamorous at the same time.
But what about the food? Well, we started with a warm loaf of Sordough bread served with butter and sea salt. They got me there. Is there anything better than that? Butter that melts slowly and disappears to make the crispy bread more delicious and a sprinkle of sea salt to add a zingy texture… mmm!Then we ordered the buttermilk chicken schnitzel with blue cheese fondue.  Well, this was a little bit disappointing. It was nice but not that explosion of flavour we had waited for. The chicken was tender and well seasoned but we wouldn’t order it again. The sole, on the contrary, was spectacular. It was the day’s special and it was spicy, fresh and delicious. Not your average order in an alpine chalet, but well, it was fantastic. We ordered a side of broccoli, that was savory and a tad crunchy. Really nice.
But the highlight of our meal was about to arrive to our table: Steamed chocolate and toffee sponge. What did you expect? I had grilled fish and vegetables! I needed a strong dessert to compensate. And even P., who doesn’t have my sweet tooth, couldn’t get enough of it. It was a dream of chocolate and caramel: warm chocolate sponge with tofee sauce and cold ice cream with chocolate bits. Each mouthful was exquisite, smooth and strong.
And, of course, we couldn’t leave without trying a choctail! A heavenly mix of hazelnut, almond liqueur, dark chocolate and hot chocolate. We couldn’t stop smiling. It was almost Christmas, we were in London, we had chocolate and we were surrounded by Louis Vuittons, Chanels and Pradas.
If you visit Selfridges, just take the elevator to the fifth floor and enjoy a warm chocolate and a indulging dessert. If you want to have lunch or breakfast, do book a table. (Telf. 0207 318 3287) Though the bar is quite nice and a great place for people watching!