It's been a long old while since I did an eating out post, but I've decided to go back to it - so expect a few more over the coming months. The re-thought was prompted by my favourite department store, Selfridges, opening a new restaurant called Le Chalet which sits proudly on the 5th floor of their Oxford Street flagship and masks itself as a French ski cabin packed with everything you need for Christmas and gluttony.
With south facing views across London (you can see most of the City, right through to Knightsbridge clearly) it has a distinctly relaxed feel with an informal outside area (complete the heaters, rug and a cigar bar), an unreservable bar/drinks station, as well as the restaurant inside.
I took my friends Victoria and John along for a Sunday treat and kicked it all off snuggling into the big, comfy chairs whilst sipping their Malted Chocolate cocktail (it's essentially a dessert and is amazing, but possibly a little too heavy to begin) and Vic had their gingerbread martini which was very, very tasty even for someone who doesn't really like gingerbread.
The whole feel of the place just oozes comfort; its the type of restaurant you could arrive for brunch in and then find yourself getting a taxi home from at 9pm. The majority of tables were taken up with groups of girlfriends - and it is an ideal spot for eating with the parents (we also spotted a very comical pair of bloggers posing across the tables and doing selfies - which is exactly why I didn't take a single shot of my myself for this post - cringe).
Back to the food - we started with a blue cheese fondue with roasted garlic and toast. If it had been possible I'd have jumped into the pot of cheese - it was that yummy. Our starters arrived pretty quickly afterwards - I went for the crab, John had the raclette (and was very happy to have found it in London) and Vic had the salmon. We inhaled them, which may have been an error as our main courses were enormous...
I went for the baked short rib with parsnip mash (ooh and some cabbage with chorizo in - a side dish I plan to do over Christmas at home, with a few added chestnuts). It's been a while since I've smiled during a meal (which coincidentally makes eating a little bit tricky). The meat fell of the bone as it was so tender. The only downside was that I couldn't finish it, and unfortunately I couldn't take it home for
Lopez dinner as they have a policy that doesn't allow hot food through the department store, sob.
We couldn't manage pudding, so had some fresh mint tea (it's all about balance, right?) whilst regaining consciousness from our food induced comas... All in all it was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The waiters were incredibly attentive, but at the same time left you alone to enjoy your time with your friends. I'd recommend going at a time where you can see Le Chalet at night as it does rather come alive - that said, you then wouldn't get the views as well... Perhaps a 2pm lunch would be best...