Hatchett’s Hotel and Coffee House was one of the most famous coaching inns in the 18th and 19th century in Piccadilly. Their famous cellar is where travellers used to gather, share a drink and gossip about the happenings of the day. The modern-day Hatchetts is no doubt hoping to develop into a similarly popular venue where people gather to sample their carefully crafted modern British menu and home infused cocktails.
The location is just off Shepherd market in Mayfair, where the village feel of a town square still exists in modern-day London. The ground floor bar area feels accessible and welcoming with rustic brickwork, low-hanging filament light bulbs and a charming looking bar. The main restaurant area downstairs is even more warm and embracing: the deep red walls, the aqua couches and light wooden chairs along with the vintage looking wine racks gives almost a Mediterranean feel to the restaurant.
The food is most definitely British with head chef Andrew Evans having trained with most of the top chefs in London over the past 20 years. What stands out most at Hatchetts are the beautifully plated food and the unusual pairing of ingredients. Devonshire crab is matched with thin slices of nectarine and flavoured with brown crab mayo. The Kentish courgette flower does look on the small side, but is beautifully flavoured with refreshing lemon ricotta and is paired unusually with a char grilled flat white peach.
They use Ballindalloch for sourcing their fillet steak here and it was unsurprising how tender the meat tasted given it is from the historical home of the Aberdeen Angus. The accompanying pan haggerty is a sinful delight with layers of joyful potatoes and cheese and there are a few Scottish girolles spread on the dish to add more aromatic flavours.
For fish, we tried the surprisingly undervalued brill. The fish has a firm texture and a sweet taste to the flesh, because it tends to feed off smaller fish and crustaceans. There were well thought-out accompaniments with cuttlefish and braised baby gem to offer textural variety and finished off with a brilliant ink dressing.
Dessert is an afterthought in most restaurants, but here it is the highlight. Espresso granita with coffee ice cream is a caffeine lovers dream dessert: it is creamy, it is frothy, it is absolutely addictive. Lincolnshire gooseberries and local elderflower cheesecake is a majestically beautiful creation with the fruits and flowers encased inside jelly sitting on top of the cheese cake. A visit to Hatchetts is a divine joy from the first course to the very last.