Having recently undergone a rebrand with a very British focus and a move to all-day-dining, we visited 108 Marylebone Lane for an evening of English Sparkling Wine and a taste of their new menu.
Tucked away down Marylebone Lane but still within view of Marylebone High Street, 108 Marylebone Lane is part of The Doyle Collection’s Marylebone Hotel. Guests are able to access the restaurant from The Marylebone Hotel (entrance on Welbeck Street), but approaching from Marylebone Lane you wouldn’t know the two are necessarily connected. In my opinion this is a good thing – as a Marylebone local the idea of going for a meal ‘inside’ a hotel doesn’t particularly appeal.
The restaurant feels spacious inside, with a more casual dining environment near the front close to the bar and a more formal area towards the rear. The long bar itself is beautiful – a great place for an evening drink as a hotel guest or a passerby where you can also watch the chef slicing and preparing the all British charcuterie in front of you.
Having heard much about English Sparkling Wine in recent times, we began the evening with a taste of 108’s selection of Nyetimber wines – West Sussex based Nyetimber have established themselves as one of the leading English Sparkling Wine houses. Having completely prejudged what I was to expect based solely on the fact I did’t think England was capable of creating anything wine related of any quality, I honestly had not set my expectations very high. I was to be pleasantly surprised though – the Nyetimber Wine offered a great British alternative to what you might normally order, whilst the light and tiny bubbles were a refreshing change from the sometimes aggressive sparkle found in Champagne – as well as a change from the aggressive morning after headache…
So far impressed with what West Sussex had to offer, we travelled north west to Wales’ Monmouthshire for a selection of British Charcuterie from leading artisan charcuterie producer Trealy Farm. The board included wild boar salami, air dried venison salami, lamb and rosemary carpaccio, air dried pol loin, Monmouthshire mature ham – all served with 108 pickles, rémoulade and rustic bread. Everything tasted great with some extremely rich flavours, whilst it has to be added there was something particularly pleasant about eating and drinking British – maybe the English Sparkling Wine was starting to bring out the patriot in me!
Moving on to the main course I selected the Pan Seared Sea Bass served with Cornish crab and lemon – a positively uncomplicated dish (a common theme throughout the new menu). When lemon is involved in a fish dish it is often nice to be able to apply it yourself, but fortunately the balance of flavours was good whilst the white crab meat complimented the sea bass well. My company for the evening strayed across the Atlantic, ditching the so far all British theme for the Hamburger served with home fries. Well presented on a wooden board, the fries (often the failing of a burger meal) received a strong review whilst the burger was juicy, flavoursome and of a decent size – one of those ‘hard-to-handle-but-in-a-positive-way’ burgers!
Having already eaten far too much, we couldn’t resist splitting a peanut butter brownie for dessert served with vanilla ice-cream. With both of us being lovers of peanut butter and of brownies, it wasn’t a hard decision. Although a strange concept, I was a big fan – the brownie itself had a perfectly smooth peanut butter flavour and its richness was softened by the refreshing vanilla ice cream. Certainly recommended!
A bed time Negroni from the bar brought our (nearly) all British evening to a close. The refreshed 108 Marylebone Lane offers the quality and service you might expect from The Marylebone Hotel, without feeling like you are eating in a hotel – for me the perfect combination. Worth a visit, with a glass of English Sparkling Wine being absolutely compulsory when you do!
108 Marylebone Lane
Nearest Tube: Bond Street
Phone: 020 7969 3900
Website: 108 Marylebone Lane