Restaurant open for brunch Mon—Sun 10am—10pm; lunch Mon—Sun midday—5.30pm; dinner Mon—Sat 6pm—11pm, Sun 6pm—10pm
Angelus is nestled at the edge of Hyde Park and Lancaster Gate, on a quiet street of upmarket shops and next to the Hyde Park stables. Off the beaten track of the usual Mayfair cohort of high-end restaurants, it flies somewhat under the radar, but for those in the know its Art Nouveau dining room is the go-to destination for contemporary French cuisine and a wine list to challenge the best (founder Thierry Thomasin was previously chief sommelier at Le Gavroche and Chairman Sommelier of Britain).
Not content with resting on their laurels, Angelus have recently launched a new brunch menu to welcome in the warmer months. This decadent selection of locally sourced dishes also has the fairly unique attribute of being available all day—from 10am to 11pm—enabling the devoted bruncher to get their pastry or eggs benedict fix long after even dedicated brunch outlets have stopped serving them!
The wine list at Angelus tempts like a siren with its extensive, intriguing selection, many surprisingly affordable for a restaurant of this calibre. We started with the signature Angelus cocktail—a tart champagne, campari, cointreau mixture that was bitter but moreish, & then took recommendations from Thierry regarding wines. Amongst a bounty of informative morsels about London and food in general, he suggested a dry and aromatic white for me, and a spicy but smooth red for my companion. Both were beautiful.
We started with apricot and thyme loaf and a gingery flatbread, both smelling—and tasting—as good as they sound. We both ordered eggs to begin with, given it is a brunch menu. Eggs Benedict and eggs Florentine duly arrived, swaddled by a well-balanced hollandaise; although I usually make mine tarter, this had enough citrus kick, while retaining the mellow smoothness to please a more universal audience. The only fly in our soup, as it were, was that for each of us only one egg was runny, with the other yolk firm. While this was a minor concern when balanced against superb flavour and presentation, it does remove some of the joy for me when the yolk doesn’t ooze out over the plate when cut.
The rib eye was absolute perfection in terms of tenderness & flavour. The double-cooked chips—baked then fried—had a lively texture and moistness that I thought was brilliant. My companion was not initially convinced but by the end of the meal was also swearing by them.
For my second course, I went for the baked Camembert embedded with black truffles. Truffles are my weakness, and I went through as much of this—admittedly heavy—dish as I could with the delightful accompanying prune and armagnac toast, before collapsing into what I fondly think of as the truffle stupor. It could also be a cheese stupor; but I like to think I’ve hardened my constitution to cheese through years of concentrated consumption. The lighter bread was a good partner for the truffle-sodden Camembert, which was everything one might hope. Best as a sharing dish, the smell of truffle caressed my throat until late in the day.
We finished with lime crème brûlée. Creamy, with less brûlée crispness than expected, the lime morsels at the side were exquisitely sharp in balance. Little lemon tarts came with coffee, also delicious.
Thierry deserves repeated mention as utterly charming throughout our meal, and a fountain of knowledge about food and the area—in fact if you’re new to London or visiting it is worth coming here to get his perspective alone. Always on-hand Séverine was delightful too, with none of the stiffness you sense in some restaurants.
Our cab driver on the way back to the office turned out to be quite the gastronome himself and on hearing about Angelus made a note for a future visit… You should too. I’ll certainly be going back, whether for a whimsical eggs royale at 10pm or to try their set lunch menu (two courses for £22) or just for a few glasses of wine of an afternoon—or all three. With cooking, service and a location like this, you can’t go wrong.