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Have you eaten at Francatelli?

St. James’s Hotel & Club, 7-8 Park Place, London, SW1A 1LS

What the Newspaper Critics are saying

The Daily Telegraph

Restaurant critics like to give generous reviews but readers notoriously prefer stinkers. So this week they were in for a treat – led by William Sitwell, who was “bewildered” by the decision of the St James’s Hotel and Club to open a new restaurant inspired by Charles Elmé Francatelli, a Victorian chef whose 1854 tome, A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes, is in William’s view “the Most Revolting Cookbook of All Time”. Its recipes include gems such as “toast water (toast bread, put in a jug, add boiling water, cool, then drink). I’m not making this up.”

William’s meal was every bit as bad as the book and he tore into it with real
savagery, starting with “a freebie of six plums in blankets (think sugared
slug in burnt bacon)” and “a motley collection of misshapen ‘artichoke
beignets’: deep-fried veg of a dull flavour, useful only if you wish to break
wind savagely in two hours’ time.”

Pork terrine was “a miserable, oily little sliver…, so sad next to some
greying and vinegary piccalilli”; charred mackerel and pickled veg “a bitter
combo”; cep risotto “a gloopy heave of a dish”; and St James ham “three fat
cuts of ham topped with large carrots in thick gravy. It tasted as bleak as it

William Sitwell - 2024-05-05
St. James’s Hotel & Club, 7-8 Park Place, London, SW1A 1LS
Opening hours
Tuesday6 pm‑9:30 pm
Wednesday6 pm‑9:30 pm
Thursday12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑9:30 pm
Friday12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑9:30 pm
Saturday12 pm‑2 pm, 6 pm‑9:30 pm

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