During a stay in London over Christmas, a day when much of the city -- nay, the country -- shuts down, I found myself searching for a good restaurant for a Christmas lunch that wouldn’t charge a dear price. I found that at the Grazing Goat.
The Grazing Goat is a country house style pub and hotel in the Portman Village on New Quebec Street, just off Portman Square, in the vicinity of Oxford Street and Marble Arch. It ranges over six floors, with the dining areas on the first and second floors, or, as they would say in London, the ground and first floors. You get the idea.
There is a countrified mien to the decor, with lots of blond woods and a couple of fireplaces (another plus for the winter visit), but it also has an upscale air.
I started my meal with Devon crab cakes and an herb salad with dill mayonnaise. My companion had the Colston Bassett Stilton with a mulled wine pear and a hazelnut salad.
Pan-fried cod was my entree, accompanied by giant chips (fries to Americans) stacked like logs and spritzed with essence of truffles. My friend had the roast turkey with chestnut stuffing -- it was Christmas, after all -- with braised cabbage and broccoli.
There was only one logical choice for dessert: steamed Christmas pudding with vanilla custard and brandy butter ice cream.
All of the food was quite good, though not exceptional. The staff made it so, giving ample attention to us and making us feel quite welcome in a foreign country on a major holiday.
The restaurant gets its name, by the way, from legend that says the first Lady Portman was allergic to cows and their milk, so goats were kept to graze on the land around the estate.
Here’s a link to the Grazing Goat’s website.