Charlie's is Mayfair's newest restaurant, offering great British food and classic service. Behind it is Adam Byatt, Michelin-starred Chef Director of Brown's, and Lydia Forte, Group Director of Food & Beverage. Here, Adam and Lydia share what they love about their eminent establishment.
Chef Adam Byatt:
“I joined Brown’s Hotel in late summer 2019. As well as plenty of great development in the overall food offering at Brown’s, together with Lydia, we opened Charlie’s, with a commitment to providing classic, yet timeless British cookery.
Working alongside the innovative and talented Head Chef, Matt Starling has brought me excitement and inspiration. Each week our offering feels more and more succinct and so refreshingly different for Mayfair. Trolley-delivered Sunday lunches of roast beef (with all of the trimmings) of Dexter stock, sourced from the Rare Breed farm in north Essex, is just one example of how critically important using great British products is to both of us.
We change our set lunch menu each week, offering dishes that we may be looking to progress onto the à la carte menu, which aims to also celebrate the changing seasons. This month’s heroes include wonderful blood oranges and luminous-pink forced rhubarb, straight from the famed Yorkshire triangle.
The ever-popular smoked salmon trolley is a particular standout for me. Loaded with smoked salmon from my friend Robin Moxon, it’s dry-cured for a day in very special salt and smoked over a mix of wood, which he insists remains a secret. The flesh of the fish is just the right side of firm, the smoke providing a subtle background layer.
We have some exciting plans for the coming year at Charlie’s, but more on that next time. For now some great new dishes are planned for the coming weeks until the new season of wild garlic, English asparagus and morel mushroom arrives, all of which will be celebrated across the menu.
From the moment I laid eyes on Brown’s Hotel all those months ago, I was taken aback, and fell in love with Olga Polizzi’s exquisite design of the restaurant. The elegant wooden panels, dazzling wallpaper create an ambience that contributes immeasurably to each service. It adds the light, airy effect to each lunch and, with a cosy fire, a maturity to dinner.
After food, flowers are one of my other great passions, and, luckily, our tables never fall short with Ellie Hartley, whose shop on Dover Street keeps the hotel in fine floral form. And if you ever wondered where those beautiful table vases came from; I found them at the Hampton Court Flower Show last year, made by the brilliant Vanessa Conyers.”
"It has been a pleasure to work with Adam and the Brown's team on launching Charlie's and to watch the menu, offering and service continue to evolve and improve with every new detail.
We named the restaurant after my grandfather, Charles Forte. Nonno Charles lived hospitality: from his humble origins in a tiny central Italian village, with its fresh ricotta and family meals, to his first job at his cousin's ice-cream parlour in Weston-Super-Mare, to his grander achievements as owner of over 800 hotels including the Georges V in Paris and renowned London dining establishments such as Quaglino's and the Café Royal. Brown's Hotel was part of his business and among the first my father bought back when he started Rocco Forte Hotels.
It seemed fitting to me to be able to honour my grandfather a little bit and to have a small piece of Brown's’ long history immortalised in his name. I know he would have loved dining at Charlie's, from the aperitifs at the restaurant cocktail bar, to the home-made ice cream to the classic service; though I'm sure his attention to the minutiae and direct nature would have led to a few 'constructive' criticisms!”
Lydia and Adam look forward to welcoming you to Charlie’s. Book your table by calling 0207 518 4004.