Going Grey: Brumus Gets A Magnificent Makeover
Brumus, the Haymarket hotel’s bar and restaurant, has had a makeover. Gone is the hot pink interior so bright it would scorch the eyeballs of Katie Price, replaced with understated, glamorous grey. Huge fans of Kit and Tim Kemp’s Firmdale hotel chain (each decorated to interior designer Kit’s impeccable taste), we couldn’t wait to see what they’d done with the place.
Tactile fabrics and soft lighting invite theatre-goers and well-to-do businessmen in from the cold, to a bar bursting with cutesy cocktails and a brasserie-style restaurant offering a better wine list than most. Waiters who truly know their menus are rarer than hen’s teeth but this place is full of them, ready to recommend a drink or meal to suit your every whim.
We started our evening at the bar and were first and foremost delighted to find that our favourite chairs had survived the revamp. Different breeds of dog cut from applique felt adorn the back of every chair, in a nod to the restaurant’s namesake, Brumus. Kit and Tim’s beloved dog provided the original inspiration for this venue and we’d have hated to see the homely homage to the pooch disappear!
After studying the incredible cocktail menu for a full ten minutes, I opted for ‘Gingham Style’, a tart and zingy mix of Damson jam, lemon juice, Belvedere vodka and Ventozelo port. My partner was seduced by the ‘Oreo Crush’, a delightfully calorific blend of Oreo cookies, ice cream and vodka. Agreeing with me that he’d chosen the worst possible pre-dinner drink, he enjoyed it nonetheless…
Taking our seats under an unusual umbrella ceiling light, happily restored after the revamp, we admired the table’s imaginative candle holder, shaped like the hotel’s impressive facade. Just one of the delightful idiosyncrasies that makes Firmdale hotels so special, my waiter assured me that similar decorations appear at the Soho and Charlotte Street hotels. Genius!
Turning our attention to the brand new Spring A La Carte menu, the Dorset scallop risotto immediately caught my eye along with a mouthwatering plate of grilled chorizo, octopus, black olives and saffron aioli. Both were served in record speed, piping hot and full of flavour. Scallops can often arrive at the table in disappointingly low quantity and/or size, but this was not the case at Brumus, who served a helping so generous I had to stop myself from eating the whole thing in anticipation of the main course.
We went big with a Chateaubriand for two, cooked to medium-rare perfection and served with light courgette frites. The serving was more than ample and a drizzling of homemade peppercorn sauce took the dish from pleasing to perfect. We’d barely had time to recover when our charming waiter offered us dinky ice cream cones filled with tiny scoops of pear sorbet to cleanse the palette. How could we refuse?
Rounding off the grandiose affair with the tastiest coffee I’ve had in a while, (thoughtfully served with mint chocolate thins) we were offered a brief tour of the hotel. The guest rooms proved to be as tasteful as the restaurant, boasting a gorgeous green and pink colour scheme and huge, airy bathrooms. An indoor swimming pool doubles as a stunning function room, used for Hollywood movie wrap parties and suchlike, while the airy conservatory beckoned me back for Afternoon Tea.
I could hardly bear to collect my coat, which I took as a sure sign that Kit has achieved her goal – to make this hotel and restaurant truly feel like home. If you live in a palace, that is!
Amy @ FashionBite xx