Al fresco dining, endless glasses of Champagne, delicious seafood and every variety of oyster you could possibly dream of. Just a few of the things on offer at one of London’s most established seafood restaurants. Bentley’s has been serving customers it’s famous oysters, fish & chips, grilled fish and expertly cooked steaks for over 100 years now and the last 10 years of that it’s been under the watchful eye of Richard Corrigan.
Located just seconds from Piccadilly Circus and London’s best broadway shows, it’s the perfect place for a boozy evening meal or like us – an early afternoon on the outdoor heated terrace. Currently it’s looking great outside and tucked away on a sort of mews which means you don’t have cars passing you every moment, but instead the perfect place to people watch with a flute of Champagne in hand. We took our seat, ordered some Champagne and wrapped ourselves up in the provided blankets.
We started by tucking into a selection of oysters and a few too many bottles of the house Champagne, Paul Déthune Ambonnay NV Brut. This Champagne house is based in the Grand Cru village of Ambonnay in the heart of the Champagne and according to Bentley’s very iformative menu, has a long line of vintners dating back to 1610. It’s now run by husband and wife duo Pierre and Sophie Déthune who produce this delicious Champagne from a tiny 7 hectares of their own vineyards. A must order when dining here.
Choosing which varieties of oyster to eat is going to be the hardest task you’ll have here at Bentley’s and so my advice is to decide on how many and leave it to the capable team. Carlingford, Achill, Dorset and good old Jersey oysters, to name but just a few on offer which we tried. Oysters start at £2.50 a piece and go up to £6.00 for the more speciality selections. We really fell in love with the Galway No.2 oysters which were more rounder in shape than the traditional and had a lovely creamy texture to them.
A couple more bottles of that delicious Paul Déthune Champagne meant we had to sample my favourite ever seafood – langoustines. These were arguably some of the best I’ve had all year and if we were staying longer, I’d have ordered many more plates. All of these very fresh and juicy langoustines were packed with eggs and served with some lovely home-made bread which was perfect for mopping up all of the juices left over. It had also just come out of the oven when we arrived – heaven.
I’m so glad I finally made my way down to Bentley’s and it certainly won’t be the last. With all of my favourite things in one place just moments from some of London’s best landmarks – I can think of so many reasons why Bentley’s may well become my go-to Champagne (and seafood of course) destination.