Yesterday I took some close and extended to family to visit The Well restaurant in Clerkenwell – an excellent decision if I do say so myself. My choice of venue for a late Sunday lunch was decided with help from various reviewers online and a friendly little push from Tastecard (which gives 50% off for a party of up to 8 at The Well). The result was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.
I received a message from my mum last week informing me that her cousins from America were coming to London, and could I, with my ‘expert knowledge’ of London (I wouldn’t go that far, but thanks mum), recommend somewhere nice to eat. I was given specifications: free parking nearby, close to Euston/Gower Street, and nothing too out of the ordinary cuisine-wise. Naturally, excited about hopefully discovering a new dining gem, I wasn’t inclined to pick purely based on location, so I began to browse.
The Well first caught my eye when scrolling on Toptable, and after viewing the menu, and praise from many diners, I was sold. Not only did it match every criteria I was looking for, I discovered I could get money off our meal too with Tastecard – this was already looking like a definite winner.
My boyfriend and I arrived at the restaurant first, discovering straight away a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The décor in the restaurant on ground floor at The Well consists of weathered wooden tables in a wide variety of sizes, a bar area with many options of drink on display, chalked specials and cocktail boards, and two walls of ceiling to floor glass windows letting in a lot of light and making the place particularly inviting. Downstairs from here though (as discovered when popping to the bathroom) has a completely different vibe. Round leather stools and wall benches are dotted around, and dark stained wood is the order of the day. Yet, what you notice first in this area are the marine tanks, full of brightly coloured fish, which really bring the area the life (excuse any unintended pun). This is clearly designed as an evening venue, and looks like quite a nice one; it can be rented out for parties and corporate events.
But, back to the main event. When my parents and relatives had arrived we all began to examine the menu, and to my delight there was something for everyone. A few of us opted for starters – I am told on good authority from Phil, who chose the oysters, that they were delicious. However, it is the mains that I can’t wait to rave about. Between us we sampled the full variety of Sunday roasts on offer: Roast rump of Cumbrian beef, Slow roast Middle White pork belly, and Roast half free range Devonshire Bronze chicken; as well as my mum and I each choosing the Roast breast of guinea fowl, confit leg ravioli, Grelot onions, heritage carrots and tops, with a Madeira jus. But I’ll start with the roasts – very generous portions (especially the chicken roast, which was undoubtedly fit for a king, and a rather large king at that) were accompanied with a wide variety of trimmings and sauces, all full of flavour and nicely cooked. The pork came with apple and thyme stuffing and an apple sauce, which I did eye-up enviously a few times, and the horseradish sauce which accompanied the beef apparently had a lovely flavour and just the right amount of kick. I was chuffed that our American guests were able to enjoy such a high quality version of a British classic. As for my lunch, it was the confit leg ravioli, as part of the guinea fowl meal, which was the real winner of the dish. Succulent and well filled, I could have eaten it many times over. This was also the first time I had eaten guinea fowl and, particularly flavoured with the Madeira jus, it was lovely.
The service at The Well was also great. The staff were very helpful and accommodating, despite the restaurant being quite busy when we first arrived. They were even happy to let my family sit at our table for hours after our meal as they weren’t fully booked until the evening. However, I can’t go without mentioning the desert. The real winner on the table was the sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and fudge ice cream, which was one of the best sticky toffee puds I’ve tried. There are many other deserts to be tempted by too, such as their Chocolate marquis with salted caramel ice cream. This actually goes for the majority of the menu, both their Sunday lunch and a la carte are full of tempting dishes that I can’t wait to try in the future.
The Well provided the perfect place for our gathering, and the food was delightful. Plus, on Tastecard it was the biggest of bargains. I couldn’t be happier.