At Boyds Grill & Wine Bar it’s not you who make a grand entrance, it’s the bar itself. I mean, if a bar could make a grand entrance, this one certainly does. There is something theatrical about it, something grand when you enter the building on Northumberland Avenue, just off Trafalgar Square. The high ceilings with enormous chandeliers, the sweeping golden curtains, the 15 different kinds of marble covering the walls and floor, the art works on display, the rectangular copper-topped bar – they all contribute to a ‘Golden Age’ feel, it’s almost like stepping into a Hollywood movie.
The bar in the lobby of The Grand on Trafalgar Square hotel certainly has come a long way from being the nerve centre of the War Office during the Falkland War.
We were invited to the relaunch recently to meet the people behind Boyds, including many of the suppliers of their wonderful food, and get a taste of the new menu.
We also got to meet the man behind Boyds, Mr. Charles Boyd (“Call me Charles, Mr. Boyd is my father”). He told us about the history of the building and the different kind of marble and his vision to create a bar and restaurant that can be enjoyed by everybody, whether they just want a drink or eat a four course meal. His enthusiasm is infectious.
Boyds Grill & Wine Bar believes in using only the best British produce and Nate Brewster, the Executive Head Chef, has picked artisan and small scale producers to help deliver excellent new takes on old classics. A state of the art Synergy Grill in the kitchen ensures that meats, including Broughton Water Buffalo from Stockbridge and Scottish Black Gold beef will be cooked to perfection.
On the night we were able to chat to and try the food from a few of the people who supply Boyds: meat products from Trealy Farm in Wales and Trenchmore Farm in West Sussex, fresh fish and seafood supplied by James Knight of Mayfair, cheeses from Simon Weaver in the Cotswolds. Wines included sparkling wine from Nyetimber in South England and Boyd-Cantenac from the Margaux Appelation in France.
Hot and cold small plates, inviting you to eat tapas style, included Sipsmith Gin Cured Salmon with daikon and buttermilk sorbet – a feast of colours, textures and tastes, Fish and Shellfish Goujons in Beer Batter accompanied by Curried Hollandaise, a very moreish Brockley Soft Cheese Mousse with Tomato Salsa and Sour Dough, the most tender Braised Leg of Lamb with Tandoori Spice with Carrot and Citrus Mousseline and Macaroni and Wookey Hole Cheddar with BBQ Sauce.
We were also served a few of the main courses and side dishes as canapes to get an idea of what is on offer. Braised Short Rib Sandwich, Blythburg Pork Cutlet & Belly with Grilled Apple, Trenchmore Wagyu Beef, Cornish Beef Tomahawk Steak, Tandoori Halloumi & Caramalised Red Onion Skewer Parmesan Fries, Sweet Potato Wedges with Spring Onion Dip. All beautifully prepared and presented.
You can tell that Charles Boyd likes his sweets as the ice creams and other desserts from the Kitchen Bar bore witness. The ice cream is prepared on the spot using liquid nitrogen and come in the most interesting flavours. The bacon ice cream was divine and a huge hit with everybody we spoke to. We also loved the Indian cola flavoured sorbet and the sweetcorn and coconut ice creams were wonderful too. We missed out on the pea & mint, but I’m sure we would have liked that one as well! And there is every topping you can wish for. It is exactly like being a kid in a sweetshop. We also loved the mini trifles and steamed sponge cake. And we got our first ever taste of Dragon’s Breath. Lovely!
The wine list is extensive and curated by General Manager Fabien Babanini, featuring wines from around the world and all available by the glass, thanks to the newly installed ‘By The Glass’ machine which preserves the wines at their peak. There is also a long and interesting list of cocktails available prepared by expert mixologists.
Boyds Grill & Wine Bar is a place you can come to any time and enjoy a glass of wine with just a few nibbles, have a quick business lunch or a pre-theatre dinner, take the family for a casual or somebody special for a more formal meal. And you can sit wherever you are most comfortable: at the kitchen bar, in the lounge on a comfy sofa, on a table in the dining room or at the central bar. Wherever you sit, you can be sure of one thing – the service you’ll receive will be first class.
Charles Boyds’s creation, Boyds Grill & Wine Bar, is a truly beautiful venue and you can feel his passion and love for the place in every detail. We’ll definitely be back very soon – for the steak and to try out the rest of the ice cream flavours.
7am – 11am (Sat 7.30am – 12pm) (Sun 8am – 12pm)
12pm – 3pm (Mon – Fri)
5pm – 10pm (Mon – Sat)
12pm – 10pm (Mon – Sat)
Boyds Grill & Wine Bar, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BY