127 Ledbury Road, W11 2AQ
WLC Rank : 19
Glass from : £ 8.50 (125 ml)
BEST FORA seamless dining experience
World-class plates by Brett Graham, including Berkshire game
Service inclusive pricing
Champagne and sweet wines
Oliver Carr brings considerable experience from New Zealand, Australian and Denmark to his new role at dining destination, The Ledbury.
Brett Smith’s The Ledbury, Core by Clare Smyth, and more recently, Caractère (Emily Roux and Diego Ferrari) ensure Notting Hill’s supremacy as a global dining destination. Succeeding Seamus Sharkey, the sommelier at the former Duke of Cambridge pub is Oliver Carr, a New Zealander who studied oenology in his home country before moving to Melbourne’s Cutler & Co. then MASH Frederiksberg, Copenhagen.
Carr describes The Ledbury as, “truly a fantastic beast which holds a space in the hearts of many London diners.” His list is, “and will always be” built around classics, “especially Champagne, Burgundy and Piedmont,” and his remit is to respectfully, “preserve the incredible depth that I’ve inherited while promoting lesser-known regions and producers that I believe are reaching the same levels of balance and complexity.” Of the “couple of natural wines” already on the list on his arrival, Carr observes, “there’s a correlation between great producers and not needing to add anything to the wine – though I see myself as a lover of quality over philosophy.”
Suavely realised by acclaimed Australian chef, Brett Graham (who raises his own deer) and Surrey-born head chef, Jake Leach (who was part of the opening team of RIP, Simon Rogan’s Fera at Claridge’s), dishes are beautifully spaced and genuinely memorable and may include chantilly of oyster, sea bream tartare with frozen English wasabi paired with young Austrian Grüner Veltliner (Lössterrassen, Weingut Stadt Krems), and Loire Chinon (Les Grezeaux, Bernard Baudry) with fallow deer and endive. Carr believes, “wine should improve the food and vice versa.” But he isn’t about to “force anyone to ‘come on a vinous journey’ – though we can go into as much depth as the guest wishes!” He adds, “I’d love to be a dogmatic person but it just doesn’t look like any fun.”
If not in the mood for bubbles to begin, ask for the martini fuelled by Empirical Spirits comprising Fallen Pony Quince Tea, and end with an elixir from the rich list of sweet wines, including The Straw Man, Mr. K (Sine Qua Non) and a 1940s Vouvray. Note the prices may seem steep even for two Michelin-starred dining – however, every figure rather neatly already includes the service charge.
Carr relishes the “familial atmosphere” created by Brett Graham and Manager, Darren McHugh (ex Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley) and “the trust that our guests have in us, and the huge amounts of respect between the different branches of the restaurant.”
By Douglas Blyde.