I went to the Cookbook cafe on a Saturday night for dinner and was amazed to see just two other diners in the restaurant. I know it's famous for it's brunch, but the dinner was fantastic too.
The presentation was excellent, service impeccable and most of all the food was delicious. I thought it was excellent value for money- the mains were between £12 (for a risotta, I think) and £25 (for a steak). The decor made it felt a little bit like a hotel restaurant (which it is) and I think it would greatly benefit from having it's own front door onto Hyde Park Corner (at the moment you have to walk through the hotel, past a Theo Randall restaurant that seemed to be full).
But other than that, I will be recommending it to all my friends and family. Feels like a hidden gem!
Delicious!! We'll worth every penny. I am not mug of a buffet person but this one was well worth every calorie... Quality of food was very high end. Mimosas were flowing - good quality champagne.
Must go when in london.
I went for the Ludlow food festival that they were hosting, and it was amazing!!!!!!!! For £18 you got an all you can eat buffet of Ludlows finest meats, cheeses, salads, fruits and pastries. I'm not usually big on buffets as it usually means sloppy presentations and rushed food. That was totally not the case here! Everything was laid out nicely and tasted super fresh. My guest from out of town was equally impressed with the presentation and food.
Having been to Ludlow a few months back for the Spring food festival, I thought The Cookbook Cafe did a really nice job. I would totally go back to try their regular offerings. Kudos to them though for hosting an event like this!
Right. Let's start with the facts.
I love sushi. Even for Breakfast. Check.
I love Bellinis. Especially endless supplies of them. Check.
I love tasty roasts being brought out to my complete surprise. Check
So what happened? Where di this go wrong? We went for a Sunday brunch here and, while lovely, there was just something that didn't sit well. The waitresses/serving staff didn't seem to know what was gonig on. We asked how the unlimited brunch worked and received a blank stare. We asked if the bellinis were included in the deal, to a response of 'I don't know.' We were caught completely unaware that they would be brining us even more food besides the enormous buffet already out. finally, the restaurant was not signed very well in the hotel and we got lost and had to ask two different employees where we were going.
Such potential...So sad.
I went here for their Sunday brunch which is all you can eat for £49 + service. It includes a cold bar with cold meats, cured fish, salads (including pasta and cous cous ones), selection of cheeses, pastries and breads; a hot station where they make eggs (including omelettes), pancakes and waffles "fresh", plus pre-cooked stuff including roasts, veges and a selection of desserts. Included drinks were coffees, teas, juices, sparkly and bellinis.
For the price I was paying and what I saw on the website, I have to say I was disappointed. The bellinis were delish (especially the pear one that I discovered at the end) - hot tip: ask for double the amount of fruit puree as I found it wasn't fruity enough otherwise! But if you don't want bellinis or sparkly, then I would definitely say it's not worth the money (the Asian in me ensured I got my monies worth through all the bellinis I drank!). Also, the service for a restaurant in a 5 star hotel was not up to the standard I expected. The waitress that served our table had serious difficulty speaking English, to the extent that she couldn't tell us what one of the specials was and struggled to explain to us what was included by way of drinks (maybe she was new, but still!).
In terms of food, we started with the pancake specials they had (due to Pancake Tuesday) - a savoury one with smoked salmon and a sweet Caribbean one with bananas and pop rocks! Have to say the pop rocks in the pancake batter was a work of genius - will definitely try that out the next time I get a hold of some popped rocks (for those that don't know, pop rocks are little sugar bits which fizzes in your mouth and "pops" - love the sensation!). We also had poached eggs and an omelette. Omelette was good, but poached eggs were a serious disappointment. They were pre-poached and thus weren't runny - not my definition of "fresh". Definitely expected better from the Intercontinental for £50!
The rest of the savouries weren't bad, but nothing outstanding (the sashimi they had looked questionable in terms of freshness to my eye) and in my opinion not breakfast foody enough (more lunch food I thought). But have to say the sweets definitely gained it an extra star - there was probably about a dozen desserts with one of the chocolate ones, the meringue and the custard one in the glass highlights!
All in all, for that price and type of place, I reckon they could've done better!
My friends and I came here for Sunday lunch and it was pretty empty. Apart from our party, there were only another table occupied which made the ambience a bit stale.
Since there weren't that many people in the restaurants, we had pretty good services and the food was ok. It wasn't exceptionally fantastic but could have been worse as the feeling I was getting was that this wouldn't be a good place to eat.
I had the Lobster & Shrimp potato cake. It was actually the best dish out of the lot but way too tiny, for even a starter. I also had the grilled sea bream which was ok but my friends weren't impress with their Singapore braised chicken. The dessert, flourless chocolate cake, was way too sweet... and I was glad I wasn't the only one who thought of that.
I hope they have improved since our last visit and I'm not sure whether I can recommend this place for other Yelpers to try it out.
I was one of the exceedingly lucky Qypers who got the opportunity to check out The Cookbook Cafe's brunch menu, and chat with Esther Williamson and Charles Yap (both from the hotel's Communications department) and head chef Paul Bates.
The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the hotel, and to the side, so that it benefits from lots of natural light (I've been property hunting recently, and the lingo is starting to rub off on me). It's spacious as well - no inadvertent bumping into people as you walk through the restaurant and around the market table where the buffet is served.
Brunch costs £39 for which you can partake of the good spread that is the buffet, as well as dishes on the a la carte menu. This includes unlimited drinks: deliciously spicy Bloody Marys, lush-looking bellinis (with many flavours too - peach, passionfruit and berries being just a few of them), sparkling wine, juices, coffee and tea.
Given the no-rule nature of buffet eating, we ended up eating backwards (not literally, that would be silly). First, we had appetisers from the buffet table (salads, sashimi, cheese), followed by malted waffles and pancakes which were served with a huge array of condiments (fantastic clotted cream, delicious berry compote and very thick if unexpectedly cold chocolate sauce). I love waffles - I really do - and these were great.
After that, we had the main dishes - rack of lamb with shallots, creamed potatoes and garden peas, monkfish cheek prawn casserole, and grilled vegetables on filo pastry - and these were, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, delicious as well.
The lamb was probably the rarest lamb I have ever eaten, but tasted unexpectedly good anyway. It was soft and tender and didn't taste gamey at all. The mash that accompanied it was velvetly smooth and delicious. If only it were zero calorie!
The monkfish was an unexpected touch. I wouldn't have expected to come across it in a non-Asian environment, so I was delighted to eat it because it's something which reminds me of back home.
The grilled vegetables on filo pastry was also very good. Crispy pastry and crunchy fresh vegetables. Yummy!
After this, I had to take a break. I may have a separate stomach for dessert, but, still, even I have limits. During the interval, we got to play with the iPad, which was an unexpected bonus. I didn't play with it for that long though. I could see some of the male Qypers eyeing it hungrily!
Then, back to the market table for dessert. I tried the hazelnut brownies, profiteroles, chocolate cake and - I think - a creme brulee cake. My favourite was the brownie. It had a crunchy top and a soft and almost gooey interior, just the way I like my brownies.
This was finished off by a round of coffee and tea. The Cookbook Cafe uses Union coffee (in my opinion, the best there is in London) and while I committed the unforgiveable crime of letting my cappuccino grow cold while I was trying to finish off my food, it was still good to drink. I was a little surprised that my cappuccino came served in a glass (usually only reserved for lattes, so I have been told by those in the know), and the main difference between the cappuccino and the latte is that the former has one shot of espresso, and the latter, two.
I was told this snippet by our friendly waitress who overheard my observation that my neighbour's latte and my cappuccino looked remarkably similar. In fact, service was really good across the board. All of the wait staff that attended on us were nice and friendly, and they always had smiles on their faces.
All in all, a great way to spend a lazy afternoon. Delicious food, unlimited drinks, great ambience... and all for £39! If that still seems pricey, you should also bear in mind the fact that you probably won't need to eat for the rest of the day (and shouldn't have eaten before the brunch, in fact), and you'll realise that it's incredibly worthwhile!
Another Qyper here who was there for the blogger brunch a few Saturdays ago!
It was probably one of the best brunches I have ever had in London. What was amazing was the different style of the Cookbook Cafe to other brunch buffets; although there is the market table with cold dishes and starters and dessert, you order the hot main dishes from the menu. This to me is a major plus as other buffets often fail when the hot food has been stewing there on the table for hours before you get to it.
The main courses - lamb, monkfish, and vegetable filo pastry - were amazingly tasty and very well cooked. The market table had a great spread of vegetables, salads, cold cuts, cheeses, bread, and sushi and sashimi. Best of all was the dessert table, with the standard cheesecakes, chocolate brownies, and profiteroles, but also a very delightful custard that you absolutely must save some space for.
The £39 bubbles and brunch buffet on weekends does not come cheap, but it does come with unlimited bellinis, tea, coffee and water, as well as some really quality food.
Reviewed by The London Insider
Things that you definitely should do at the Cookbook Cafe:
- Go when you have time to linger, preferably on the weekend
- Get a group together and get everyone on board with the Bubbles and Brunch menu, excellent value at £39 with bottomless Bellinis or Bloody Marys
- Pace yourselves, there's a lot of choice and it's all good
- Have the awesome malted waffles
- Browse the cookbooks on various shelves around the room (apparently Brits normally think they shouldn't touch)
- think of it as just a hotel - it's a standalone restaurant in its own right
- forget to walk off the gastronomic excess with a stroll around Hyde Park afterwards, if the weather permits
- eat before you go!
Blogged here: bit.ly/aYkQHc
A great restaurant in a lovely and comfortable setting with an inspired head chef dishing out delicious and season food!
Saturday brunch is a brilliant reason to give Cookbook Cafe a go. Just make sure you're hungry when you do!
The buffet-style market table offers a wealth of seasonal dishes, but save room for eggs (any style), waffles and pancakes as well as bottomless drinks (Bloody Marys, a range of fruit flavoured Bellinis, sparkling Cremént, juices, coffees, teas and still and sparkling water). And then of course there are the mains, which on my visit included rack of lamb with shallots, creamed potatoes and garden peas; monkfish and prawn casserole with lobster butter; and grilled courgette, aubergine and goat cheese tart. Dessert options were just as copious and mouthwatering. For me, highlights were the best pastrami I've had outside New York, perhaps the best Bloody Mary I've ever had anywhere, the tender lamb, the chunky bites of monkfish and an egg custard pudding with just a touch of nutmeg.
What's the damage for such a feast? £39. And considering the quality, variety and sheer quantity of the food along with the unlimited drinks, I reckon brunch at the comfortable Cookbook Cafe (mere steps from Hyde Park for post-face-stuffing ambling) is excellent and delicious value for money.
More about my brunch on the Qype does London blog:
Another lucky Qyper here.
I don't spend enough time in hotels. I feel like I'm missing out on a whole other world of fantastic bars and restaurants. The Cookbook Cafe is yet another example of how I've been missing out by ignoring them all this time.
The amazing thing about the brunch here is that they're really putting the lunch into proceedings. It's a proper 3-4 course affair with copious amounts of bubbles, bloody mary's and top quality coffee to get you through all the food.
First course is an excellently stocked breakfast bar, complete with flawless sashimi, salads, cheeses and meats. Following that you've got your more traditional breakfast fare: wonderful pancakes, the best malted waffles in town and an extremely serviceable eggs benedict.
Then, there's the lunch part. The beautiful lamb and mash was the standout dish for me, washed down with an expertly poured blackberry bellini. And more coffee.
Although I was too stuffed to take full advantage of the dessert array, the custard was the winner. Soft, sweet and french.
I can't recommend the Cookbook Cafe highly enough for a group blowout brunch. They're a wonderfully attentive group running it and deserve their accolades.
I recently attended an afternoon of tea tasting at the Cookbook Café, which was followed by a selection of CC's Spring Tea Palace Afternoon Tea cakes and sandwiches.
I was very impressed with the quality of the food and thought that went into the afternoon tea; Executive Chef Paul Bates has created a very succulent afternoon tea menu that is matched to the teas.
My sky-high favourite was the cucumber-chervil, duck egg, mayonnaise, and mustard cress sandwich. It was so good that I think it has put me off any other version of egg salad sandwich.
I would go back anytime - besides offering excellent food, the teas are top-notch and highly recommended. And at £18 it is not too expensive.
I was lucky enough to be one of the Qypers invited to attend a megabrunch at the Cookbook Cafe, and mega it certainly was! With it's position overlooking Regent's Park, the Cookbook Cafe is the perfect place to while away a lazy morning people-watching and tucking in to the fantastic brunch menu. A mere £39 will get you unlimited drinks, countless visits to the amazing buffet bar and a hearty main course from the a la carte menu. With a menagerie of food on offer, I was pleased that I'd had the foresight not to allow myself breakfast before.
I started the day, in the best possible way, with a delicious passionfruit bellini and then joined the other Qypers at the buffet. With a selection of cold meats, cheeses, sashimi and salads I didn't know where to start. The meats and cheeses were all sourced locally and a particular highlight for me was the celeriac and pear coleslaw!
At the Cookbook Cafe, there are no rules and therefore I was keen to get started on my next course, hot belgian waffles with lashings of thick clotted cream, followed by thick American pancakes and cherry compote! Sweet before savoury certainly bends the rules, but in no way did it hinder my appetite for the three fantastic mains on offer that morning.
The salt-marsh lamb practically melted in my mouth and the mashed potato proved to be a big hit all-round. Monkfish cheeks were incredibly juicy and served in velvety bisque, whilst the grilled vegetable and filo pastry tart would be a fantastic menu choice for any vegetarians in the group. The roast potatoes also deserve a special mention, they were crisp, fluffy and pretty much everything that the perfect roast potato should be.
I barely had room for desert, but after looking at the dessert section of the buffet laden with delights like profiteroles, cheesecake and ganache, I simply couldn't say no. The nutmeg infused custard was incredible and later we were all given the chance to thank the chef personally.
If you're looking for the perfect place to while away a lazy Sunday morning, while people-watching and tucking into some sumptous local cuisine, then look no further than the Cookbook Cafe; I'll definitely be heading back later with friends!
Cookbook Cafe is and feels very fresh and young, and is a cafe with cook book shop - it's also the restaurant of the refurbished Intercontinental Hotel on Park Lane. The room has large windows to Hyde Park and is flooded with daylight, you can sit and watch London going by, there are cooking stations in the restaurant where all the food is prepared live and it feels sort of market like, dishes are changing every day, on Sunday's theres a superb brunch where the price includes the drinks and all.
The team is young and fresh, really friendly, sometimes a bit confused but sweet, its not stuffy at all (as one could expect when going to a 5 star Mayfair hotel) Cookbook Cafe serves a fantastic cool breakfast with lots of organic foods and all meat from Duchy Original's range, it doesn't come cheap at £25 but is worth it by miles.
Otherwise, lunch or dinner is from £12.00 to £25.00 with main course, desserts, all of it, really great value for what they serve. The food menu always includes dishes from the various cookbooks and is very eclectic. They also offer cooking classes, book launches and other interactive events like a reoccurring kitchen party which is a great fun social event.
The centerpiece of cookbook cafe is the market table--the higher-class cousin of the salad bar. No sneeze guard. No regularly shaped and spaced slots. Just an abundance of fresh breads, salads, cheeses and more, laid out on a nice, big, wooden table. For 12 pounds, the market table lunch also included some soup (I had a delicious pumpkin parmesan one) and dessert.
The service staff is very friendly and attentive. And the large, airy restaurant never seems to get very full. It had a quiet, soothing atmosphere, with lots of clean lines and soft music. It would be a great place for a business meeting, and unsurprisingly, most of their clientele is in suits.
The cafe also hosts classes, and I'd specifically like to attend the Melt chocolate master class.
I won a dinner for 2 here during the Taste of Israel campaign. For starters we have the seared red tuna and the beef salad. Both were very scrumptious and full of flavour! Each one had it's own Mediterranean feel to it. For mains we had the Sea Bream and the beef tagine. The mains were also very good, but not as delicious as the starters were. The staff were very nice and helpful. The only issue with the place is that it is in a hotel and feels like a hotel restaurant. As yummy as the food was, I don't think I would return again due to the ambiance being quite sterile.
Mmmmmmm, lovely breakfast goodness!
Cookbook cafe is the low-key dining option on the ground floor of the InterContinental hotel Park Lane. I went there with two friends for a Sunday brunch to try their new concept in food - daily changing menus and tapas-style tasting bites.
We all liked the light and airy decor, somewhere between an Italian cafe and a geek-chic epicurean library. Fair wood tones, crisp white linens and paper placemats you can draw on gave it the quirky but 5-star feel you'd expect.
At first the food concept was a little confusing as we had to ask our waitress a few times about what we had to choose and what was included. Once we got the hang of it though, there was no holding back. A buffet of light antipasti, salads, cheeses and meats had us going back multiple times. We then got to choose hot small dishes that were brought to our table from asian, mediterranean and english influences. By far my favourite was the dessert buffet with tiny cheesecakes, profiteroles and fruit salads. Well, actually my FAVOURITE things were the drinks to accompany our wonderful brunch - a bloody mary, prosecco and peach juice, smoky coffee and freshly squeezed OJ. While we were there an activity morning for kids was being run on the mezzanine so it was a family-friendly vibe, other tables held groups of friends having a catch-up, couples enjoying a lazy morning with the cook books and keen foodies that were ogling the talent at the open chef's preparation stations ( fresh sashimi - YUM )
All-in-all a great experience - not cheap, but a decadent sunday morning well spent.
What great fortune to be one of the lucky qypers invited to sample The Cookbook Cafe's brunch with the head chef and director of communications. The restaurant is light and airy and operates a buffet and a la carte which combined with drinks will set you back a maximum £39.
We started with a delicious Cremant de Bourgogne which was a light a fruity fizz similar to a good prosecco. We were informed that "there are no rules" meaning we could eat whatever we wanted in any order we chose. Whilst tempted to go for the delicious looking table of desserts straightaway my own conventions overruled my impulsiveness and I started with a selection of sashimi from the market table which also had a fantastic array of cold meats, cheeses and salads. The seared tuna sashimi with dill was excellent and the smoked halibut sashimi was amazing. The cheeses were all excellent with a very tangy somerset brie, fresh mozzarella and lovely herbed Tintern amongst them. Also excellent from the market table was the roast celeriac and the butternut squash salad.
At the table we were also offered a fantastically light and fluffy waffle and pancakes with a rich dark chocolate sauce and clotted cream!
Good job I hadn't eaten beforehand as we moved onto a selection from the a la carte menu. I loved the salt marsh lamb which was perfectly pink and almost melted in the mouth with broad beans and a light mashed potato. The monkfish cheeks served in a velvety bisque with butterflied prawns and small cross cuts of asparagus were also a delight. The chef aims to source as much locally as possible and is able to change the menu weekly to suit what is best and freshest and explained all of this in an enthusiastic and affable manner.
The pick of the desserts (including cheesecake and profiteroles) was a shot glass of a wonderfully eggy, nutmeg infused custard. And all of this with as many bloody marys (perfectly spiced) or bellinis you fancy.
The cookbook cafe hold a number of events such as the monthly themed kids cookery classes- the next one on a "Mad Hatters Tea Party" theme which sounds like fun and a great way to have a good meal while the kids are being looked after.
Cookbook cafe has a fantastic array of food in a lovely relaxing environment and at the £39 price represents a great dining experience for a special occasion. Thanks to them and Qype for the experience!
Lucky qyper who went there for the First Flush Tea tasting event. To be honest I imagined a stuffy pompous place, aristocratic hotel like, so was pleasantly surprised when I got there, a bright, modern and fresh cafe with its large windows overlooking Hyde Park. The afternoon tea was amazing, Tara, from Tea Palace, talked us through the different teas, origin, properties, how to prepare it, and then we got to sample the spring menu, designed to match the different teas. A mouthwatering event in a lovely atmosphere, toped off with a Bellini with fresh pineapple and Japanese Sencha tea, what else could you ask for?
We went to Cookbook Cafe after reading the great reviews, however these are for the fantastic brunch! We went on a Friday evening around 9pm and the place was pretty empty. The staff were polite and the service was reasonable however the food was lacking and the taste was pretty bland. We ordered the seared prawns and duck skewers for starter and the steak and lamb for the main. Presentation of the food was good, the flavours just didn't hit the spot! Not a place we will visit again for an evening out.
The Cook Book Cafe' Sunday brunch is the best in London - best in terms of food, drinks and service. There are five distinct food "areas" - a market table, complete with vegetables, salads, sushi, cheeses (British and oh so good), smoked fish and breads; a breakfast table, including fresh and flaky pastries, the most golden, fluffiest and perfectly prepared pancakes this side of the Mississippi, waffles and omelets; a carvery, with roasts galore and Yorkshire puddings; a mains selection, including seafood, vegetables and duck; and a dessert stand, complete with moist and chocolaty brownies, mousses, eclairs, financiers, meringues, and fresh fruit. The Bloody Mary I tasted was fresh and peppery and did not taste like it came from a can. It is good to know that all drinks (alcoholic and non) are unlimited. Be sure to go to brunch hungry and not to make any dinner plans. Service was friendly and helpful without being obtrusive. In addition, the restaurant was extremely accommodating to our friends with their 10 month old, providing us with a table with plenty of room for pram and high chair. At £39, it may be a treat and it is certainly worth it.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.