I love birthdays! For me September is the best month because it’s always jam packed full of celebrations with it being both mine and G’s birthdays only 2 weeks apart. This year has been no exception, despite Covid restrictions. To celebrate with G we had freshly baked Hummingbird cupcakes, brunch at the Duck & Waffle and dinner at the new Ivy Asia restaurant in St Pauls – all before jetting off to Istanbul for 5 days. Once back, it was my turn and felt it only appropriate to write a post about one of the highlights – Pollen Street Social.

I must admit I was left feeling quite tired after my birthday weekend due to day ‘prosecco’ drinking at Pergola Olympia with the girls. It was an absolute BLAST and it didn’t matter that the weather was turning colder, as inside they had heaters – it really felt like summer (and we even asked them to turn it down at one point!)

G also planned a day of surprises on Friday – mainly food orientated so I was happy! We lunched at Chicama in Chelsea where I was treated to a vegetarian tasting menu with BBQ plantain, padrón peppers and Tapioca marshmallow. All their cuisine is Peruvian inspired and it was absolutely scrumptious. Despite the restaurant being quite quiet at midday I definitely will be going back and would recommend, not only to vegetarians but meat and fish eaters too as they have sharing plates and poke bowls galore!

My birthday ended pretty spectacularly with dinner at Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social and it is extremely deserving of its Michelin star and various other accolades. Tucked away on a side street in Mayfair this sleek looking restaurant is one of the coolest, yet laid back restaurants I’ve ever been to. There was nothing ‘snooty’ or ‘over the top’ about it – instead calm, contemporary and offering ‘deformalised’ fine dining. 

G and I arrived at 7:30pm and opted for the vegetarian tasting menu (number 2 of the day!!) along with a Audemus Pink Pepper (‘Gin of the Month) G&T whilst we perused the humongous wine inventory with the help of one of the waitresses. There were other options if tasting menus aren’t your thing and had a number of delicious looking meat/fish dishes too (feel like I always needs to caveat that!)

As with any tasting menu the plates are small, leaving you wondering whether there will be enough – but the balance was perfect and we even were able to take our petit fours home afterwards as to not over do it. The vegetarian menu included lots of truffle and mushrooms, but also many other interesting flavours like olive oil on ice cream, seaweed and a savory custard cream in the ‘afternoon tea’. The mention of ‘afternoon tea’ admittedly threw us off a bit, but this was just the name of the first course and kicked off our meal in style!

The dimmed lighting meant that the photos don’t do the food justice but I assure you that it’s some of the best food I’ve had in my entire life. This restaurant, dining experience and food has firmly put Pollen Street Social in my top 3 restaurants (the other 2 being Gloria’s in Shoreditch and Hakkasan in Mayfair). It was inventive and intriguing, yet not pretentious which some high end restaurants can be. The waiters were friendly and attentive and looking around everyone was enjoying it as much as us with a real mix of couples, friends, groups and families. I feel extremely lucky to be taken to Pollen Street Social as a complete treat and can’t thank G enough!

Our menu…

Afternoon tea

Heritage carrot and truffle tart

Artichoke barigoule, roasted Jerusalen artichokes, preserved Austrialian truffle sauce

Baked aubergine miso, apricot purée, pickled rutabaga

Braised Lincolnshire broccoli stem, puffed barley, celery & parsley, seaweed, lemon

New Forest mushroom risotto, cep purée, girolles & Manjimup truffle

Koshihikari rice and milk ice cream with Andalusian olive oil 

“The golden nut”

Guanaja 70% dark chocolate & sesame praline mousse with textures of chocolate 

Petit fours  

It really has felt like such a special weekend and it has been lovely to receive so many special birthday messages from friends and family.  G completely spoiled me with love and food and I’m so thankful that he made it a birthday to remember. Now I’m 25 I feel like there’s a few things I need to do to get my life in order, so I’ll be uploading a blog post shortly on that exact topic!

If you’ve got any other restaurant recommendations please comment below or if you want to find out more about Pollen Street Social click here.

IH xo