The Chef
Anthony Demetre, England

22nd of December 2022



This visit is an excellent example of how the staff can turn a wobbly start into a good experience. Being situated at Sofitel St James in London, the restaurant has to balance between tourists dropping by for a casual meal and guests expecting high-end gastronomy like us.

The chef Anthony Demetre has a history of several successful Michelin-star restaurants in London, one of them being Arbutus which we visited for a lunch a few years back. Then, we talked about returning for a proper dinner but never made it before Arbutus closed, and Anthony Demetre moved on to new enterprises.

The evening began with the casual friendliness with which you would greet any hotel guest, and we felt a bit bemused when the waiter told us that they only did wine pairings Friday and Saturday. It was Thursday. We asked why we couldn’t just get the wine that they would serve on wine pairing days and explained that we felt it was ä big part of the dining experience. Then the manager arrived, listened, and obliged us. From that moment they became much more attentive, and it turned into a wonderful evening.

Amouse bouches

Fried cod and goat cheese

WestWell Estate, Pelegrim

We chose a three course dinner, and it turned out that they didn’t serve any amouse bouches before the starters, unless you ordered it. Most Michelin restaurants indulge their guests with those small surprises setting the tone for the evening, but fair enough. Anyway, we ordered some snacks, which was a lovely fried cod with goat cheese. With this, we wanted a sparkling wine, this time from Kent, England. It is a mix between Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It was mild but lacked bubbles – but don’t hesitate to try it for yourself.

At this point, everything seemed a bit unstructured. The waiter had difficulty communicating in English (this is London), but after communication with the manager, everything cleared up.

1st course

Salsify cooked in salted butter, Vacherin Mont d’Or, conference pear, thyme and heather chapelure

Ca’ Momi, Chardonnay, 2019,  Napa Valley, USA

The Chardonnay provided an excellent acidic foundation for the fabulous Mont d’Or with pear. The wine cannot stand alone but need a contrast to play up against like here, and the combination worked perfectly. The course lacked a hint of salt but that was soon rectified. The crunchiness was provided with the heather chapelure, which was a good idea instead of providing the usual bread.

2nd course
French Loire rabbit – roast saddle, shoulder cottage pie, Jerusalem artichoke, Swiss chard
Reva, Barbera d’Alba, 2019, Piedmont, Italy

The well-considered wine pairings continued with this course. The wine had a wonderful contrast, it was mild and spicy and became more acidic when combined with the rabbit. The rabbit as a cottage pie was just excellent. It was perfectly prepared, and it was comfort food on a higher level. Just flawless.

3rd course

Wild honey ice cream, Bermondsey raw honeycomb, warm honey and lemon Madeleine
Campana di la Turnelle Muscadello, 2018, Italy

We could have eaten this dessert over and over again. The honey is from the rooftop of the hotel, and the clever use of honeycombs, warm honey and honey ice cream was excellent. The lemon Madeleines were among the best we have ever tasted – in structure and taste a mix of brioche and Danish traditional pancake puffs (æbleskiver). No wonder, this is Anthony Demetre’s signature dish.

The Muscadello was another excellent example of good wine pairing; the sweet wine became a bit acidic and fresher when combined with the sweet dessert.

4th course

Blackcurrant jelly
Caramelized bread
Italian Amaretto-cake with marzipan

The non-ordered but most welcome finale was a mix of chocolate, jelly, and a light and fluffy cake. It was a perfect ending.

To conclude

As a pleasant surprise, the chef came out to greet us, and we really appreciated the turn of the evening. Anthony Demetre definitely holds his own, and Wild Honey absolutely deserves its Michelin star.

The course of the evening is a perfect example of how the staff with very few adjustments (i.e. offering wine pairing when asked) and more engaging conversation can turn a meal into a complete experience. This is what all restaurants with ambitions should endeavour towards.

The dessert excelled in honey, and should we wish for more was it a bit more focus on honey and its opportunities in more parts of the menu, for instance to serve mead, bread with honey, honey caramelized protein, etc. However, that is just ideas, and for now, Wild Honey is absolutely worth visiting.