London seems to have the best Italian restaurants outside of Italy. And it just happens to be black truffle season in London. I really don’t know much about truffles but now I know there is a season for them, and that the white truffle season begins a bit later than black truffle season, and that black truffles are fabulously expensive and white even more so.
We had dinner with London friends at the lovely Eleven Park Walk in Chelsea and tried their special truffle menu. Pasta with truffles, carpaccio with truffles, risotto with truffles – everything with generous amounts of fresh black truffle shaved over the dish tableside and all absolutely delicious. A 2006 Brunello di Montalcino paired perfectly with the unique aroma and taste of the truffle.
It is easy to understand why Americans love England. It is such a civilized place. Very few high-rise buildings in central London to mar the historic charm, taxis with very pleasant gentleman drivers and practically large enough to stand in, and we can mostly understand the language!
Our hotel in London was the charming Cadogan hotel in the heart of Knightsbridge - a lovely, small, old world hotel with a great location in a residential neighborhood and only a short walk to major sights. We stayed in the Lillie Langtry suite. Lillie Langtry, a mistress for some time of the future king of England, Edward VII, sold her flat at 21 Pont St. to the Cadogan hotel owners and then she proceeded to live in her old bedroom, which was then part of the hotel. There is also an Oscar Wilde Suite – room 118. Wilde was staying in this room when he was arrested in 1895 for some activities thought unsavory in that time period. (The arrest was the subject of the poet laureate John Betjeman’s poem The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan Hotel.)
Eleven Park Walk
11 Park Walk, Chelsea, London
75 Sloane Street