The Ladies who Lunch.

This week, the Ladies who lunch, did what they should do , they had lunch!
We have not “Lunched” in quiet a few months and thought it time to resurrect our little lunch club. Not for us a version of ” Come Dine With Me” more like a Bevy of well dressed ladies.
We look for restaurants which are either new, have a good lunch time menu or, and most importantly will take a group. Many restaurants have a maximum number of 6, this is normally to help regulate the kitchen whilst others are only too happy to accommodate a larger group.
So our victim this time round involved a trip to the country to La Caldesi in Campagne, which is in the village of Bray in Berkshire.
Bray,  is a small village about 20 miles west of London, with several Michelin Starred restaurants. There is The Waterside made famous by Albert and Michel Roux, along with their Riverside Brasserie and then the Fat Duck, owned by  Heston Blumenthal, and also the Crown pub and the Hinds Head, also owned by Heston Blumenthal. For such a tiny village, there is an abundance of high-class restaurants.

We were on this occasion, 10 for our lunch, and we had a room to ourselves, probably just as well, as we tend to be rather noisy. There was a lunch set menu with a choice of two dishes on each of the three courses.

Aubergine Parmigiano, basil oil                   or
Northern Italian cured beef, rocket,parmesan and salad


Tagliatelle with clams   or
Calves Liver with mashed potatoes


Italian style doughnuts, vanilla custard, Sambuca and berry jam  or

Funnily enough, 9/10 chose the Parmigiano, so I felt I had to choose the Bresaola, I wish I had chosen the Parmigiano. The Bresaola, along with the parmesan was very dry and not very exciting, I ended up by adding Olive oil and Balsamic to make it more palatable. Of the Parmigiana, only praise.

For the main course the choices were about 50/50. The calf’s liver was apparently very nice indeed, but I am afraid, that the appearance did not do so much for me ( and I don’t like mash). the Tagliatelle, tasted lovely, but am afraid that it was a bit on the soft side, so not at all Al dente.

And so onto desserts, the Doughnuts, were, well doughnuts, the Tiramiso, apparently tasted great but I was again not impressed with the appearance. It was served in avery large Martini glasses, but was very yellow, maybe it was the liquor that had been added but it looked exactly like the custard that came with the doughnuts.

My personal thoughts, were that it was a nice venue, we had a very pleasant lunch with friends, but would I rush back? Probably not, though I might give their Marylebone venue a try.

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