Le Cercle

1 Wilbraham Place, Belgravia, London, SW1X 9AE
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Closed
Our records show that Le Cercle is closed.

Address
1 Wilbraham Place, Belgravia, London, SW1X 9AE

Cuisine
French

Region
Belgravia

Nearest Station
Sloane Square (0.13 miles)

Restaurant Facilities

Disabled Facilities

Children Welcome

Credit Cards Accepted

Music Played

Live Music Played

Booking Advisable

A stone’s throw from Sloane Square, the western offshoot of Club Gascon is a lounge and a restaurant - both haven of temptation and glamour.

Le Cercle Lounge is dedicated to great cocktails and relaxed dining with small portion dishes – ideal to share with friends.

Le Cercle Restaurant is all about traditional French cuisine with a modern twist.

Le Cercle Picture Gallery

Le Cercle Picture
Le Cercle Picture
Le Cercle Picture
Le Cercle Picture

All In London Review

an air of exclusivity.. yet no pretension

Just off Sloane Square sits the entrance to Le Cercle, a spin-off overseen by Pascal Aussignac of Club Gascon fame. Tree-lined steps lead up to glass doors that glide open on approach. There is an air of exclusivity to the place, yet no pretension was to be found. In the subterranean dining area the space has been intelligently used to maximum effect. The tables are intimate yet spacious, the raised booth seating adds character to the club-like atmosphere and the wine cellar behind plate-glass is a focal point. A real buzz developed when the restaurant filled, even being a day late for their new Thursday night DJ feature.

After cocktails at the bar the five course "Menu Traditions" with matching wines seemed both a great way to sample a variety of what the kitchen and sommelier had to offer. Excellent value at £60 a head too. Bread arrived swiftly, in two varieties, including an interesting poppy seed and raisin bun that had a hint of Cognac about it. Both were pleasingly warm, and provided satisfying dunking tools when mopping up the excellent first course of earthy smooth mushroom velouté. The only slight criticism being a lack of truffle flavour in the dollop of truffle cream hiding at the bottom of the dish. The accompanying glass of Mouthes le Bihan was the standout wine of the night, and was well explained by the affable sommelier. It was perhaps a slight shame that each glass was not described in the same interesting manner, although, the sommelier may not have wished to intrude upon dinner conversation.

The next bowl to arrive was confit coley Grenobloise. The fish fell apart easily and the beans were creamy and comforting - there was a real autumnal feel to it. However, the fish lacked a depth of flavour when inevitably compared to cod, perhaps more the fault of the coley itself as opposed to the skill in the kitchen.

The main course was a French classic Chou Farci Auvergnat, served elegantly sliced in half surrounded by vegetables. The veal mince was rich in flavour, boosted by a slightly sticky jus. However, there was no spark to elevate it above mediocre, summed up best by the kale being the best thing on the plate. A request to sub in the meaty sounding "Pork variation from nose to tail" was an inspired choice. The plethora of pig was almost flawless. The pig journey started with a pile of crispy pig's ears, taking the form of posh pork scratchings. The deep fried offal sausage was light yet packed a flavourful punch, sadly the loin was slightly dry and could have benefitted from a drop of sauce. However, the pig's head carpaccio was the stand out, overflowing with flavour. The shredded endive and caper salad was a welcome accompaniment to cut through the fatty goodness of the pork.

The Normandy cheese course was brief but well executed in terms of flavour and there was an intriguing sommelier selection of cidre brut. Desserts were again ushering in autumn. A quince tart was dainty in look and taste, with the aromatic spices emphasising, as opposed to overwhelming, the fruit. However, the lemon sorbet was a sidekick far too sharp and intense to accompany the quince. Finally the apple surprise was a winner, the crisp pastry ball was cracked open to released the aroma of slow cooked apple. The taste was equal to the smell, and drummed up thoughts of leaves changing colour and all the warm homely flavours autumn brings.

Coffee and some delicate petit fours rounded off the evening, and a great evening it was. At £35 a head for a five course tasting menu there can be no quibbles. The wine flight at only £25 extra comes strongly recommended. The food was very good but only occasionally ventured into the realms of excellence. If truly gastronomic is what you seek, a visit to Club Gascon with all its awards would be sensible. Ultimately, Le Cercle is cool, and it does chic very well. Secluded enough for a date, or atmospheric enough for a night out with friends, the basement off Sloane Square will not disappoint. Finally, everyone should be brave, get out of your comfort-zone, try the pig's head!

Reviewed by James Whiting
Published on Oct 14, 2011


In The News

Michael Gray appointed Head Chef

Former Club Gascon Sous Chef Michael Gray appointed Head Chef of Le Cercle in Chelsea

All In London talks to Pascal Aussignac

Pascal Aussignac talks to us about restaurant trends

User Reviews

Reviewed by TomZ
I follow the review on your website.
I couldn't figure out why I hadn't heard more about this place! It is an excellent French restaurant, with interesting regional French wine list to match. Love the atmosphere. Would go back definitely!

Jun 18, 2012

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