Gourmet Girls: Marianne Restaurant

The Mystery of Marianne… Revealed!

By Annette Kellow

On Chepstow Road, W2 there is a petite white restaurant with elegant curtains and gold lettering. Many a time I have ventured past this chic looking establishment but never inside- until now. Indeed it is a cosy rendezvous (seating just 14 covers) and you will feel like you have ventured into a luxurious secret home with a special invitation.

I am there to try the four-course lunch menu, and they started with some delicious olive bread. Bread? I hear you cry. That’s normal in any restaurant, isn’t it? Well, no not quite. Let me tell you this is not just any bread, it comes with warm rich dark olives and a whipped yoghurt butter, while the whole affair literally melts into your mouth (I think I may have had three).

My friend was trying the wines that delicately went with the four-course menu and we started with a mouthwatering asparagus with sorrel vinegarette made by her exclusive team of three (Warning: you will want to take pictures of the food; it’s too good not to).

The restaurant has been in motion since 2013 with chef Marianne Lumb beginning her classical training in restaurants, including the Michelin starred Gravetye Manor. She has worked as a private chef around the world in the UK, Mediterranean, America and Australia, where she gained extensive knowledge of the local, seasonal food. She also reached the finals of MasterChef Series 2, and consequently published her first book “Kitchen Knife Skills”.  

And skills they are indeed after we went on to indulge in charcoaled potatoes with pickled onion and caviar (matching monochromatic plates, yes please) followed by a lamb shoulder combined with mouth-watering apple and celeriac mint combination. Did we want to try the additional cheese dish? Well, it would be rude not to! And so the prettiest souffle came out, looking almost too good to eat (again picture-perfect so I tried to discreetly snap another flat lay photo).

We finished lastly with the most quaint looking dessert, accompanied with delicate peanut butter ice-cream. That may sound like a children’s party piece but I don’t think I have ever felt more grown up as its aromatic flavours played notes of sophistication to me. This was followed by a mango, salted caramel and chocolate bonanza with a hint of spice (not that I lingered on the taste too much as when it comes to chocolate I do more of an inhaling motion).

The restaurant continues to evolve, offering bespoke menus that highlight the most beautiful, seasonal produce. The dishes are light in texture and rich in flavour meaning that you will feel content rather than bursting at the seams. That is, unless you have another olive bread roll as I did. Sante!

Marianne 104 Chepstow Road, London W2 5QS