The Macallan Manor House is our kind of pop up. Actually, skip that. ‘Pop up’ doesn’t quite do it justice, this place has a permanence about it that made us feel comforted and ever-so assured right from the get-go. Neatly tucked away in the Edwardian courtyard at Rosewood London, it’s centrally located but deliciously discreet – perfectly positioned for easing out of the rigours of lockdown and into the good times ahead.
There are plenty of reasons why we love it but top of the list is, it’s everything we’ve desperately missed in the past 16 months or so. Not just the getting dressed up to go out part of things, but the change of setting, first-class hospitality and delicious food and drinks prepared by anyone other than ourselves.
The set up also got our seal approval. Al fresco yet covered up, smart but accessible, urban but brimming with nature – yes, we were slap, bang in the middle of Holborn but actually we could have been in the original manor house on the 485-acre estate of The Macallan in the Scottish Highlands – there’s a light, bright, all-natural freshness that transported us there as soon as we set foot in the courtyard and continued through to the outside-in covered space.
You can’t help but be seduced by the decor – it’s instantly soothing, and very agreeable to the senses – all soft, wild flowers, Scottish heather, copper hanging lights and lush greenery trailing overhead. Tartan blankets draped over the chairs add warmth, colour and another nod to The Macallan’s Speyside roots. It’s a conservatory of sorts but one of the most convivial kind.
ON THE MENU
There’s plenty to choose from on the drinks front, including a fab selection of The Macallan expressions, ranging from The Macallan 12yrs to The Macallan Reflexion, priced at £19 and £210 for 50ml respectively.
Cocktail-wise, there are seven, including four starring The Macallan. We tried three, starting with the gorgeous barley-coloured Fields of Gold (The Macallan 12, Lillet, pineapple shrub). Good choice on our part: it primed our palates perfectly as we deliberated the dishes on the menu. This one is a real crowd pleaser and deservedly so – we loved the fact that it’s sweet enough to work for anyone who thinks they don’t like whisky but at the same time it’s just the right side of complex to appease whisky lovers as well.
To accompany our dishes we went for gorgeous Double S (The Macallan 12 Guarana Belsazar, verjus and Drambuie), while the Above the River (The Macallan 12, cocoa, star anise, Fever-Tree Aromatic Tonic Water), a long, decidedly moreish drink rounded our meal off like an absolute charm. All three are priced at £17. There’s also the Old-Estate (The Macallan Estate, Olorosso Sherry and chocolate barley), aka an Old Fashioned, The Macallan-style. At £48, it ain’t exactly cheap but worth having on your radar if you’re after something a little spesh.
Oh, we also enjoyed a dram of The Macallan Distil Your World London Single Cask. It would have been rude not to, there are only 465 bottles of this single cask whisky available and we weren’t going to let an opportunity to taste it pass us by. Try it as we did in The Distil London Gastronomical Experience, a fabulous pairing created by renowned chefs the Roca brothers, owners of 3 Michelin-starred El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, to capture their taste of London in a dish. It’s a stunner, combining fresh-as-you-like Scottish scallops, garden peas, radish and mint with a umami-rich malt broth – served alongside The Macallan Distil Your World London Single Cask.
Continuing on with the food, the menu is packed with elevated comforting classics, like lamb rump with baby artichoke and summer beans; Holborn beef burger with cheddar, smoked bacon, truffle fries, and Cornish pollock, crushed new potatoes, heirloom tomato and basil dressing. We went for the pies but these aren’t any old pies, they’re award-winning pies created by the master, Calum Franklin. Our pick? Curried mutton with mango salsa and curry sauce (scrumptious) and the hand raised pork pie, filled to bursting with pork shoulder, smoked bacon, fennel seed and sage. Sides-wise we went heritage carrots with cumin butter and truffle and parmesan fries.
We didn’t have room for pud, but we’ll defo be back for Pump Street chocolate and orange tart with crème fraîche, either with that Old-Estate or one of The Macallan Sherry Casks.
The Macallan Manor House is at Rosewood London until February 2022 when it will be transformed into a cosy winter theme for the colder months. Further details to follow.
For more info and to book, see rosewoodhotels.com/en/london