In a quiet unassuming street moments away from the hustle and bustle of Mayfair lay a new dining gem, resplendent in shades of peach, teal and pepto bismol pink. It was a candy cane wonderland, a floral haven, a patchwork of pastel meets jungle, begging for undivided attention. Flowers greeted your eyes with dainty grace, a floral installation by Blooms Art London, pink intermixed with white in perfect harmony. It was easy to see why Rumours Mayfair was the new hangout in town, with its Instagrammable interiors, but the picture perfect aesthetics weren’t its only selling point. Customers lounged basking in the sun smoking shisha as they laughed and joked, the scent of watermelon wafting underneath our nostrils. Groups of friends giggled with undisguised glee, mates papping each other on turquoise colour blocked stairs. And who could forget the sweet as candy pink eatery that lay before us wanting to be explored, a peachy wall emblazoned with blooms, fuchsia pink roses, green picture perfect stems? We arrived with hunger in our stomachs but it wasn’t just a thirst for food that we wanted to explore; could our satisfaction levels be sated by a visit to Rumours Instagrammers paradise, where a plush pink chaise lounger lay plump for the picking, a vintage telephone begging to be rung, dyed faux feathers on an art deco feature wall overhanging? Need I remind you of the bathroom that lay in wait for your inspection, part nature aficionado, part pop culture geek, where a lush tapestry of flamingos bobbing in navy waters transported you into another world?
Our minds, while sated by the pleasurable aesthetics that gave us a wandering eye, did not detract from the fact that our bellies were starved, so we ordered our food, with cocktails galore. It would be the cult classic mojito for me, flavoured with sumptuous strawberries that sent our tongues into delirium, while the others feasted on Unicorn Tears, a seemingly on brand drink for Rumours Mayfair. Tinged with raspberries, the mojito cooled down the palette, while we ordered our food, our bellies rumbling with raucous eruptions. And thus the vegetarian delights clambered into my lap with the ease of a sausage dog demanding attention; charred broccoli with whipped feta was a notable mention, baked sweet potato oozing with harissa yogurt was another. But nothing could have prepared me for the momentous beauty that was the Kale Salad, lovingly drizzled with chili and scattered with walnuts. It was manna, it was perfection, it was everything a good vegetarian dish should be. The kale took me by surprise and despite being a vegetarian I was never one to see salads as sexy, cool and interesting. This salad was all three and then some… the kale was crispy but not overly so, soft yet slightly brittle, softened by the richness of the chili that melted in your mouth. With the addition of the crunchy walnuts, the salad had a sweetness that blended in perfectly with the tart bitterness of the kale and boy was it magical.
Out of the three vegetarian dishes, the baked sweet potato was my least favourite, where it seemed they had quite literally cooked an entire sweet potato, when bite sized chunks would have complimented the divine harissa yogurt much more effortlessly. Nevertheless the sweet potato was good, but did not blow me out of the water like the kale salad did. The charred broccoli with the whipped feta was exceptional though, as the creaminess of the feta offset the charred juiciness of the broccoli beautifully. The broccoli was tender with a slight al dente crunch, while the feta was smooth and crumbly, pairing well with the chili sauce that was lovingly ladled over the kale salad. While I would have liked to see more vegetarian options on the menu, the vegetarian options that they did have were well cooked, beautifully executed and had plenty of punch and flavour to keep you coming back for more. From a vegetarian’s point of view Rumours Mayfair was most definitely worth the hype, an eatery which unlike other ‘aesthetically pleasing restaurants’ didn’t just rely on its ‘good looks and charm’ to become a hit with punters. That being said while the vegetarian menu wowed me, this point was disputed heavily by my meat eater friends who said that their food was not what they expected for the price and location, commenting that the vegetarian options were better than their own mains. It was also clear to see that their brownie dessert was inedible, being rock hard in the middle and overcooked, feedback which was passed onto the chef.
Nevertheless while my friends had a different opinion to me, from my point of view the food was exceptional, service was carried out well and the interiors were just the cherry on top of a very pink frosted cake. And thus our love affair with Rumour Mayfair was coming to an end and I bid adieu with solemn reluctance, casting one longing glance back at our candy cane wonderland as the staff waved goodbye. That same night while I lay in bed, my eyes heavy with sleep, I drifted into a world made up of pink and green, where flowers danced on a bed of food with child-like frivolity and the cocktails waltzed into floral wonderlands, where flamingos drank at rivers swollen with bedtime lullabies. I closed my eyes and felt the memories passing by, saw the kale salad in all its triumphant glory govern a world where vegetarian was Queen. It would reign supreme and I would watch tongues wrap themselves around its kale lovers with undisguised divinity. They would shudder in foodie rapture, as the tastes melded together in a mixing pot of sumptuous delight. And who could forget the plump tart raspberries ripe for the picking, who catapulted themselves into an infinite supply of mojitios galore for my satisfaction? Morning broke and the sun yawned with sleepy eyes, as I crawled out of Rumours Mayfair, and its fantastical domain, remembering a world where magical surrealism ran rampant and the boundaries between reality and fantasy were blurred miraculously.
And what a blissful dream it was!
Have You Ever Been To Rumours Mayfair?
Please note I was given a complimentary meal in exchange for this post but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by complimentary services. This is in conjunction with Love Pop Ups London.