I’m not a big fan of business lunches.

Now, dinners are a different story. By the end of the day most tasks have been  completed and you don’t need a clear head, so you can relax (to a point, depending on the profile of your company) and have that glass of wine or two. Not with a lunch – it usually falls at the most inconvenient time in the afternoon, when you’re buried under tons of work, and can’t event accept the complimentary dash of whisky because you’re driving back to the office after.

That was pretty much my latest experience at Malmaison; although I enjoyed the chat with our American visitor about differences between the UK and US industries and the weather anomalies in Texas, the food took longer to arrive than it should, considering the restaurant wasn’t really packed and we didn’t have starters, which just added to my stress – and I had nothing to relieve it with other than still water.

Mocha at Malmaison
Mocha at Malmaison

An hour later the party departed, but since I had a few emails to respond to and some work to file asap I bid my goodbyes and sat down in the hotel’s bar area. The internet was unbelievably slow, but I decided to make the most of the waiting this time and ordered – yes – a mocha.

Among the fancy cocktails being sent out to the few people sat across the bar at 2pm soon enough was my coffee, lovely presented, with a fancy chocolate dusting on top and a madeleine on the side.I wasn’t going to waste any more time that afternoon so I just dived into it; it was a bit too hot and had a thin layer of foamed up froth on top, which was bound to ultimately spoil that mad afternoon – but as I allowed the brew to wash over my mouth I let out a sigh of relief. The concoction was actually rich, smooth, with significant caffeine kick – and after I gave the coffee a stir, I  could not put it away until I finished.

So, apart from a few little glitches, it turned out to be an uplifting finish to the lunch – and a power booster for the rest of the day.

On a separate note I know from personal experience that their cocktail offering is also top notch. Worth the treck from city centre.

Mocha: £2.75

Verdict justification: Not 100% perfectly executed, but just off the mark – and with an added taste of spohistication

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