Sunday 12 August (aka the Glorious Twelfth) will see the re-commencement of the red grouse shooting season across England and Scotland with the game returning to the menu on London's restaurants once the first day’s shoot is over.
From estate to plate, we have a comprehensive list of where to dine on the best birds in London, whichever style you fancy.
Where: 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
Grouse in the house: Pastry genius Calum Franklin's grouse pie is back on the menu. In classic pithivier form, it features two breasts in the middle topped and tailed with a mousse made from the liver, heart and kidneys, the confit leg meat and girolle mushrooms, all wrapped in spinach and then puff pastry
Details: On now, subject to availability. Costs £28.
Where: 65 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 7PS and 9A Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YN
Grouse in the house: Both the Great Titchfield Street and Devonshire Square branches of Mac and Wild will feature a lot of game dishes throughout the season but we mainly fancy the idea of their Glorious Grouse Scotch Egg made with Ardgay Grouse, Munro's Black Pudding, minced wild venison and a soft boiled hen's egg.
Details: The Glorious Grouse Scotch Egg - £8 - is on from 12 August 2018.
Where: 150 Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1E 5LB
Grouse in the house: Chef Patron, Helena Puolakka launches a season of game dishes at Aster in Victoria kicking off with grouse on the Glorious Twelfth. She'll be serving roast grouse with girolles, celeriac and rowan berry jelly.
Details: On from 12 August - fresh grouse and partridge will be charged at market price.
Where: 45 Jermyn St, St. James's, London SW1 6DN
Grouse in the house: This St James restaurant has three very different options for grouse lovers from the traditional serving accompanied by a mini cottage pie, a Grouse & Foie Gras Pie with blackberry and shallot chutney or a Tikka Spiced Grouse with red lentils and a game samosa.
Details: The 45 Jermyn St. grouse menu starts from £24.50 and will be served from lunch service on the 14th August until mid-October 2018
Where: 49 Chiswell Street, London, EC1Y 4SA
Grouse in the house: Usually one of the first in London to get grouse, Moorgate restaurant The Jugged Hare will throw a five-course British game dinner serving roast breast and confit leg of red grouse alongside other game dishes like braised shoulder of Yorkshire hare
Details: The dinner takes place on 13 August and costs £85. Grouse will be on the specials menu too throughout the season.
88-94 Farringdon Rd, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 3EA
Grouse in the house: QCH will be serving Yorkshire grouse roasted on the crown, served on a dripping crouton, with bread sauce, game chips, dried onion, chicken liver parfait, and greengage jam. This is served with a scrap pie made from the picked leg meat of the game birds.
Details: The price is £30. Later on in the season they'll also be putting on a Game Tasting Menu in the private room (and by arrangement in the restaurant) priced at £75.
Where: The Cinnamon Club, Old Westminster Library, 30-32 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BU
Grouse in the house: Vivek Singh’s Westminster restaurant will be serving their game dish as tandoor smoked breast of grouse with bitter fenugreek and corn stir-fry and a tamarind-cumin jus.
Details: On the menu from 14 August for £38.
Where: 35 Spital Square, London E1 6DY
Grouse in the house: Galvin is waiting a week to make sure their birds are in prime condition before holding a one off game feast. The meal kicks off with Pressé of Landes quail & foie gras, pomegranate & apple and includes a roast grouse for the main.
Details: The dinner takes place on 20 August and is £130 for a paired meal
Where: Tate Britain Art Gallery, Milbank, London SW1P 4JU
Grouse in the house: Tate Britain's grouse will be sent straight down to London from the Yorkshire Dales to be served in the restaurant. Chef Alfio Laudani is serving it up as traditional roast grouse with game chips, red currants, bread sauce, red cabbage and reform sauce.
Details: 16th August 2018, limited to just ten dishes a day at first. The grouse dish costs £28.
Where: 6 Old Ct Pl, Kensington, London W8 4PL
Grouse in the house: If Harry and Meghan fancy some grouse fresh off the Yorkshire moors they can head to this restaurant just outside Kensington Palace to try the roast grouse with celeriac mash, red cabbage with game sauce.
Details: Served from the second week of August to October the grouse will cost between £28 and £35
Where: 55 Jermyn St, St. James's, London SW1Y 6LX
Grouse in the house: Wiltons are closed for the Glorious Twelve this year, as they're having a bit of a refurb. However, they will be re-opening on Wednesday 29 August 2018 with freshly shot grouse as well as some Rhug Wild Sika Venison. The latter is a new herd of pure Sika from the Rhug Estate who will only be culling six of the deer this year - so it's a bit of an exclusive. The Grouse will be £45 to start and then will come down in price. The venison will be around £38 for the a la carte dish.
Where: 44 Barnsbury St, London N1 1ER
Grouse in the house: The Drapers will be serving the traditional style roast grouse with pate toast, bread sauce and home made game chips. For the first few days they'll be around £30 but the price will come down as the season progresses.
Where: 28 Upper Grosvenor St, Mayfair, London W1K 7EH
Grouse in the house: Richard Corrigan has two dishes planned for his Mayfair restaurant the first should be on the menu by the end of the first week of the season - grouse spatchcocked with peaches and a foie gras vinaigrette - £38. In September they'll add the rather wonderful sounding grouse pie (from £70 for two depending on the price of the birds - comes with two sides of seasonal vegetables.
Where: 26-29 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 3LL
Grouse in the house: Jeremy Lee serves his grouse in the traditional way, whole, with game crisps, redcurrant jelly and bread sauce. But that's not the whole story. The heart and liver (roasted in the bird) are mixed with butter and brandy and served on a toast that has been at the bottom of the roasting tray with all the juices and there are also sherry crumbs garnishing the plate. In addition they're making a rowanberry and crabapple jelly this year to go with it. It's on the menu from 15 August and costs £28.50.
- Cantina Laredo: This Covent Garden spot's serving up Grouse topped Tacos, served on a tortilla with pearled spelt, creamed corn and an epazote gel from 12 August.
- Benares: Benares is putting on a week-long special street-food menu, accompanied by whiskey paired cocktails from 13-19 August. Try dishes like grilled guinea fowl seekh kebab with piquillo pepper ketchup or a partridge pepper fry with Malabar paratha.
- 10 Greek Street: There's all manner of game goodies going on the menu here including grouse served with a potato gallette, kale & grilled plum (£28) as well as whole pheasant with brussel tops, roast garlic & tarragon bread pudding.
- Lyle's: Grouse will probably be on the menu from 16 August at Lyle's to allow a few days of hanging. Due to the warm weather, they'll be starting with mulberries and cobnuts, and how the bird is served after that will depend on weather and produce. They're also gearing up for their annual Game event - a series of dinners featuring guests chefs, taking place on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th September.
- Gymkhana has added new seasonal dishes to its classic Hunters game menu (£80), including Achari Guinea Fowl chops with tadka dahl and Grouse with Bombay Bhel and lotus crisp, which sit alongside its signature game dishes including their Wild Muntjac Deer biriyani.
St John photo: Patricia Niven