So what do we need to know about The Brasserie of Light?
It's the newest restaurant at Selfridges from the folk at Caprice Holdings (The Ivy, Sexy Fish et al).
And what's special about it?
Selfridges have carved out a three-floor section out of the eastern side of the store for this restaurant. And, frankly, it looks eye-popping. The main part of the dining room is flooded with light (hence the name, presumably) and is overlooked by Damian Hirst's huge, much-vaunted, crystal encrusted Pegasus. And the sculpture really is impressive, towering over the room - you can see it from all the way over on St Christopher's Place.
The restaurant is actually on the first floor of the store - you can access it both from it's dedicated entrance on the street or through the menswear department. There's also a huge private dining room with views into the restaurant and out over Duke Street and a separate bar. And - crucially - it's the first restaurant at Selfridges to be open outside of store hours.
Where should we sit?
There are booths around half of the room with space for up to six if you're in a group - otherwise, there are tables for two or four in the centre. You can also dine at high tables in the bar area.
Where's good to meet friends for a drink first around here?
The bar here looked lovely - you can just pop in here for a drink if you like and no eating is allowed up at the bar. Cocktails there range from £7.50 to £15. If you're coming here during store hours, there's also Gordon's Bar on the lower ground floor or The Fount Bar on the ground floor where the cocktail list was designed in partnership with Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan). If it's out of hours then our recommendation would be the nearby American Bar at The Beaumont.
What's on the menu?
The lunch menu features a combo of Ivy-style classics and dishes more designed for the Selfridges crowd. So there are more salads and carb-free options than you might find at Caprice Holdings' other restaurants. At lunchtime there's also a sandwich menu - next time we might try the Tuna Niçoise Tartine (£12.95) with Quail Eggs and Herb Mayo on Toasted Sourdough.
You may want to book the afternoon tea
We also got to look at the afternoon tea, which is about as OTT as the room itself. A platter, complete with mini crystal Pegasus and billowing over with dry ice, is brought to the table. It sports a range of savouries like teeny lobster, mango and avocado cocktails and sweets like the Golden Apples which turn out to be doughnuts filled with apple compote. It's £35 a head and you can expect that to become pretty popular.
What about vegetarians?
This place couldn't be more geared up for them. An entire section of the menu is given over to plant-based dishes and salads - examples include a wild mushroom, truffle, broccoli and hazelnut rice bowl with edamame beans or maybe shaved roots with fennel, cashew, clementine and romaine lettuce.
The publicity photos really don't do this restaurant justice - it really is a complete jawdropper of a room and apparently is even more amazing looking at night time. In one fell swoop, Selfridges have scooped the crown when it comes to destination restaurants in London stores. We presume Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Fortnums are plotting how to steal it back as we speak.
More about Brasserie of Light
Where is it? 400 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB
How to book: online at www.brasserie-of-light.co.uk or by calling 0203 940 9600.
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