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Review: Cora Pearl | Covent Garden, London | Quality pimped up classics

Updated: Dec 10, 2019

This Saturday I went to London to meet a friend whom I had worked with at Christie's a few years ago. It's always bitter sweet for me when I go back to London as I spent six years there and it still feels very much like home. It's weird to be IN London and not have a place of my own to wander back to after being out and about. Going back to places I have lived makes me reminiscent and sometimes I can feel like a tourist in my own past.

But visting also means no long and stressful work days or commuting for hours on the tube squashed up against strangers or having to put up with all of the things that can make city living slightly intolerable! Visting just means I get to do all the things I want to do and I always have a good time.

So, I took the coach from Cheltenham to Victoria, opting to avoid a ridiculous £55 return train fare. My plan was to arrive at Victoria and re-trace my steps on foot through St. James's Park, wander up to Christie's and eventually make my way to my final destination, Covent Garden, where lunch and the most hilariously excellent conversation awaited at the small and stylish Cora Pearl.

Cora Pearl is the sister restaurant of Kitty Fisher and like Kitty Fisher, Cora Pearl is named after a courtesan who frequented Covent Garden in the 19th century. The space is on the small side but pleasant and beautifully designed - unpretentious and comfortable. The upstairs is light and there is a small bar to the right. There is also a downstairs which is even tinier (also where the loos are).

Before I get into the detail, I must say this is one of the most flavourful, surprising, delicious and satisfying meals I have had in a long while. Upon inital inspection, the menu looks remarkably simple and features items like deviled eggs, a ham and cheese toastie and milk and cookies.

My mother used to make deviled eggs back in the 80's. We even had a green-blue deviled egg Tupperware platter in the house reserved for events like baby showers and the like. Perhaps some nostalgia here? Certainly. And thank you very much.

So, I decided to order the deviled eggs and they hit the spot - best deviled eggs I've had and at a very reasonable £3.5.

Admittedly, the starters are small - at least the ones we ordered. But I'm not a big fan of massive portions and by the time dessert was finished I was pleasantly full.

The eggs were followed by the 'fish stew with croutons' and because we had both heard rumours about the amazing chips here - my friend and I decided to split an order of those too.

The fish stew was one of the yummiest things I have had in ages! The dish is basically comprised of three types of fish fillets and a mussel shell filled with loads of the little sea gems and served with a sauce of brown crab that is simply delicious. This is accompanied by two croutons coated with parmesan cheese which help to soak up all of that lovely sauce.

The chips delivered too. They were layered inside, almost like a dauphinoise, and most assuredly cooked in something that won't do much good for your health but made them crispy and mighty tasty!

I'm not always a dessert person, but we were having such nice time and decided to go ahead and order the 'milk and cookies' as well as the 'chocolates.' Again, simple-sounding menu items and I was excited to see what came out.

It was hard to put my finger on exactly what made up the 'milk and cookies.' It seemed to be bits of soft and crunchy cookies covered in a really airy pillow that wasn't really an ice-cream or a cream. Each mouthful was a different flavour explosion, sometimes, hitting oozy chocolate, sometimes crunchy biscuit. It was divine.

I was pretty full at this point but still managed to sample the 'chocolates' which were very nice, two salted caramel and two chocolate-peanut butter.

I spent three and a half hours catching up with my friend and eating awesome food. The staff were just attentive enough - never over-bearing, just right. They never made me feel rushed and I had a very relaxing experience. I went on a Saturday afternoon and would highly recommend Cora Pearl.

Cora Pearl | 30 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8NA | 020 7324 7722 |

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