by Chrissy Iley
Le Caprice has always been a very special restaurant. Chic, timeless, delicious, cosy, inimitable. Every time I go there it’s bathed in memories. It’s the restaurant that has seen so many special occasions – birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, conversations that have changed the course of my life in some small way, or in a heftier way. There is something about its piano playing, it’s black shiny bar and its crisp white tablecloths that have always seemed timeless, romantic even.
Le Caprice is a restaurant that I first noticed that service could be special. Why people go back there is that everybody’s needs are taken seriously.
Once you enter Caprice zone you are cared for, you are loved. That’s why you want to be there.
The menu has traditional favourites, the things people go back for, like the duck and watercress salad. More crispy, tangy and distinctive than any other you could imagine.
And there’s always something that you haven’t seen before – like an Atlantic prawn, avocado, grapefruit and endive salad. The main courses can be classics with a twist, like the Chicken Milanese, flattened and crisped to perfection, or a prawn and monkfish curry with coriander rice which is heavenly scented and heaven sent.
There’s a new dessert – peanut butter and jelly crunch coupé, which is more magnificent than it sounds. A wonderful collection of texture and ice cream orgasm.
Le Caprice is of course about much more than the food. It’s the atmosphere which is exciting, chic and celebrity studded. The other night Dominic West became my friend for the night – charming and hilarious. I love the fact waiting at the bar at Le Caprice for Katherine Jenkins to sing gave us common ground and bonhomie.
I love the way the menu has stood the test of time when so many other restaurants have come and gone. I love the fact that you know what you’re getting when you go there. I love it for being dependable. I love the way change is introduced only subtly.
The biggest and latest change in Le Caprice is a good one. It’s open all day. It used to close for lunch and open for dinner. Now it goes right through to cater for the modern need of people wanting to eat without boundaries or rules. You can have a really late lunch or a really early dinner, or you can just go in at 4 o’clock for a wonderful ice cream. Beats any afternoon tea anywhere.
Le Caprice, Arlington Street, London, SW1A 1RJ.