Wowcher Reviews One Twenty One Two Restaurant at the Royal Horseguards Hotel

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When you live in the dizzying and often daunting metropolis of London, it’s too easy to slip into a routine – sticking to tried-and-tested restaurants and bars, lazing indoors at the weekends and seeing any tube journey that crosses the Thames as a daring odyssey into the unknown. At Wowcher (often guilty of this ourselves!), we’re always looking for exciting new experiences and undiscovered spots in the capital…

There are two things you’re highly unlikely to do as a resident here. The first is to venture above ground near Westminster (for fear of being trampled by herds of selfie stick-wielding tourists) and the second, should you find yourself there, is to set foot in any of the grandiose five-star establishments that line its streets.

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Offered a rare reason to do both – with the promise of award-winning cuisine, opulent surroundings and a few glasses of Prosecco – my colleague Alex and I didn’t take too much convincing to head to One Twenty One Two restaurant at The Royal Horseguards Hotel.

The impressive hotel sits overlooking the Thames, just around the corner from Embankment station and a stone’s throw from Downing Street. Once home to the Chief of MI6 (and fittingly featured in one or two Bond movies), the stately Victorian building’s ornate features are invitingly lit up this chilly winter’s evening.

As soon we step inside the welcoming, spotlessly well-kept restaurant – with striking, classic furnishings and the sort of set menu that you can’t read without hearing the Masterchef voiceover – it’s fair to assume we’re not going to be disappointed.

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The friendly, attentive waiting staff greet and seat us with the polished manner of service that they keep up all evening. Ice-cold Prosecco poured and bread basket dutifully plundered, it’s quickly time to order our starters. Momentarily forgetting that we should probably order different dishes as we’re here to write a blog, we both go for cornfed chicken thigh served with crispy wing, baby gem and tomato rouille.

Present me with any sort of chicken option on a menu and I’ll struggle to choose anything else. The deliciously crispy goods show up carefully presented with an unusual mix of accompaniments – most surprisingly a bed of quinoa, making me probably the last person on earth to try this so-hot-right-now superfood.

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For the main event, Alex orders pappardelle spicy chorizo served with sweet peppers, basil and mozzarella, while I opt for the seared seabass served with celeriac purée, fennel tart and lie de vin (the latter of which I don’t feel the need to look up, as I’m sure by this point it’ll be good regardless). The dishes are delivered promptly but not rushed either – handy for Alex as by the time I’ve eaten mine she’s striving to get the perfect photo of hers before tucking in. To those sitting around us we look like the most snap-happy tourists in London.

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Both are mouthwatering – delicately cooked seabass with a light pastry wins me over as a pie fiend, and I could probably have figured out that lie de vin would translate roughly as tasty wine sauce. Alex’s piled-high plate of pappardelle proves to be generously layered pasta sheets packed with authentic Italian flavours.

With a little room for dessert, we pore over the menu again before I, inevitably, go for the white chocolate cheesecake with raspberries and Alex chooses the apple tart with Calvados cream, which, in one of a few not-on-the-menu surprises, arrives decorated with flowers. We make short work of both, each of them a lovingly made, delectable sweet treat to round off proceedings (along with the remaining Prosecco).

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With top-notch service throughout, opulent decor and the sort of hushed, civilised atmosphere that’s not too easy to find in central London, One Twenty One Two is a real treat and perfectly located for a pre-theatre feast, date night or special occasion – when faced with the prospect of cooking for myself the following night, the contents of my cupboard seem even less adventurous than usual.

For your own swish evening out at The Royal Horseguards Hotel, head over to our tempting deal here, and keep an eye on Wowcher.co.uk for more unique dining experiences!