Restaurant Review: Hunter 486 at The Arch Hotel London, Great Cumberland Place in Marylebone
Described as one of London’s best kept secrets for those in the know, the five-star Arch hotel, and Hunter 486 restaurant, are tucked in among the grand listed Georgian townhouses of Great Cumberland Place, Marylebone. It’s minutes from the tourist crowds of Oxford Street but far enough away for some peace and quiet. You know it’s upmarket because there’s more than one Bentley parked on the road – and Madonna lives opposite.
The Arch first opened its doors in 2009. It’s part of the AB Hotels empire – a family business founded by veteran hotelier Abraham Bejerano and co-directed by his two sons Alon, a former investment fund manager, and Rafi.
What was once seven townhouses and two mews houses is now one splendid building of 82 rooms (starting at £350 per night)
And it certainly ticks all the boxes for boutique luxury – from the carefully selected art on the walls to the Salon de Champagne, and Martini Library with a ‘press for refresh’ service button. They haven’t forgotten the small, but important, details either – there’s a smiling doorman, the option to check your coat in, and MALIN + GOETZ toiletries in the loo.
It’s charmingly quirky too – there’s no fourth floor because the number is considered unlucky in some cultures, and it’s dog friendly.
In fact, four-legged guests are offered luxurious beds and even a special menu cooked to order by a chef. With that in mind, I was intrigued to see what was on offer for the humans at the hotel’s only restaurant, Hunter 486, which is named after the old dialling code for Marylebone.
It’s a smart space, where dark leather combines with copper pots and pans, and the shuttered windows look out over the pretty cobbled streets of a neighbouring mews. A roaring stone oven also makes an impressive feature in the open kitchen.
Head Chef Gary Durrant, who joined in 2014, has a top-notch resume – from a decade at the Savoy, to experience in a variety of Michelin kitchens across England and France.
His new weeks-old spring menu is inspired by the ‘Best of British’ classics – Dorset crab, salmon, potted shrimp, bubble and squeak, Ham hock, piccalilli, lemon sole, cucumber, horseradish and Jersey Royals…need I say more?
To be honest, I was sold right from the moment my guest and I were served with deliciously warm bread, and I discovered the tap water was flavoured with cucumber. It seems ridiculous, but I find simple details like this really do make such a difference.
I began with the beautifully delicate salmon tartare, with pickled cucumber, crème fraîche and hints of fennel (£9.00) It was a seemingly simple but innovative modern twist on the quintessentially British summer garden party dish. The potted shrimp with melba toast (£9.50) also proved a winner.
For my main I wanted to sample something from the stone oven – I opted for the black-leg chicken with bubble and squeak and tarragon sauce (£19.00) Like any good British dish, there was no skimping on the portions but it wasn’t too much; it was just right and absolutely delicious.
We also tried the flat iron steak (£19.50), which was perfectly pink, opting for the classic Jersey Royal instead of chips.
Dessert was an adult’s take on a childhood favourite – rhubarb jelly with a refreshing champagne sorbet (£8.50) We also indulged in the gorgeously gooey chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice cream and peanut brittle (£8.50)
And to finish our British feast? An Earl Grey tea was the a perfect post-dinner beverage.
Try Hunter 486 if you’re looking for a dining experience which offers a feeling of exclusivity without pretension.
Address: 50 Great Cumberland Pl, London W1H 7FD / 020 7724 0486
All photography used in this review credit: The Arch Hotel London