What has become a tradition for me when I am in London is to have at least one dinner at the Royal Automobile Club, RAC, on Pall Mall. I get access to the great club through a reciprocal club benefit from one of my club memberships in Australia. As the Great Gallery is regularly booked out, you need to book as early as possible for most nights.
This is what I considered would be the start of my North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean Adventure, and a great start it was.
To start with @ the RAC you need to visit the Cocktail Bar. Usually gentlemen are required to wear a jacket, though this had been relaxed when I was there due to the heat in London.
My first drink of the night was something new for me a Cigar Boulevardier, Dalmore Cigar Malt whisky with Antica Formula vermouth and Campari, infused with smoke. I gave this a 3.5 out of 5
As it was a beautiful night in London there was also dinning out on the terrace, not just in the Great Gallery. “Great” does not do the Gallery justice, will try to sneak in a few pics of it the next time I am there. On this night I was lucky enough to have a table out on the terrace.
The RAC has a dress code to dine as well, a jacket is not necessary in the dinning rooms, but smart casual, sans jeans and runners, with a collared shirt is required. Very civilised.
The wine list in the RAC is fairly expansive and usually reasonably priced (especially when compared to the wine prices in other restaurants around London).
One wine I am always on the lookout for is Banfi SummuS, as it is usually very good quality and decently priced. To my surprise the 2013 SummuS was on the list, so it was an easy decision. The Sommelier advised he is also a fan of the SummuS and advised that he always has a challenge in finding it. It apparently sells very well in the Club.
2013 Banfi SummuS, 40% Sangiovese, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Syrah
|Lively deep plum
|An attractive combination of mocha, cherry and plum aromas, with a slight hint of forest floor
|Medium to full bodied palate, residual sweetness, velvet tannins
|Medium to long
|4 out of 5
Great wine, really happy with the choice.
For my entrée I had oysters which not bad, but had a better at the RAC previously.
For my main course I had Kentish Lamb which was excellent, a perfectly cooked medium, quite succulent and matched very well with the SummuS
For the dessert I had the salted caramel nutbar, which also excellent
With my dessert I had a 2012 Fattoria dei Barbi Vin Santo made with 100% Trebbiano
|A moreish oxidised combo of raisins, prunes and burnt sugar aromas
|Rich with nutty flavours
|Smooth medium length
|4 out 5
Great wine, very reasonable price in a bottle shop as well. Think that the SummuS edged it for the wine of the night
After dinner I headed back to the cocktail bar and had a couple more drinks
RAC Mojito – Beefeater Gin, with Giffard Rhubarb liquor, Campari. Mint raspberries topped with soda water. Did not enjoy this gave it a 2.5 out of 5
Supreme Agave Old Fashioned – Enemigo 00 ‘Extra Anejo’ tequila with angostura and chocolate bitters. Wow go the tequila, big and smoky. Gave it a 3 out of 5
Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne
|A tight bead of ebullient bubbles
|Subtle perfume of biscuit and stone fruit aromas
|Refreshing, slightly sour
|3 out 5
An enjoyable finish to the night, though not my favourite wine of the night. 3 out of 5
Oz’s Wine Ratings
|1 out of 5
|Bug spray, good for cleaning or powering vehicles
|2 out of 5
|Acceptable at a pinch (must be extremely desperate)
|2.5 out of 5
|Drinkable, might improve with age or decanting, good for the last bottle of the night when there is nothing else available
|3 out of 5
|A good wine, may improve with time, a quaffer
|3.5 out of 5
|A very good wine, worth a try and probably a bit of patience if it is a young wine
|4 out of 5
|A great wine! Recommended by Oz
|4.5 out of 5
|A great wine, definitely one that Oz recommends!!
|5 out of 5
|Amazing, WoW. Highly recommended, please give me more!
The RAC always has a car on display in their lobby, it changes frequently. In July 2022 it was a Triumph Italia, on of only 330 ever built and apparently one of the only ones left that is roadworthy. It took a two year restoration to achieve that.
Starting my cruise with a dinner at the Royal Automobile Club on Pall Mall was a great choice. Fantastic service, high quality food, great wines and cocktails, what more could you ask for. Dinning on the terrace made even more special. Can’t wait to go back.