The Arch London is one of those hidden away hotels that once you have stayed you may not want to tell too many people about it as it is such a great find. Originally seven Town and two Mews houses, this small luxury hotel, just a short walk from Marble Arch, is perfect for those of you who prefer a hotel that is more intimate and feels a little like home.
I first visited The Arch when it opened back in November 2009 and have been a big fan ever since, watching it increase in popularity amongst its now loyal guests.
Their cosy restaurant Hunter 486, which is named after the 1950’s dialling code for the Marylebone area, is a hidden gem and the perfect place to enjoy a relaxed business lunch or a more intimate dinner.
I have eaten both lunch and dinner at the restaurant on a few occasions over the last few years and in the evening, you will see guests and locals sipping Champagne in the adjacent chic and trendy Salon de Champagne. I can certainly recommend treating yourself to a ‘Rock Around the Clock’ or ‘Earl Grey MarTEAni’ as they are well-known for their great Martinis.
We were at Hunter 486 for lunch to try their new ‘Best of British’ inspired menu created by Head Chef Gary Durrant, which has had quite a radical facelift since I last had lunch here. The wooden boards have given way to more conventional plates, which I think are more fitting for the comprehensive British-inspired menu.
The restaurant offers both relaxed and more intimate seating with leather booths and a very comfortable circular banquette and large round table in the middle of the restaurant, which is where we were seated on this occasion, giving us a bird’s eye view into the open kitchen at the far end, where we see the chefs hard at work. The attentive staff are happy to guide you through the menu, which I would say offers something for everyone, and we were soon treated to a selection of delicious freshly made warm bread whilst we perused the menu.
We start with a favourite of mine, the Dressed Dorset Crab from the main menu, which comes with avocado and pink grapefruit and a rather delicious Salmon Tartare with pickled cucumber and quail eggs, from the Set Menu. It was actually quite hard making a decision, as the menu also included a Cornish mackerel with Jersey Royals and quail eggs, a Marinated Tuna, a Smoked Barbary Duck Breast and an Asparagus Soup, to name just a few of the other dishes.
The decision was no easier when it comes to our main course. In the end however we choose the Fillet of Stone Bass with sesame green beans, carrots, lemongrass and a ginger broth. Our other choice is the perfectly cooked Lemon Sole Fillets, which arrives resting on a bed of Jersey Royals, samphire and potted shrimp butter.
Whilst we stuck with fish, the menu also offers a 28-day aged Flat Iron Steak, Rose County 28-day aged rib eye and a Rack of Lamb. Pasta lovers however, may prefer the Sun-Dried Tomato Polenta with heirloom tomato, avocado and an olive and pine nut salad and if it’s Friday, you may be tempted with their Beer Battered Haddock with good old mushy peas and hand cut chips!
Be warned though, the portions are generous, so come hungry! That said, we managed to find a little room for a dessert and choose a smooth Passion Fruit Cheesecake and sorbet and a creamy Rice Pudding with a summer berry compote – something I rarely see on menus these days, but always choose – I was not disappointed.
The comprehensive wine list from around the world is reasonably priced, with most wines available by the glass, which is refreshing to see, so you don’t have to buy a whole bottle to enjoy the wine of your choice.
The Set Menu offers great value at £19 for two courses or you can roll the boat out and spend an additional £2 for three courses.
I really like the new menu along with the intimacy and ambience of Hunter 486, combined with the attentive service of the friendly staff and very much look forward to my next visit.
Hunter 486 at The Arch London, 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London, W1H 7FD
Tel: +44 (0)207 724 0486
Located in The Arch Hotel just north of Oxford Street. The nearest Tube Station is Marble Arch on the Central Line, which is about a 5-minute walk if that. Valet parking is available.
Type of Restaurant: Modern British Restaurant & Bar
With free Wi-Fi and great all-day bar menu, this is the perfect place for a business lunch or more intimate cocktail and dinner tucked away behind Marble Arch. They also cater well for those of you with special dietary needs and were very helpful with our need for gluten free dishes and even provided us with gluten free bread on a previous occasion.
Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10
Simon Burrell is Editor-in-Chief of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs by Simon Burrell