Clos Maggiore

Clos Maggiore


A candidate for castration



It’s no secret that the most romantic restaurant in London is regarded as Clos Maggiore. A single room in this establishment is apparently potent enough to win this and other racier accolades – reason enough to steal a peep. This reputation is made flesh in a room twined with an eternity of white flowers, whose blossoms are conceived in its darkened corners, branching up towards its apex, and finally merging under a glass ceiling. Twinkling fairy lights interweave with the thick foliage and mirrors are cleverly used to deepen the space, transforming it into the set of an enchanted forest.

If any restaurant can be accused of peacocking, it is Clos Maggiore. The menu is firmly rooted in traditional French cuisine, with snippets of northern Italian fare. Plump roasted foie gras, slippery as marrow, is divine in its simplicity. Although the accompanying fried confit of duck leg indicates technical skill, its taste is marred by excessive interference, while a black fig garnish clashes with vinegar dressing.


Foie gras, crisp confit duck leg at clos maggiore


Shoulder of rabbit resembles a sculpture out of Beetlejuice; a gummy slick-skinned ball of meat stabbed with whole herbs. The almost raw texture of animal skin is repeated in slow cooked belly of veal. While the veal and rabbit meat themselves are delectable, the rims of fat, sinew and skin are not so appetizing.


Shoulder of rabbit at clos maggiore

Cod, vermicelli and mussel casserole at clos maggiore


In the latter stages of consuming mains there is a developing sense of urgency which permeates the air around our table. What could this be? Unsubtle scrutiny from passing waiters, lingering eyeballing from the head honcho, surreptitious glances at forks suspending in mid-air should we dare to converse.


Veal belly, vegetable etuvée at clos maggiore


With the sweeping away of dinner plates comes, almost immediately, the uninvited dessert menu with the thinly veiled words ‘if you want the fondant, order now as it takes 12 minutes to prepare’.

Should you wish to be treated thus (you masochist, you), a word of warning: the wow room at the back has around 7 tables. The rest of the establishment is distinctly un-special, and so even more unworthy of regard.

Service is abrupt, dismissive, and austere, average price per person is £45.


Foliage flowers clos maggiore

Tube: Covent Garden

Clos Maggiore on Urbanspoon


  • You’ve got some lovely photos of the interior of the restaurant here! So sorry to hear you had a bad experience with the service. I went a couple of times about 2 years ago and on both occasions, had lovely, friendly service without being rushed so perhaps it’s a mixed bag or maybe things have gone downhill since then. I remember having some delicious, tender venison there. Great write up!

  • I went here recently and it was so awful, same thing happened with basically being shoved out of the door in the middle of our meal. It was rushed and unfriendly, and the last place I would have wanted to take my girlfriend. urgh.

    • Thanks for your comments. Experience are bound to vary, but there’s nothing on earth that could persuade me to try Clos Maggiore out again.

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