Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester … perhaps 1 star, but not 3

DINING OWL AWARD2nd – petits fours

When I visited: 2011

Location: London, Park Lane (Dorchester Hotel)

Team: Alain Ducasse (Chef Patron), Jean-Philippe Blondet (Executive Chef), Angelo Ercolano (Pastry Chef), Damien Pepin (Restaurant Director), Christopher Bothwell (Head Sommelier)

Rating in the Michelin Guide: 3 stars

Dining Owl Hoot rating: 2/5

What to wear: Men – shirt and jacket and nice trousers and shoes; women – a smart dress and/or smart trousers and a top

Ambience: Posh, large hotel ballroom, high ceiling, Lumiere table

Course of the meal: Petits fours

If I could change one thing: More innovative courses


I don’t like to unnecessarily disparage the restaurants I visit, but I have to say that this one more than any other baffled me in terms of its Michelin star rating. It has 3 stars and I think it deserves perhaps one of those. As pleasant as the whole lunch was from my perspective, there was nothing really special about it apart from the petits fours, which were truly amazing but shouldn’t really be the star of any meal – they’re just a bonus after all. There was definitely a bit of a main course dip when my partner Owl had a bland ox tongue dish.


Particular points about the ambience include the Table Lumiere which allows you to sit on a table within a chandelier, for a bit of privacy and bragging rights. I do also remember the service being perfectly friendly so it’s a shame that the food just didn’t seem that impressive. I’d like to go again to see if my mind could be changed.

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