St John restaurant (London) celebrates 25 years
their Boulevard Napoléon winery in La Livinière, Minervois May 2019
This week we will be briefly in London as very lucky invitees to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the St John restaurant in Smithfield in 1994. A party that will surely go on into the early hours of the morning. St John is run by Chef Fergus Henderson and restaurateur Trevor Gulliver.
and Trevor puts it in the glass
Menus change daily
Here is a link to an excellent article about Trevor Gulliver, Fergus Henderson and St John, which appeared in Guardian recently, a brief extract from the article:
'Both men are steeped in what you might call the rigour of gastronomic pleasure. The articles of St John’s faith are all about constancy and conviction, doing good things extremely well. When they first opened the restaurant, with its menu of tripes and bone marrow and welsh rarebit and addictive custard, they were accused of being 200 years out of date, which they took as an enormous compliment.
'One of their key beliefs is that a great restaurant should insist on making a human shape to the day, beginning early with the baking of bread, and ending late with a final glass of something special. In an age of working lunches and clean eating, they have held fast to that principle.'
Over the years I have eaten a number of times at St John – it has always been a pleasure, especially a dinner with around 20 friends and family to celebrate one of Carole's special birthdays when we enjoyed a suckling pig. Just not sure why we haven't gone to St John more often!
Since 2016 we have had the good fortune to be invited to join their annual Fête des Vins at their Boulevard Napoléon winery in La Lavinière and this has become a highlight of our year.
Fergus and Trevor have established a menu for their Fête des Vins: after the apéros we start with brains on toast, followed by quail, then cheese and cherries. The menu doesn't change – it works so it doesn't need to be tweaked. All this is accompanied by Boulevard Napoléon wines plus others that guests have brought along with them.
Sadly back around 1998 Fergus was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which is now happily controlled since 2006 by deep brain stimulation – a procedure that controls the shakes and tremors. Fergus' continued enjoyment of life and work is an inspiration.