Gavin Rankin is the patron and principle of Bellamys, a restaurant discretely tucked away in a cobbled Mayfair mews. Bellamy’s is the favourite midday brasserie of the West End’s hedgies, property people, art dealers and ladies who lunch; conveniently only six stops on the metro from Canary Wharf, bankers regularly meet their clients here to enjoy the menu, the atmosphere and the wonderful greeting from the patron. Rankin has flawless manners and etiquette, his genial charm gives everyone the impression they are a both a friend and a valuable customer. When asked how he remembers everyone’s names he says “If you’re stuck Darling works for many women and some of the men, otherwise Sir and Madam always does the job”.
Rankin has an immaculate provenance for his trade, he opened the legendary Caviar Kaspia in the 1980’s, then for 11 years he was the Managing Director of Mark Birley’s Annabel’s Group (Mark’s Club, Harry’s Bar, The Bath and Racquets Club and George); he has imbibed Birley’s theory of what customers expect, they are “not looking for servility but good service willingly given”. In fact several of the staff from Annabel’s followed Rankin to Bellamy’s.
The menu is in the Franco Belgian Brasserie tradition, typical starters are risotto or smoked eel mousse and entrees such as fillet of Dover sole or sliced entrecote are always popular. All the ingredients are French with vegetables daily from Rungis, the famous food market south of Paris. The menu is the same in the evening but the lights are dimmed.
The design throughout, by the architect and designer Tim Flynn, is smart and crisp but not overly formal, a comfortable navy leather banquette runs along the walland the imaginative flowers by Neil Birksbring a seasonal elegance to the restaurant and bar.
The wine list reflects Rankin’s prejudices and is entirely French, his preferred choice is the Margaux Bordeaux Chateau Monbrison, which he offers at a very reasonable price.
The interior is a happy marriage of English country house and French brasserie style. The design throughout, by the architect and designer Tim Flynn, is smart and crisp but not overly formal, a comfortable navy leather banquette runs along the walland the imaginative flowers by Neil Birksbring a seasonal elegance to the restaurant and bar. Rankin himself chose the Brasserie style posters on the walls, many by 1950’s artist and fashion illustrator Rene Gruau and others in the style of Toulouse Lautrec. Art has always been a defining characteristic of the Birley Group and it is no less here. Rankin, the perfect gentleman who lives not five minutes from his work, has succeeded in creating a sophisticated and gourmet restaurant with a matching reputation.