Not one to be missed
Are you a fan of hearty Sunday roasts? Do you enjoy the heights of the city and the sweet sound of live soul music? Then there’s no better place to consider than Madison, London’s famous rooftop bar and restaurant for their ‘Soul Sunday’ afternoons. With live music from 3-6pm and different acts each week, Madison offers a fresh take on this Sunday tradition helping to ease you into the perfectly relaxed afternoon.
The perfect mix
Having had excellent cocktails on Madison’s 6th floor rooftop terrace last summer with my girlfriends, I had high expectations of this new offering, and I was not disappointed. Madison’s talented chefs and dedicated team have really given the menu a delicate approach, tailoring it to a generous 3 courses including a sharing or individual roast with all of the trimmings and a bottle of wine to share. Having studied the menu for quite a while over our complimentary espresso martinis, we finally decide on our courses and go for the sharing roast board for two. No need for food envy this time.
It’s just after 1pm and first up is the mackerel and salmon tartare starter, a satisfyingly fresh dish with perfectly pickled lotus root, yuzu and mirin. Surprised to find lotus root on the menu of a British restaurant (something I’ve never seen before) it’s almost too pretty to eat, but not quite. The freshness of the lotus root is a delicious counterpoint to the flavours of the mackerel and salmon tartare delicately placed on top.
Our sharing roast board follows; half a roast chicken, roast pork belly and roast USDA sirloin covers all meat needs, with roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, cauliflower cheese and French beans in plentiful supply. I have to be honest, I genuinely haven’t had a roast like the one in Madison in a very long time (it even gives my dad a good run for his money), it’s just delicious. My absolute favourite is the roast USDA sirloin; complete taste satisfaction – succulent and full of flavour.
Washed down with a glass of house 2015 Italian red wine we finish with dessert – a delicious crème caramel accompanied with deconstructed poached rhubarb, oat and ginger crumble. Full to the brim after a marvellous lunch, the City Garden cocktail is the ideal accompaniment – we move over to the sofas for a softer seat and to admire the breathtaking views in the lounge area just in time for the live soul music to start.
Madison’s lounge area has an attic chic vibe with large floor-to-ceiling sloped glass windows looking straight out over the incredible dome of St Paul’s and the city. It’s a good space with a great view, especially on a day like we have with the sun shining and a clear blue sky. It’s finally starting to feel very much like spring.
Touching the soul
Playing for the afternoon is singer-song-writer and producer Gavin Holligan. Starting out as a professional West Ham FC football player, Gavin transitioned his footballing career into a life of a talented musician. And boy are we glad he did! With a line up of hit songs from the last 30 years, Gavin remixes and refreshes old and new songs with an old school, soulful twist. Having performed with musical icons such as Amy Winehouse, Elton John and Chaka Khan (to name a few) we spend the rest of our afternoon listening to his distinctive and soothing voice. Gavin and his partner play through authentic blends of songs we all know and love on just one keyboard and guitar, mixing in seamlessly his love for soul, folk and jazz. This is a real treat and the perfect, relaxed end to my otherwise hectic week.
The sun starts to set behind the city’s famous skyline adding a sense of romance to the intimate setting. Madison really has nailed their Soul Sunday afternoons on the head. The food is faultless, and the entertainment exceptionally talented. I couldn’t recommend this experience enough. Make sure you clear your diaries and join in the buzz at Madison Sunday Soul sessions and make the most of this opportunity to de-stress and unwind. This is an afternoon worth lingering over.
Taste of Manhattan
This month, Madison has added twelve new cocktails inspired by New York’s Manhattan to its menu – the perfect choice for a sunset drink overlooking St Paul’s. The serves are inspired by America’s colourful cocktail history from the Victorian ages right through the Prohibition era to the present day, and feature six timeless classics alongside six contemporary twists. Try the Maple & Almond Sour for a nutty twist on the much-loved whisky sour, or savour a classic Margarita or Mint Julep while you take in the view.
Madison Soul Sundays run until Sunday 25th March 2018 with live music from 3-6pm.
In the restaurant, dine from the 3 course set menu with a 1/2 bottle of wine for £38 per person. Advance bookings recommended. Book a table here or call +44 (0)203 693 5160.
For the current music line, please click here.