I was on my way to the ‘powder room’ when I suddenly realised I was in the ‘Bon Vivant’ swing of things (in French the phrase roughly translates to someone who knows how to live life well).
I’d had a couple of deceivingly heady Dirty Pink cocktails – a mix of gin, Chambord raspberry liquor, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white – and I was just about to settle in for dinner.
The lights had dropped, with the glow of candle light setting the tone, and the restaurant was abuzz with chatter and funky music.
I had to admit, when I Google Street Map imaged the address of Bon Vivant I was slightly worried about where I was heading to.
A swift search of the address, produced shots of what appeared to be a mediocre eatery close to the British Museum. But on arriving at the newly-opened spot I was thrilled to see it had undergone a complete transformation and was a world away from its former guise.
Think boudoir meets art deco, with baby pink walls, flashes of monochrome and risque shots of womens’ lips on the wall.
I was liking it.
Back from the powder room and the starters were swiftly being shuttled out from the kitchen by a very smiley French waiter named Jean Silver.
Chunky whole meal bread spread with creamy, salty butter was quickly devoured, making way for platters of artistically arranged starters.
The cured salmon with pickled vegetables was easy to devour and the warm goat cheese salad with candied walnuts was tussled over.
Everything was pleasant on the tongue and there was an elegant lack of fuss.
Jean Silver returned, poured a very generous glug of red wine and escorted our clean plates away for round two.
The menu at Bon Vivant is nice and concise – seven starters, seven mains – which makes things easier for indecisive souls such as myself.
I’d gone for the rib eye steak with a side of creamed spinach, as the glazed carrots had run out, while my fellow diner had gone for the duck.
I had another Bon Vivant moment when my slab of steak arrived, the glaze of the pink meat glimmering in the candlelight.
I’d been advised against the dish and told to order the bavette instead but I was thoroughly pleased with my choice. Again the dish was simple but cooked to perfection and I didn’t leave a mouthful for the kitchen waste bin.
Jean Silver informed us it was time for dessert.
I’m not usually a fan of creme brulee but Bon Vivant’s Earl Grey variation had me plunging back again and again until my terracotta vessel was scraped bare.
I was in such a jolly mood I wanted to continue the night.
But it was then that I realised it was close to 11:30pm… we’d somehow spent 4 hours at dinner.
As the saying goes, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’.
Bon Vivant indeed!
Bon Vivant, 75-77 Marchmont St, Kings Cross, London, WC1N 1AP
To book a table call 020 7713 6111 or visit www.bonvivantrestaurant.co.uk