Tucked in the heart of Mayfair, Bacchanalia offers a Greek and Mediterranean dining experience that will transport you to the ritualistic celebrations of Bacchus. With toga-clad waiters and Greco-Roman Damien Hirst sculptures suspended from the ceiling, Bacchanlia has quickly gained a reptuation as a Mayfair hotspot following its opening in late 2022.
Its breathtaking interior is estimated to have cost a cool £75 million to create, and while it’s likely to be the wet dream of every social media influencer out there (think of the content!!), is this hedonistic heaven worth its supposedly hefty price tag?
I’ll begin by stating that despite my love of visiting fine dining hotspots, I have a very basic palate and I am NOT a huge eater. I’m very much a small plates and sharing platters kind of gal. Still, I live for the ambience and drama, which Bacchanalia certainly promised.
Let’s be frank, we’re all going to Bacchanalia to experience the interior. From its eye-catching color palette of gold and burgundy to the uniformed doormen and Medusa flying high above your head as you tuck into your meal, Bacchanalia is every inch the visual treat. Truthfully, the food is almost secondary. Yet, Bacchanalia offers a perfectly servicable menu, including plenty of options when it comes to caviar, salads, pasta and its scrumputous ‘Food of the Gods’ offering.
We opted to keep it simple with rigatoni beef ragù with parmesan and grilled chicken with padron peppers, roasted potatoes and chicken jus as mains. While the rigatoni ragù was nothing to write home about, the grilled chicken was divine. Perfectly cooked and a really great balance of peppers and potatoes. Food is also served with all the theatrical flair and flames, which was a fun addition to the experience.
*Dress: For Love & Lemons Kiersten Dress, £298
It’s worth noting that we dined during Bacchanalia’s summer celebrations, which welcomed the dawn of summer by honouring the Titan god of sun, Helios. As such, Bacchanalia had limited-edition cocktails on offer. Naturally, I couldn’t resist and tried Through the Grapevine, which was a mix of Belvedere Vodka, honey, grape and apple. It was a real delight and to be honest, if you’re not a dinner gal, I can see Bacchanalia being as a good place to catch up with friends over cocktails despite the relatively cramped bar seating area. There’s an extensive cocktails, spirits and wine menu on offer, including non-alcoholic alternatives, so there’s definitely something for everyone!
Now, dessert features Bacchanalia’s real pièce de résistance: Medusa. Or Coconut Medusa as she is affectionately known in household. Whatever I thought the Medusa was going to be like when I ordered it, Bacchanalia’s final product completely exceeded my expectations. The £50 dessert is a coconut and tonka cream mould of Medusa’s snakey head. Cut inside the soft cream layers and you’ll find exotic fruits aplenty, including mango chunks.
She’s an icon, a legend and she is the moment. I would sell my soul to consume a Coconut Medusa every day. However, I think my bank would probably hate me for doing so! Even though I don’t think the main meals were any extraordinarily special despite being delicious, I would revisit just for Medusa. I’m sure there are other fantastic desserts on the menu, but none of them really matter when Medusa is right there.
Note that we didn’t have starters and Medusa was enough to be shared so our trip to Bacchanalia for two set us back around £150 which given the unique experience, ornate interior and the fact we’re in Mayfair, it felt like a bargain and the staff were friendly enough that I’d consider coming back should the mood strike me again.
I sadly didn’t get to experience the toilets (which I hear are every bit as fantastical as the main dining space) so perhaps that will be one to tick off when I return. Overall, Bacchanalia is a glorious tribute to Bacchus and a fun feast for the eyes!