Who could forget Bobby Moore? One of Britain’s best footballers, he captained the England team that won the ’66 World Cup. He was considered by Pelé to be the best defender that he’d ever played against. After an illustrious career, winning 108 caps for England, he sadly became ill with cancer and passed away aged only 51. We were invited to taste his favourite menu at the ’66 World Cup Hotel, The Royal Garden.
His widow, Stephanie Moore MBE, has been active in the fight against bowel cancer. She set up the Bobby Moore Fund with Cancer Research UK, in order to help fund research into this terrible disease. The fund was set up in 1993 and has raised over £22 million to support bowel cancer research, with mortality rates having fallen by 30%.
The Royal Garden Hotel was the official ’66 World Cup hotel, playing host to the winning team, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of England winning the World Cup, they have teamed up with Stephanie in order to offer a special Bobby Moore menu. £1 from every menu will be donated to the Bobby Moore fund.
We were invited to sample the menu in the casual but chic surroundings of the 66 World Cup hotel, in the Park Terrace Restaurant. I’m a fan of Min Jiang, also in the Royal Garden hotel and enjoyed a food photography class there, yet I’d never been to Park Terrace on the ground floor. There’s an attractive casual bar area…
and the more formal restaurant where we were lunching. The 5-star Royal Garden Hotel is itself celebrating an important milestone this year, its 50th anniversary. It opened in 1965, and has been independently owned ever since.
Park Terrace overlooks leafy Hyde Park. I actually used to run past here when I was in the Serpentine Running Club, so it was a bit of a wake-up call that I need to get more active again. Head Chef Steve Munkley has worked with Stephanie to design healthy dishes based on Bobby’s favourite food. The menu will change seasonally, but each one will include important nutrients such as iron, calcium and protein that help to protect against cancer.
There’s something rather intimate about eating someone else’s choice of menu, almost like being invited to dinner. It’s a good insight into someone else’s world and from sampling Bobby’s menu, I’m guessing he enjoyed healthy food. We started in style with a glass of chilled Chablis.
We sampled some really lovely warm homemade bread with our wine.
Normally, the first course is potted shrimp but our charming waitress suggested that we begin instead with the spinach and nutmeg soup. It was really warming and had a delicate taste, with the nutmeg complimenting the spinach nicely.
The potted shrimp and crab cocktail was our next dish, accompanied by sourdough soldiers. The freshness of the seafood and delicious Marie Rose sauce made this a winner.
Paul was very excited about the next course – fettucini. This tasty combination of homemade pasta, peppers, olives, heritage tomatoes, peas and broad beans made us feel like we were in Italy on a sun-drenched terrace rather than in rainy London ;-).
Our dessert was my favourite, a very moreish American baked blueberry cheesecake. It had a lovely creamy taste and the fresh blueberries and candied orange went really well with it. Bobby certainly had a healthy diet – I’m guessing that this was his guilty pleasure. It was a fitting homage to the man whose legacy lives on. The Bobby Moore menu was one of several 66 World Cup hotel themed experiences celebrating The Royal Garden’s golden anniversary. There was a charity silent auction in the Bobby Moore Lounge pop-up bar, with some brilliant prizes for football fans including the 66 winners’ signed golden football, golden boot and golden glove.
What dishes would be on your favourite menu?
Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street, London W8 4PT