The Glorious Twelfth marks the official beginning of Britain’s 121-day-long grouse shooting season. Red grouse is native to Britain, making it an expensive bird, and it also has less than a third of the fat of roast chicken. London’s top restaurants compete fiercely to be the first to serve it on the evening of 12 August, so who’s in the running this year?
1 The Jugged Hare, the City
Be one of the first to taste the new season’s red grouse at The Jugged Hare on the Glorious Twelfth. ETM chefs will once again race to bag the first shoot of the season from the Yorkshire moors and race back to The Jugged Hare – from field to fork in under 12 hours – to cook lucky customers a dish as part of a special five-course British game dinner, expertly paired with wines. Priced at £85 per person, the menu will include roast breast of wild Suffolk wood pigeon, baby gem, truffle and sweetcorn; roast breast and confit leg of red grouse, spiced cabbage, grouse liver pâté, game chips, malted bread sauce, hunter’s jus; and Stinking Bishop cheese with fruit jam and cobnut toast.
49 Chiswell Street EC1Y 4SA; thejuggedhare.com. To book email email@example.com or call 020 7614 0134
2 45 Jermyn St, St James’s
Award-winning dining room 45 Jermyn St will be the first to bring grouse from Scotland to London in less than a day on the Glorious Twelfth. Capturing their grouse in the picturesque Lammermuir Hills on the Scottish borders, team 45 Jermyn St will be racing down to London to serve both traditional and contemporary dishes of exceptional quality. On the evening of 12 August, the chef will be creating one standout dish of roasted grouse, liver parfait on sourdough toast, red cabbage and cep. New dishes will be added from Monday 14 August, including a beautifully glazed, expertly crafted grouse and foie gras pie with a blackberry and shallot chutney and malt gravy; roasted young grouse with a braised leg hot-pot and bread sauce. Pair them with a choice of expertly handpicked wines including Bourgogne Rouge (Burgandy 2012), Château Musar (Lebanon 1998) and Brunello Di Montalcino (Tuscany 2012). From £24.50, served from 12 August until November 2017.
45 Jermyn St, St. James’s SW1 6DN; 45jermynst.com
3 Rabbit Restaurant, Chelsea
Rabbit Restaurant in Chelsea is teaming up with The London Shooting Club to make sure they win the race to bring Londoners the very first grouse of the season. The London Shooting Club will bring the first grouse of the season down from the Yorkshire moors on 12 August, straight into Rabbit’s kitchen, in time to prepare a dinner of Roasted Grouse served with Candied Beetroot, Smoked Onion petals, Blackcurrant and Armagnac Game Sauce. Guests unable to make it into Rabbit on 12 August will be able to enjoy the glorious game dish, curated by head chef Oliver Gladwin, across all Gladwin Brothers restaurants (The Shed, Rabbit and Nutbourne) throughout the grouse season.
172 Kings Road, Chelsea SW3 4UP; 020 3750 0172; rabbit-restaurant.com
4 The Cinnamon Club, Westminster
India once had a great tradition of cooking with game, though modern menus rarely feature the meat due to a hunting ban for the past 65 years. But Vivek Singh’s iconic modern-Indian restaurant, the Cinnamon Club, set within the Grade II listed Old Westminster Library, will celebrate the first shot of the season by recreating historic Indian dishes that would otherwise be lost forever. Tuck into a Tandoor Smoked Breast of Grouse with bitter fenugreek, corn stir-fry and tamarind-cumin jus for £38. Available from 12 August until the end of September.
The Old Westminster Library, 30-32 Great Smith Street SW1P 3BU; 020 7222 2555; cinnamonclub.com
5 Mac & Wild, various locations
London’s favourite Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild will be creating special dishes to celebrate the start of the glorious grouse season on 12 August. Whether your taste is traditional or modern, the seasonal grouse dishes, available at both the Great Titchfield Street and Devonshire Square restaurants, will be running throughout the season, alongside an exciting new ‘wee dish’ at both sites – Andy Waugh’s Grouse Meatballs served on an oak twig skewer with Mac & Wild’s famous Red Jon sauce.
65 Great Titchfield Street W1W 7PS & 9A Devonshire Square EC2M 4YN; macandwild.co.uk
Wiltons, the quintessentially British restaurant created of George William Wilton, was established in St James’ in 1742, so the team knows a thing or two about tradition! Known for its game, Wiltons is celebrate the Glorious Twelfth with grouse from The Bolton Estate in North Yorkshire, which will be delivered within 12 hours of it being shot and the first one served within 30 minutes of arrival! Wiltons will be serving the grouse simply roasted with herbs and served with brioche bread crumb, bread sauce, game crisps, a grouse jus, crisp bacon and watercress. There will also be three double magnums of Margaux Château Labégorce Zédé 2005 available to pair with the grouse, served by the glass for £28 per 175ml.
55 Jermyn Street, St James’s SW1Y 6LX; wiltons.co.uk