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King of Ancona Comes to London

By Chris Boyle

Moreno Cedroni

Moreno Cedroni

Moreno at Baglioni

Moreno at Baglioni

Just a pearl’s throw from the Royal Albert Hall on the fringes of Hyde Park, there are few grander addresses in London than this.

Moreno occupies the ground floor of Baglioni Hotel London, the only Baglioni outside Italy and a luxe pocket of Italian style in this most English of locations. The interiors are both baroque and contemporary—gold leaf lined walls represent the Italian sun, a water feature echoes Italy’s trademark piazze, and black & white photographs pay homage to Italian art, film and fashion. Furnishings are warm and plush, with grey and gold velvet armchairs, Murano glass candelabras and a welcome fireplace.

The restaurant is the first UK venture for Italian chef Moreno Cedroni, something of a household name in his homeland. He holds two Michelin stars at Madonnina del Pescatore near Ancona and has penned several books on his innovative cooking style. A modern take on classic Italian cooking, Cedroni’s signature is Japanese-inspired raw fish or ‘susci’.

The cooked variety at Moreno is no less impressive, with starters including tender tempura scallops infused with cuttlefish black ink and a clam and zucchini sauce, and a fine old favorite vitello tonnato—slow cooked veal with a light tuna sauce. Highlights from the mains include roast duck leg with caramel raspberry vinegar and cabbage sauce, and delicious bacon-wrapped monkfish bites with foie gras, globe and Jerusalem artichoke sauce.

Courses are complemented by Italian breads and excellent amuse-bouches like parmesan mousse with balsamic vinegar and later a chocolate mousse with light flakes of salt. A charming finale is a selection of petits fours presented on a miniature map of Italy according to their region of origin. Service is friendly and professional, and the wine list reminds you why Italy is one of the better nations to be born in.

Set in a handsome Victorian building, the hotel itself offers 67 elegant rooms and suites, some with a fireplace and park-facing private terrace. The most prestigious suite is the first floor Royal Suite, covering 2,600 square feet with 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 reception rooms and a large terrace overlooking Hyde Park. Royal Suite guests benefit from personal butler service and in-room 24-hour service.

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