June always spells the kiss of death for my bank account. Aldo Leopold talks about how in the sixth month, 'no man can heed all of the anniversaries; no man can ignore them'. Sure, he was talking about plants bursting into bloom, but it just so happens that the majority of my beloved friends and family celebrate their birthdays in June. Monday 16th is particularly hectic, with my father, sister, best friend and work colleague all born on the same day, then towards the end of the month another best friend from university and A celebrate their birthdays. I may be out of pocket, but at least I'm always well-fed in this month from all the tasty birthday meals!
The Delaunay is one of those places that feels saturated in old-school glamour. Glancing around, the majority of its clientele seem to have been regulars for over 40 years. I spotted an elderly woman who seemed to have walked right out of the Edwardian period, wearing her hair in a bun swaddled in white linen. People-watching is key to this type of restaurant; the Delaunay advertises itself as a 'grand European café-restaurant', which I take as permission to indulge in a little flâneurism!
Although you might expect the Delaunay to be an old-fashioned English institution, the restaurant's dishes are characterised by traditional Viennese fare.
We all ordered three courses, with bellinis thrown in for good measure. We're proud to be a very foodie family. Such a label doesn't necessarily imply connoisseurship, but rather that we're all serious gluttons...
Mum ordered a seafood cocktail.
Dad went for black forest ham with celeriac remoulade.
Sautéed pierogies for the birthday girl.
And a beetroot, hazelnut and goat's curd salad for me. I licked the platter clean, à la Jack Sprat and his wife.
My beautiful sister, who's growing up super fast and is now in her twenties too!
Mains came and went far too quickly for me to photograph them all without being antisocial, but we ordered the following: roast scallops and prawns for me, rib-eye steak for my sister with an unctuous béarnaise sauce, seared mackerel for my mother and the Delaunay's famous schnitzel for my father.
We were getting rather full by this point, but that didn't stop us from ordering pudding too.
Mixed berry compote and shortbread with pouring cream for me. The epitome of old-school dining. Perhaps a little too simple for me, but still delicious - you can't go wrong with berries and cream!
Classic Sachertorte for Maman.
Bri went Viennese too and ordered a passionfruit Gugelhupf.
And Pa chose the amazing looking 'Lucian' ice cream coupe with butterscotch sauce.
A breathtakingly beautiful birthday sky greeted us on stepping out of the restaurant.
A very enjoyable meal in the best of company. Happy birthday, Bri and Dad!