The Gilbert Scott

Commemorating 1918 with The Gilbert Scott

Did you know that during the hotel’s first incarnation, as the Midland Grand Hotel, The Gilbert Scott operated as its Dining & Coffee Room?  Most interestingly though is the dramatic shift in food culture the Dining & Coffee Room would have witnessed between the time it first opened, in 1873, and 100 years ago, in 1918.  Whilst the 1870s represented a time of Victorian excess, in stark contrast the time of the First World War was a period of stringent wartime rationing.  In fact, food historian and curator at the British Library, Dr. Polly Russell, believes that these fifty years represent possibly one of the most dramatic shifts in food culture in such a short time-frame, than the UK has ever seen.

In celebration of its extraordinary history, and in association with the launch of the British Library’s inaugural Food Season, The Gilbert Scott is hosting two exclusive dinners, on Tuesday 29th & Wednesday 30th May.  Fortunate enough to have in its possession five original menus served by the Dining & Coffee Room between 1917 and 1920, the team at The Gilbert Scott has taken a menu dated 29th May 1918, and recreated it for these two dinners.

Tuesday 29th & Wednesday 30th May 2018

18:30: doors “open”
19:15: dinner starts



Ensuring the menu is introduced in the context of its surroundings, The Gilbert Scott is delighted to welcome Dr. Polly Russell to introduce both dinners, talking about the culture of the hotel and the Dining & Coffee Room during its opening years, and how this changed so dramatically with the onset of the First World War.  We will be announcing additional news surrounding the dinners in the coming weeks so be sure to be signed-up to our newsletter and follow us on social media to be the first to hear about it.

£154 for champagne & canapés followed by 4 courses with matching wines

(or £89 food only)
Includes opening speech by celebrated food historian and British Library curator, Dr. Polly Russell


Potato cracker, fresh curd, burnt onion​
Veal head ​croquette,​ pepper emulsion
NV Gosset “Brut Excellence”, Champagne, France

Roasted & smoked tomato soup, black olive, basil
2014 Pinot Blanc, Kientzler, Alsace, France

Turbot, brown butter hollandaise, lemon, fennel, crispy whitebait
2016 Pouilly- Fumé ‘La Renardiere’ Domaine Bouchié-Chatellier, Loire, France

Slow cooked beef short rib, potato galette, spinach, semi dried tomato
2003 Château Potensac, Medoc, France

Pineapple & clove upside down cake, sour cherry ice cream
2016 Coteaux du Layon, Domaine Alex Cady, Anjou, France


On Tuesday 29th May, Dav Eames, Bar Manager of George’s Bar, will be kick-starting the evening’s proceedings with a talk at the British Library entitled ‘100 Years Later: Wartime Cocktails with The Gilbert Scott’.  Tickets for the talk can be purchased directly from the Library for £24 per person, which includes two cocktails.