A world of Mediterranean delicacies, revelry and artistry has arrived. This is not merely a restaurant, it is a breath-taking feast for the senses, a gathering place to feel moved, immersed in another world. It’s a imagination on a grand and glorious scale. Here, people let go, to indulge in life’s richness. The ancient story of Bacchanalia is reimagined. Greco-Roman feasting, revived imaginatively with exquisite ingredients and vintages. Legendary entertainment, set within breathtaking interiors. For those who long for escapism, sway this way.

Before you even enter Berkeley Square’s Bacchanalia, you can visualise the restaurant’s spectacular interiors. In true Richard Caring style (Annabel’s, Sexy Fish), the opening was a high-profile launch party that saw Florence Welsh entertain guests including Naomi Campbell and Harris Reed. Rumoured to have cost upwards of £25 million, the interiors are the work of Martin Brudnizki (The Beekman, Soho House Hotels). And the statues gazing over you as you take your seat? Damien Hirst, of course.

All get top marks for committing to a theme. Bathrooms, for example, are an experience in themselves – prepare to hear faint battle cries while spending a penny. Many of the themed aspects work well, such as the gargantuan interpretation of Romans In Their Decadence, complete with selfie-snapping mock-ancient citizens. Service from waiters draped in togas is fun, but certainly not suited to low-key diners. No amount of decadence can make up for terrible food, of course – so hopes were high ahead of our visit. Athinagoras Kostakos, the chef behind Scorpios Mykonos, has devised a menu celebrating the best of Greek and Italian cuisine – these are dishes you know done well rather than intricate plates with Michelin aspirations. Cheese croquettes filled with taleggio, provolone and cheddar are paired with indulgent truffle mayonnaise, although the must-order among the starters is the flawlessly seasoned keftedes – melty meatballs on a smoked yoghurt base.

The tagliolini truffle pasta was one of the most popular dishes on the menu. But with truffle mayo still tingling on the palate we opted for the bucatini bolognese. As authentic as the bolognese ragu was, the density of the pasta meant it sat heavily on the stomach for some time afterwards. We topped crusted baby potatoes with slithers of sea bream – buttery, caper-infused fish and crispy skin – and washed it down with a Sicilian white picked by our attentive sommelier. For pudding, order the soft-serve greek yoghurt ice cream – the sweet silkiness is interrupted by chunks of syrupy walnut cake. Or the signature tiramisu – mercifully light, mousse-like and dusted in bitter cocoa powder – the perfect finish, albeit lacking a boozier hit. Connor Sturges


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