“Don't worry, mate, it's on expenses.” Thus ran the headline in The Guardian article, which went on to report how six City workers had racked up a bill of £44,000 in one evening at Gordon Ramsay’s Pétrus restaurant in Belgravia. More than £33,000 of that total was spent on just three bottles of the esteemed right-bank claret after which the restaurant was named.

The year was 2001, and Ramsay’s second ever restaurant was just a couple of years old. At the time, this bill (£13,000 a head in today’s money) was the biggest in history – and cemented Pétrus as the go-to-destination for those with expensive tastes and robust expense accounts.

Pétrus was a ‘hype restaurant’ in a pre-hype era. Remember, there was no social media back then (quelle horreur!), but combine Ramsay’s rocketing reputation with a wine list that would make any self-respecting oenophile weak at the knees, and you had a recipe for success. But perhaps even young Gordon couldn’t have predicted Pétrus would still be such a triumph a quarter of a century later.

The Belgravian stalwart celebrated its 25th Anniversary this March – along with 13 years of consecutive Michelin-star status.

Now led by head chef Orson Vergnaud, the menu marries classic culinary techniques with innovative twists, marching to the beat of the seasons. And although you will come for the food, you’ll stay for the wine.

Unlike back in 2001, you can now taste Château Pétrus here by the glass (thanks, Coravin) – the first restaurant in Europe to offer the opportunity. It will still knock you back £600 for 50ml of 2006, but hey, it is undeniably one of the best red wines on the planet.

If this is a little rich for your blood, fear not: there are more than 700 different wines on the list, so there will be something here to suit your tastes and budget. In case you were in any doubt, the room is centred around a giant cylindrical wine storage unit – part cellar, part sculpture.

There are four different tiers of wine pairing menus to choose from – from ‘Matching’ at £150 through ‘Premium’ at £190, via ‘Connoisseur’ at £395 up to ‘Indulgence’ at £975. In my many gluttonous years of eating at Michelin-starred restaurants, I think this is the first time I’ve seen four different wine flights offered.

Equally impressive is the expansive food offering: there is not one but two different tasting menus as well as a la carte. And to top it off, they’ll allow you to mix and match all three at the same table should you so choose. This flexibility is pretty much unheard of in the fine-dining scene.

Pétrus by Gordon Ramsay food
Pétrus by Gordon Ramsay food

So what of the food itself? My dining companion and I tried the two different tasting courses – Prestige (£150) and Discovery (£190) – each serving up seven heavenly dishes.

What tied them all together is the kitchen’s mastery of relever. In French cuisine, this means “lift” or “raise” a dish to new heights. Often this is done by adding the likes of citrus or herbs as a final flourish to give the dish more balance while also surprising the guest.

While Pétrus doesn’t hold back on luxury ingredients such as caviar and lobster, the way the dishes are always taken up to the next level is nothing short of inspired. The lemon balm added to the lobster tortellini, the olive oil sabayon which complemented the scallop, the citrus hollandaise with the (elegantly butchered) rack of Dover sole – each dish has so many layers. You’re never left feeling something is missing; it is also so wonderfully complete.

And in the interests of completeness, it would be remiss of me not to end on the service. It is, quite simply, impeccable. Much like the cuisine: perfectly balanced and yet simultaneously elevated.

Expense account or not, get yourself to Pétrus and raise a glass to the next 25 years at the top of its game.

Pétrus by Gordon Ramsay, 1 Kinnerton St, London SW1X 8EA, 020 7592 1609, gordonramsayrestaurants.com