Vicky Mayer eschews the trendy and crowded for the reassuringly upmarket, heading for Galvin at Windows for modern French cuisine paired with fabulous views
Like all big cities around the world, London is packed with new bars and restaurants and whatever the latest foodie trend, you can bet you’ll find it somewhere in the city. But there are times of course when queuing up in the rain with the hoi polloi or enduring yet another sharing platter feels just a little bit like hard work.
Which is why we love the classic charms of Galvin at Windows situated on the heady heights of the 28th floor of the London Hilton on Park Lane. Since opening in May 2006, this elegant restaurant and bar has offered guests jaw-dropping views across the capital including the skyscrapers of the City and Canary Wharf, the London Eye, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and Wembley Stadium.
It’s the sort of place you can take your mum or a date and dressing up is practically encouraged (hurrah!). Start your evening sipping an expertly mixed G&T in the bar area where you can watch the sun set over London. Then the lovely staff will guide you into the impressively large dining room, resplendent in its 30s-inspired décor.
As befits a Michelin-starred restaurant, the food is grown up and accomplished, making it the ideal destination for a celebration date or birthday. Head chef Joo Won uses modern French cuisine as a backdrop to his delicious menus and guests can choose from a set menu, an á la carte menu or treat themselves to the menu prestige, as we did.
We began with two of the lighter starters, heritage tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, avocado, black olive tapenade and tonka vinaigrette, and the seared yellow fin tuna, charentais melon, pickled ginger & sweet soy. Both packed a real flavour punch and together with a couple of glasses of Chablis, recommended by the sommelier, our taste buds were truly tickled.
As befits a Michelin-starred restaurant, the food is grown up and accomplished, making it the ideal destination for a celebration date or birthday
There’s plenty of choice for the main courses (including some great veggie options) with stand-out dishes seared halibut, chilli squid, mussels and hispi cabbage and roasted rump of Cornish lamb, tomato chutney, slow cooked fennel & shepherd’s pie getting our vote. Both were perfectly cooked and looked amazing on the plate.
I’m the type of girl who would usually choose savoury dishes over anything sweet but then I hadn’t eaten the Windows’ mango and passion fruit soufflé with coconut sorbet before. This is the dessert you have been waiting for all of your life – light, creamy and sharp – it’s the perfect way to end an amazing meal.
If you’ve got a special date coming up, book yourself a table at Windows soon. But be warned – it could become addictive.
22 Park Lane, Mayfair W1K 1BE; galvinatwindows.com