As far as decent lighting for taking photos goes then surely right up in the clouds on the 28th floor of Londons Park lane Hilton has to be the best foodie blogger destination of them all.The restaurant is Galvin @ windows and it`s situated right up on the top floor of the Hilton hotel with 360 degrees of light beaming in from all around the heart of the city , it is simply wonderful.The restaurant has the most amazing views over London , a panorama of familiar landmarks including The London eye , The Gherkin , St Pauls cathederal , Hyde park and The Shard are all clearly visible from the diners tables within the restaurant. I was very fortunate to have a fantastic seat overlooking Hyde park and the streets of Mayfair below.
It`s definitely worth mentioning when booking a table that you would like a window seat. If you`re in there early enough and there`s one available then the staff will endeavour to do what they can to give you one of the best seats in the house.There`s quite a few window seats available so book early to avoid disappointment. Fantastic food paired with good wines and the view make `Windows` a very memorable experience.
The restaurants food style is Contemporary French cuisine , light , well sourced , very seasonal and exciting dishes created by the very talented chef Andre Garrett. Previously of Guy Savoys Parisienne restaurant , Andre has worked for Chris Galvin for a number of years now, placing the Galvin brand firmly on the culinary map of foodie destination restaurants and also earning a Michelin star along the way. Unfortunately Andre was away on holiday when i dined at Galvin @ windows , but as soon as the food arrived on my table i knew that chef had left his kitchen in good hands.Another sad miss during our Sunday lunch was the current “celeb” of the hospitality industry , General manager Fred Siriex .Fred had the restaurant world buzzing during the TV series “Michel Roux`s Art of Service” when he assisted in training up several young adults from very different backgrounds in the fine art of `front of house` and everything that went along with customer care.The trainees went from audition , to cafe , to London , Paris and ended up in the final programme taking over the running of Roux restaurant Le Gavroche.The show made very enjoyable television. Anyways….Andre wasn`t there , Fred wasn`t there so i have to admit that i was a little peeved off…but only for a short while until the service started and the food arrived and i realised that the team were all trained to perfection….Fred had worked his magic.
There appeared to be 3 choices of menu available for Sunday lunch .The `set menu` £29 consisting of three courses with choices.The ALC prestige menu priced at £ 65 with several choices on each course.There was also a`tasting menu` priced at £ 95. It was my birthday weekend and my final meal of 4 tip top London restaurants so there was only one option for us in such an amazing location , it had to be the Tasting menu and the perfect chance to try out Andre`s selection of 8 courses of summer delights.
The restaurant had a very reasonable wine flight with a glass to match each course priced at £30. Seeing as though i was driving later on that day i decided to give the wine flight a miss and settle for a couple of “small” tasters carefully selected and the sommeliers recommendation.
Amuse bouche – Gougere with Black olive
Cured south coast Mackerel , avocado puree , gooseberry and pickled cucumber.
Hand cut Cumbrian Steak tartare , Quail egg , Summer truffle and pickled Girolles.
Seared Scottish scallop , Razorclams ,wild sea vegetables and Oyster emulsion.
Poached Cotswold wild chicken,Onion tart with Foie gras , spring garlic puree , English baby summer vegetables , Hazelnut Jus gras.
Fresh blueberry compote, Amalfi lemon custard , Macaron and Lemon Thyme foam.
English strawberries , Rosewater jelly , Fontainebleu and Jus de Fraise.
Selection of seasonal cheeses from La “Fromagerie”
Coffee / Truffles / Marshmallows / Fruit Jellies.
My lunch concluded with a trip to meet the chefs and a tour of Andre`s kitchens to see the team working in full flight .They were all working quietly, heads down but the nice thing was that they all took time out to flash a quick smile , a hello and a wave and then carried on cooking and plating up some amazing looking food , suddenly my appetite returned and i was ready for more….I shall return at a later date.
Galvin@windows was a wonderful and highly recommended dining experience ,right up there with the best in the Capital. Anyone wanting to try this place (and they really should give it a go ) can do it for a fantastic price of £45. This includes ( believe it or not ) 3 courses , half a bottle of selected wine , water and also coffee. Pair this up with a window seat and you`ll have a treat and a half. I`ll be totally honest here , i really couldn`t find fault in the food whatsoever.The amuse bouche were simple and well made. Bread was warm , crisp , freshly baked and carried a lovely aroma.The fish and shellfish were accurately cooked and balanced perfectly with their accompaniments.The tartare of beef was simply divine and my favourite course by far…. (not because the beef was from Cumbria), The truffle was freshly sliced, delicate and didnt overpower the dish , it was very much an airborne scent rather than carrying any flavour.It was only my second time of experiencing steak tartare , let`s just say i`m hooked.The poached chicken dish simply melted in the mouth it was very well cooked , teamed up with the onion and foie gras it was a big Ahhhhhhhhhh moment. The pre dessert was my partners favourite sweet treat of the weekend ( Ledbury , Dinner by Heston and Marcus wareing ). The Lemon thyme foam was more of a “set gel” than a foam but still worked well. My dessert of summer berries was paired up with an amazing dessert wine and hit the mark straight away.We didnt get a choice off the superb looking cheese trolley because we chose `cheese to share` we ended up with a lovely little selection of 4 perfect specimens of cheese and their accompaniments of grapes and caramelised walnuts….. I crave more as im writing this…The photo tells it all.Service was very attentive .The Sommelier was a real friendly and well clued up guy , i got to try a couple of “tasting portions” just to see which one i preferred before the food arrived so more `brownie points`earned for the team.
To View all of the photographs from our meal , please just click HERE