Sky-high, high-end dining above London
Where? Galvin at Windows, 22 Park Lane, London W1K 1BE (020 7208 4021, www.galvinatwindows.com)
Snazzy address? Snazzy view as well. Situated on the 28th floor of the lofty Hilton building, enjoy your pre-dinner cocktails in the bar looking across Hyde Park and then, when you move into the dining room, keep an eye on what’s going on in the Queen’s garden over at Buckingham Palace. If you ask really nicely or, boys, are planning a proposal, they might even take you through the kitchens out to the back balcony, where you can see across to the London Eye and beyond.
Does the food live up to the view? I’d say. Recently awarded its first Michelin star, this is destination dining at its very best. If you’re celebrating something special, there’s an extravagant, eight-course Menu Dégustation on offer, which will set you back £85 per person, or £115 with the sommelier’s choice of wines. At the other end of the spectrum, is the more affordable La Carte menu (£35 for three courses), and in the middle the £65 Menu Prestige. Choosing from the latter, we made swift work of some delicious cured Loch Duart salmon, garnished with Cornish crab, avocado cream and Naccari caviar, followed swiftly by braised turbot with baby leeks and grilled octopus. Desserts, like the rest of the menu, are French in flavour, with caramelised Pink Lady apple tarte tatin, Calvados crème fraîche and caramel sauce the perfect sharing option.
And to drink? To match the French menus, there’s an extensive array of delicious French wines, starting from the affordable (house white from £5 a glass) to the sublime (£2,564 for a 1982 bottle of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, gulp), but it’s the cocktails in the bar that really got us excited. With a special seasonal version every month, ours was delivered with a scoop of sorbet and a gold teaspoon to sup it with. Fancy.
Details: Galvin at Windows is open for lunch from midday until 2.30pm Monday to Friday, and from 11.45pm until 3pm on Sunday but closed on Saturday. Dinner is served from 6pm until 10.30pm Monday to Wednesday, from 6pm until 11pm Thursday until Saturday and closed on Sunday.