The 28th floor of the London Hilton on Park Lane is a special place. There are very few London restaurants that can offer ‘the view’ and the panorama from the top of Park Lane’s tallest building is spectacular – conversation dries up as you just gawp at twinkling Belgravia and Park Lane beneath you. Not only can Galvin at Windows boast London’s most spectacular dining view but it has just been awarded its first Michelin star in recognition of some of the truly epic cooking that is on offer there.
From the moment the lift opened on the 28th floor, you are made to feel special with staff ushering you to your table with a drink in a blur of super slick service.
However, the food is the focus and had us mesmerised from the start with an amuse bouche of butternut squash soup, truffled eggs and a parmesan foam layered in a shot glass. This culinary micro-piece showed the way for the quality that was to come.
A starter of scallops with butternut squash and a pomegranate sauce was a perfect balance of sweet and savoury and a white bean and mushroom truffle cappuccino was as decadent and velvety as you could ever hope for which was accompanied by a mushroom marbled brioche that wiped the bowl clean.
The main course of beef with foie gras, caramelised endive and fondant potatoes was hailed by my companion as the ‘best piece of beef I have ever eaten’ while the turbot with lobster mousseline and trompettes demonstrated how well these two grandees of the sea work together.
We were persuaded to have pudding when a Rum Baba arrived at the next door table that was ceremoniously split open and had rum poured from a great height. Chocolate Palet with banana, salted caramel and white chocolate ice cream was ordered that was as outrageous as it was sensational (for those that have discovered the joys of salted caramel, this is messianic sweetness), as well a more calming selection of sorbets and ice creams.
With coffee you are offered Tisanes, a mellow digestive brew (from a specialist brewer in Marseilles) that comes in flavours such as ‘Sans Souci’ (no worries), which is exactly how you feel after indulging in such wonderful gastronomy. The end of the meal is marked with petit fours and a jar of lime and strawberry marshmallows that melted on our tongues in a cloud of intense flavour.
It is rare to experience such fine dining with such a smiley and warm front of house. No stuffiness here but with service so efficient that you had to stop them from refilling and offering rather than ever having to ask.
For lunch or dinner (depending on whether you’d like to see London in daylight or twinkling at night) I implore you to go. Galvins at Windows is worth it just for the view but is a new mecca for foodies – a triumph!