Very often, when a restaurant has a head-start over its rivals – whether that’s due to jaw-dropping views or the liberal use of edible gold leaf – the food itself becomes an afterthought. Well, you won’t find that at Galvin at Windows…
An epicurean oasis 28 floors up at the top of Park Lane’s Hilton Hotel, Galvin at Windows is virtually in the clouds. Its Taste of Christmas Lunch menu is a real treat for tired Mayfair shoppers (have you bought your Fortnum’s Christmas hamper yet?), friends who want to celebrate together before the Big Day, and even those workaholics who never seem to slow down for the festive season.
The views from the restaurant are spectacular. Image courtesy of Soho Communications.
But before you even have time to sit down, you will be distracted by the panoramic views that stretch out in front of you: King Charles III’s garden at Buckingham Palace, Crystal Palace on the southern horizon and, at this time of year, a fantastic view of Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland – you can even spot the gingerbread houses lining its alpine market. Then there’s the brightly coloured paintings adorning the walls of Galvins’ and a dramatically swish bar…
Now to the serious matter of Galvins’ Taste of Christmas Lunch menu, created by head chef Marc Hardiman, which is fantastic value at £55 per person for three courses. The only downside is choosing – whatever you opt for, you’ll experience food envy so maybe go with someone who’ll let you taste their dish, too.
A starter of cured Faroe Islands salmon with endive, coriander and a sharp burst of orange was a fresh, zingy dish that whetted the appetite but left space for the main event. The leek and potato potage looked amazing too, a pool of bright green that was bursting with vitamins. A crispy toast topped with Baron Bigod cheese (a Suffolk variety that’s very much like Brie) and a generous dollop of winter truffle made this starter truly decadent. Or you could try the pressed terrine of Landais chicken, duck liver and boudin noir (a French take on black pudding), which arrives with a scattering of pretty nasturtium petals and mustard leaves.
Now to the main course and surprisingly – or thankfully, depending on your taste – there’s no turkey on the menu. Instead, the choices are much more inviting. The miso-glazed beef short rib, garnished with sprout tops, falls off the bone, while a chunky piece of Cornish pollock arrives with a cushion-sized crab ravioli and a terracotta bisque. Vegetarians and meat eaters alike, meanwhile, will adore the Potimarron squash risotto, with cèpes and chestnuts– it’s very festive and filling too.
Even though you’ll be stuffed, it would be hard to resist the dessert course, whether you fancy the comice pear and mulled wine trifle, a Christmas pudding souffle with brandy sauce or a handful of artisan cheeses with a pile of crisp biscuits.
Service is attentive yet unobtrusive (Galvins’ original general manager, Fred Siriex, left in 2019 after many years – he must have pined for his former workplace recently when he was eating witchetty grubs in the I’m a Celebrity jungle).
If you prefer to enjoy Galvins’ wonderful food and views on New Year’s Eve, book a seat for its celebrational dinner, where you’ll savour Marc Hardiman’s five-course tasting menu (£495 per person). Entertainment is lined up, too, though the midnight fireworks will certainly be the highlight. Watch London’s skies light up around you as you see in 2024 without standing and shivering on the South Bank. Happy New Year!
Address: 22 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1BE | 020-7208 4021
Opening times: Tue-Sat noon-2:15 pm & 6pm-9:30pm, Sun noon-2:45pm & 7pm-9:30pm
Dress Code: Smart casual. No sportswear.
Taste of Christmas menu: three courses £55 per person, four courses £90 per person (available until 30th December, excluding 24th, 25th and 26th of December)
Find out more and book your visit at www.galvinatwindows.com