Galvin at The Athenaeum – The Perfect Setting in a Stunning Mayfair Hotel
January 23, 2018
Going out to dinner in Mayfair on a Saturday never loses its appeal! The fur coats, designer handbags, Bentley’s and Porsches and stunning hotels impress me every time as you weave through the streets of Central London.
The Athenaeum Hotel has to be one of my favourite hotels in the capital, and even more so since its multi million pound refurbishment. Oozing style and a beautifully slick modern design with stunning contemporary furnishings, Galvin at the Athenaeum is equally as impressive as the hotel itself.
In its enviable location overlooking Green Park, the beautiful reception area on arrival boasts floor-to-ceiling windows to maximise the light and spacious feel to the lobby with bronze work and abstract design features and a startling new mezzanine area above.
Before dinner, you should definitely check out The Bar – one of Mayfair’s best kept secrets (and even though I’m recommending it, I do hope it stays that way!) Hidden from view to the outside world, this sultry designer den boasts the most excellent cocktails, with talented mixologists who can mix up anything you fancy should you not be tempted by the fabulous list. The floor-to-ceiling windows in The Bar showcase the Living Wall outside, with live plants covering its entirety so you almost feel you’re in a sipping drinks in a secret garden! The bar staff are fabulous and you could spend hours in here chatting about various ingredients you’ve never heard of that go into making those very special drinks – that is of course if you don’t have a dinner to get to!
Through reception and to the other side of the bar is the restaurant. Michelin starred chefs The Galvin Brothers – Chris and Jeff are friendly, charming and approachable much like their food – in fact last time we dined there, they even stopped by our table for a chat to explain the dishes in more detail!
Their no nonsense approach offers up classic dishes with the Galvin stamp – the ingredients are the main star here but the restaurant design throws Galvin way out in front of many of its hotel rivals when it comes to dining and the dining experience. Although they’re renowned for their French fare, the menu really does show off the best of British with local produce, supporting local, independent farmers.
With wood parquet flooring, quirky chandeliers, leather banquette booths and chrome seating against dark oak tables, Galvin at The Athenaeum is not what you’d expect from a typical restaurant in a hotel. But then neither is the food! The Dorset crab lasagne has to be the best starter on the list – the freshest of pasta, expertly prepared, buttery and rich. Tender crab meat melted in the mouth against the herby nantais butter sauce. A gorgeous Chardonnay wine pairing further enhanced this delicious dish.
Torn between the luscious lobster, and braised venison, I went for the ‘Jubilee’ lamb curry as recommended by the chef. Served with mango chutney, raita and basmati rice, it was all the flavours and textures I was looking for, fresh, fragrant and oh so moreish. The slow cooked chunks of lamb were soft as butter and there was plenty of the sauce with only the hint of a kick, balanced perfectly with the raita. My sister ordered the Rose county rib eye – another massive serving with a punchy green peppercorn sauce. The meat again, cooked to perfection and served with beautifully chunky chips.
There was only option for me on the dessert menu and that had to be the peanut butter cheesecake. As a self-confessed cheesecake addict, this totally hit the spot – a gorgeous crunchy base and just the right amount of peanut!
After an absolutely amazing meal and a wonderful evening, we rolled into the taxi home – sadly not a Bentley, but still quite happy to have dined like kings at one of London’s finest restaurants.
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Ashleigh Whitfield