Céleste at The Lanesborough - Hyde Park Corner, London
I first visited The Lanesborough many moons ago, when I was a fresh young thing enjoying afternoon tea at a friend's 21st birthday party. Fast forward 'x' amount of years, (I can't reveal all of my secrets!) and I returned ( a few weeks ago) with my partner in crime, Scott. We were not sitting down to delicious afternoon tea on this occasion, but, an exquisite Michelin-starred set menu lunch. Our feast was simply outstanding and I didn't think once about homemade scones and clotted cream! (Yippee!)
Since my first encounter, The Lanesborough, which overlooks Hyde Park Corner, and, is close to Knightsbridge and Buckingham Palace, has undergone extensive refurbishment; from top to toe in fact! Reopening its doors in 2015, after many months of meticulous renovation, the hotel's 93 bedrooms and elegant dining rooms, have been restored back to their original Georgian grandeur. The luxurious interiors were designed by Alberto Pinto, "and executed after his death in 2012 by his team and sister, Linda." Greeted by immaculately dressed doormen, who ushered us through to the splendid entrance hall, we soon made our way over to Céleste...
Was there a WOW factor? Yes, most definitely yes! Lashings of gold gilded fixtures and fittings, opulent chandeliers, starched white table linen and shiny silver cutlery, powdery blue walls, impeccably dressed waiters, and, a towering glass roof bathing the room in warm, natural daylight.
We were shown to our seats (nothing beats snuggling up on a sofa, well, it might be frowned upon here, I guess!)...
Presented with complimentary bubbles...
... before deciding which courses to choose between.
Whilst reading the mouth watering menu, we tucked into delicious bite-sized lentil tacos...
... as well as homemade bread, which we coated in creamy whipped butter.
After the scrumptious introductory offerings, our starters arrived. Each dish so beautifully executed with artistic flair and finesse. Alas, you would expect nothing less than perfection from Executive Chef Florian Favario, protégée of triple Michelin-starred chef Eric Frechon, who runs Epicure restaurant in Le Bristol Hotel, Paris. On the cards for me, 'Sautéed Squid, Black Ink Porridge and a Red Wine Sauce.'
Succulent, delicately cooked squid on a bed of rich black ink porridge and a crisp wafer to polish off every last morsel!
Scott went for the 'French Onion, Caramelised Onions and Oxtail Broth'. A fun and playful presentation that delighted and intrigued us both.
The oxtail broth was poured from a transparent teapot, which I would quite like to have taken home with me!
I had one or two spoonfuls, and the soup was meaty yet light and rich all at once! So many gorgeous flavours all swimming harmoniously together in one bowl.
The buttery crisp bread was coated in shavings of comté cheese. YUM.
As if the meal couldn't get any better... My main was heavenly!
'Scottish Salmon, Slow Cooked, Sautéed Cabbage and Ginger Butter.' It's worth a trip up to London from Bath, just for that! The most delicate salmon I think I have ever tasted, accompanied by an intense creamy, buttery ginger sauce and caramelised, charred cabbage and brussel sprouts.
From surf to turf. Scott too found himself in food heaven with his 'Braised Lamb Neck, Spiced Carrots, Lemon and Ginger.' Perfectly autumnal and heart warming, one we would love to replicate in the kitchen!
Our gastronomic journey was nearing its end as we moved from savoury to sweet. A party on a plate for me! Here is my 'Blueberry, Light Lemon Mousse, Shortbread and Blueberry Sorbet.'
An explosion of chocolate for Scott. 'Caraïbes Chocolate, Chocolate Sorbet and Creamy Chocolate.' Each component of the dish so carefully catered for, ensuring artistic perfection.
Having been wined and dined to our hearts content, our meal ended with complimentary petits fours. Plump pink marshmallows, caramelised nuts and creamy fudge squares encased in a hollow chocolate sphere, laced in edible gold leaf.
Priced at £35 pp for a three course set menu and glass of bubbles, lunch at The Lanesborough was worth every, single penny. We felt it was very good value for money, considering the level of service, as well as the quality and presentation of each dish presented to us. Not forgetting the stunning setting, which had not an ounce of stuffiness or pretentiousness, but of warmth and welcome.
Not a treat for every day of the week, but one you must pop on your 'Restaurants To Visit' list, unless you have ticked it off already!
The all important details, so you know how to get there, what to expect, and what the current menu is, please click through to their website.