Having read this, I have to go!! Hungry now.
Reserve your table at Galvin at Windows Book a table
Galvin at Windows
22 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1BE
- Hyde Park Corner Tube Station (0.3 km)
- Green Park Tube Station (0.6 km)
- Contact us:
County Hall, Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Rd, London SE1 7PB
“Zen China specializes in Imperial Beijing cuisine, with a focus on traditional North Chinese regional cooking, influenced by the imperial tradition. Zen China’s signature dish is the Authentic Beijing Roast Duck, as known as Peking Duck. We are...” more...
26 reviews of Galvin at Windows in English
Irecommend this place for french food lovers.
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My partner and I had a fantastic evening here. We went for the tasting menu with paired wines, which is pricy but completely worth it if you looking for something special.
Every wine we tried was great, and the two girls serving us were excellent. Knowledgable and attentive, while maintaining a discrete presence that didn’t intrude on the romantic atmosphere of the place.
They also do a good value set menu, which for the food, the amazing view and the service is a steal. Highly recommended.
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Went for lunch with some trepidation since my real interest is food & wine, sod the views. Though expensive, it was very good. Staff were genuinely friendly, spoke good english (no point joshing with the crew if they don’t understand you) and were properly attentive without fauning. I suspect the current recession will bring prices down a little, though not easy to do at this level (!). I dislike places with an ‘optional’ 12.5% service charge. Bring on the French rules.
The dishes were inventive and flavoursome with some really thoughtful touches, though I thought the clams decorating the pork belly added nothing to the dish though they were intended as a significant part. To be picky, the slow roast pork belly itself was very good indeed, but not quite there, needed another few minutes. The lentils had added lemon which worked very nicely, lightening their meaty flavour. Everything else was better than expected, and they have a few deals going to the end of Feb., so will have to go again.
And indeed have just done so a year later with a party of 7 for lunch. A couple of barely-flaws in my choice of dishes but rest of party all overcome with the excellence of presentation & food. Was also able to get away with a not shockingly priced Alsace Gewurtz and a Portugese red that showed very well indeed.
And again, and the Lunch special is a very good deal. Do try this place.
For full review, detailed rating and photos:
I took someone close to my heart for a birthday dinner at Galvin at Windows. I wanted a very special evening with romantic atmosphere (which I got), impeccable service (which I got), stunning views over London (I got them too) and excellent food (which I didn’t get).
Who gave this place a Michelin star I wonder? Either there were larger sums of bribery involved, or Galvin at Windows just stopped putting any effort into their food after they had achieved their first star in 2010. There is of course always the discussion to which extent Michelin stars reflect the quality of the food in a restaurant, but it still hardly ever happened to me that a Michelin starred place served food that was actually bordering on bad.
But let’s start with the things that I liked (because I am a nice blog):
The restaurant is located in the 28 floor of the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane with spectacular views over London. At least they would have been stunning if it hadn’t been for the apocalyptic downpour, but this is something I can’t really blame the restaurant for, can I.
Some people don’t like restaurants in hotels and think it affects the atmosphere. In my opinion this is true to some extent as hotel restaurants are usually generic and lack any edge. Even though this applied to Galvin as well, I still enjoyed the bright and spacious room and of course the view.
When I booked the table and mentioned that it was to be a birthday dinner, the lovely person taking my booking offered to make a little birthday plate with chocolates, how nice is this? Also apart from this, the service was faultless, if maybe a bit too stiff. But this probably comes with the Hilton.
Now the food…
We chose the Menu Du Chef for 39 pounds. If you want to splash out, you can go for the Menu Prestige (65 pounds for 3 courses) or the Tasting Menu. Retrospectively, I was glad we didn’t overdo it on this occasion, as I wouldn’t have wanted to sit through a tasting menu of this quality, a horrible thought actually.
I really liked the bread, in fact the bread was one of the highlights of the meal. Fresh from the oven and still hot, crisp and light. The amuse bouche was a clear, cold tomato consomme (which I had much better at Fernandez & Leluu Supper Club) with a little pastry thing and a blob of greenish brown sauce. By the way, this unattractive sauce blob appeared again and again with the starters and the mains and bode ill.
Both the starters were highly mediocre. The Terrine of Guinea Fowl, foie gras, and Bayonne ham and crispy skin certainly contained high quality ingredients, and might have been really good, if it hadn’t come with greenish-brown blob of caper and raisin puree. This firstly didn’t go very well with the terrine and secondly was quite unpleasant.
The Veloute of English Asparagus, slow cooked duck’s egg, goat’s curd and sourdough croutons was blandness on a plate. It says a lot about the dish that we had to ask for salt and pepper to make it edible.
The mains were almost worse. The Organic pork cutlet which was advertised to come with fondant potatoes, confit carrot, confit, grilled nectarine and sauce Robert was bone-dry and there was no apricot to be found anywhere on the plate. The sauce Robert was nice though.
When I saw the greenish-brown sauce blobs on the plate of Fillet of gilthead sea bream, crushed new potatoes, slow roasted tomatoes, black olives caramel & salsa verde I feared for the worst. The fish was overcooked and drowned in pungent olive flavour. This was a dish which you wouldn’t even enjoy in a country pub without any credentials.
At least one course was excellent and this was the dessert of Tonka bean panna cotta, strawberries, strawberry jelly and buttermilk ice cream. It seems Tonka beans are the flavour of the moment and rightly so, as they taste of vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and other wonderful spices. I had a tonka bean panna cotta only a couple of weeks ago at the Opera Tavern and I am still dreaming of its deliciousness. The Galvin at Windows version was also lovely. The panna cotta had a beautiful creamy texture and tasted like a spice shop, but subtly so. Nicely complementing this flavour firework were the neutral buttermilk ice cream and the sweet strawberries. If you haven’t had the chance to try tonka beans yet, do order them when you come across them anywhere on a dessert menu.
More grandness yet to come in from of the cheese course. The cheeses are sourced from La Fromagerie, so they deserve the praise really. Reminds me I should go back to La Fromagerie soon, so I can enjoy the cheese without having to sit through a tedious meal.
WOW. Wow, wow, wow. I think if I ate here every week I would be as fat as a house, but for a one off, special occasion it is decadence defined.
The most subtle, professional and attentive staff predict and respond to your every move without any detection of their presence. Parfait! You are also treated to the most comfortable seating I have ever had in a restaurant - just the ticket to get comfortable for the next few hours of indulgent and sublime courses of the highest quality French cuisine.
Aperitifs, followed by exquisite amuse-bouche before they bring out your dishes. We feasted on foie gras, scallops, terrine and cheese with the most incredible freshly baked bread I have EVER eaten. Bon Pain indeed.
Words can't quite describe the perfection of our mains, including steak, turbot, chicken and veal. C'est magnifique. Only my partner went for a sweet dessert option - creme brulee. The rest of us feasted on a cheese trolley that boasted a vast array of delights from all regions and of all types. You are able to choose your preferences, but the cheese waiter will then aptly interpret your likes and select cheeses to suit and excite your palate. All served with grapes, chutneys and charcoal crackers.... mmmmm
We decided coffee was most necessary to finish off our meal, but that wasn't quite the end for the staff - we were given the most amazing truffles to go with the espresso, later followed with a jar of homemade marshmallows. A sweetener before the bill perhaps!?
I was lucky enough to be treated to dinner here, but can imagine the cheque was far too higher percentage of my monthly earnings for me to be booking anytime in the near future. A wonderful experience none-the-less. Views are pretty damn-awesome too!
We had the set lunch at Galvin at Windows in Park Lane Hilton. Pleasant service as usual and we got a window table as requested, as it was a birthday celebration- which had great views over Hyde Park. Our relatives from abroad enjoyed the experience and are still talking about it. Enjoyed the pork cheeks for mains. L'Artisan du Chocolat chocolates to end was a nice touch with the coffees. Amazing marshmallows!!! We will definitely be going back again.
For full review & photos:
Bearing a shiny new Michelin star, this beautiful restaurant is just one out of four restaurants in the newly emerging Galvin empire. Receiving largely positive reviews from both critics and bloggers alike, I’ve been wanting to try them out for quite a while.
Located on the top floor of the Hilton hotel in Park Lane, arguably the most impressive part of the restaurant is the highly impressive view of southwest London. Luckily, we were seated overlooking the Serpentine River and Kensington Gardens. We didn’t get to see much of the restaurant (was busy looking at both the wife and the view) but it looked fairly impressive while also being quite busy.
Part of the reason we went to Galvin @ Windows for a Sunday lunch was because they still have a set lunch on Sunday. We both had three course set meals (£27) but one of them included half a bottle of wine (three choices of red and white each), half bottle of water as well as a cup of coffee for £42.
Two types of bread were offered – sourdough and olive and nut. They were both pretty decent, but nothing fantastic. The Pigpig was a bit disappointed that the bread wasn't warm. Let’s move on…
“Veloute of pea, soft poached duck egg”. The pea mixture was simply brilliant; a smooth creamy velvety concoction full of the sweet pea flavour. The occasional scattering of split peas added the only texture to the dish. Meanwhile, the egg yolk added even more richness to the soup. A great starter.
“Salad of smoked trout ‘3 ways’, Jersey Royals, asparagus & mustard”. Unfortunately, this looked as unsubstantial as it was uninteresting. There were rillette, croquette and plain smoked trout versions.
“Steamed fillet of hake, piperade, saffron potatoes & black olive tapenade”. I didn’t have a lot of good experiences with hake, but the meaty fish was perfectly cooked here such that it retained the juices and flaked apart beautifully. The sweet flavours from the piperade (sautéed onions, peppers and tomatoes) complemented the fish well while the olives added a mature twist.
“Roast corn fed coquelet, braised celery, pommes Anna & sauce Bois Bourdain”. Essentially roast baby chicken along with some slow cooked celery and a healthy slash of sauce. The sauce was pretty good, nice balance of flavours (sweet, salty, sour) which didn’t overpower the naturally mild-ish chicken taste.
“Vanilla pannacotta, Gariguette strawberry semifreddo, basil & strawberry jelly”. This was a really interesting combination for me; the pannacotta itself was already quite nice with the strawberry pieces but the semifreddo (felt like a granite) added a nice twist. The little hint of basil was just enough to make it different without being too overpowering and weird-ing it out.
“Dark chocolate tart, mango & cumin scented Chantilly”. Luckily we were smart enough to finish off the pannacotta first, because this chocolate tart was incredibly rich and it would have been difficult to appreciate the milder pannacotta later. Anyway, the chocolate itself was great and the tart crust was delightfully crunchy but I wasn’t a big fan of the cumin aroma.
Altogether, the total cost was £80 for two sets of three course meals as well as a half bottle of wine, a bottle of still water and a cup of coffee. Along with the coffee were some petit fours while some marshmallows were delivered along with the bill.
Including the three recent Michelin starred set lunches (Launceston Place, Hibiscus, Ledbury) all costing about £40 (total) each, this was arguably the weakest and most unimpressive of the foursome. Not to say it was bad or poor, but in comparison to the other trio, some of the dishes here were somewhat ordinary especially the smoked trout and roast chicken.
Also, you may have noticed I didn’t mention an amuse-bouche, simply because we weren’t offered any although I’m not sure whether this was intentional or not.
Still, my mostly positive experience means I am interested in trying out the other chains in the Galvin line.
Best bit: the view, really awesome.
Worst bit: gimme a moment… no, sorry, cant think of anything too negative.
Really good meal and experience. A bit snooty but that's what you expect in posh restaurants I guess.
Excellent selection of wine at reasonable price and the view is incredible
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This spectacular restaurant has a great view of central london which you will love to share with family and friends.
The food is good, with nice service at a decent price for the top end experience they provide.
Reviewed using Android. Get the app
Did Sunday lunch with my two good friends and took advantage of their £25 menu with champagne thrown in. With wine & service, came to about £60 each. Total Bargain! Service was impeccable. From taking my coat, guiding me through cocktails in the bar menu while we waited for friend to arrive, to escorting us to the table and insisting on bringing our drinks over from the bar. And then fluffing the cushion on my chair while I took a seat not only overlooking Buckingham Palace, but the full view of The Queen’s back garden and tennis court.
Our waiter was impressive. Totally at ease with the menu, guiding us through selections and his suggested starter (salmon & crab, garnished with caviar) was a dream. The portions are not handsome but they are rich and you will not need anymore. Ahhhh, dessert...followed by coffee and petit fours sighs. The marsh mellows will melt on your tongue. You all need to do Galvin before you die, in case you don’t go to heaven. It will make up for it.
Comment 1 comment on this review
Stephen Taylor, 15 February 2010:
For full review, please see: http://wp.me/pwXBH-zg
Galvin at Windows – Flying High & Deservedly So
Summary: Galvin at Windows seems to have achieved a winning combination. The views and setting are stunning, the menu consists of the kind of food you want to eat quite often, and it is executed precisely with a subtle flair. The food we had at our Sunday lunch was delicious and reasonably priced for this type of venue, and I am now eager to try out their other establishments.
It was the dead of winter, the afternoons were drawing yet shorter, and there I was, still a veritable Galvin virgin. I thought to myself, I must be one of the only self-appointed ‘foodies’ in London who has not yet frequented one of the (then) two Galvin Brothers establishments in the London fog (they have since added the much-lauded and doted over Galvin La Chapelle and offshoot Cafe de Luxe in the City). So, when I discovered after a bit of research that you could get a 3-course lunch at their highest-flying venue for a mere £25/person – even on a Sunday – I decided I that I would finally lose my Galvinity and treat Mrs. LF to what I hoped would be a nice lunch with stunning views.
Perched atop the London Hilton hotel, with a commanding view of a good deal of London, lays Galvin at Windows. I had heard many good things from various friends and food bloggers, so the bar had been set pretty, erm, ‘high’. Upon taking the lift up to the top floor and soaking in the restaurant (and peeping into the nice and spacious bar), first impressions were certainly good. This place didn’t exude much of the cookie-cutter, drab ho-humness that is the global Hilton brand, but actually seemed to radiate with its own design, ambience and energy. The greeting was smooth and the waiters were friendly and professional.
Although we didn’t get a table right by the window, as I had requested through my toptable booking, we were given a lovely table on the lower floor that looked Northwest up Park Lane and beyond. There is also a raised rectangular dining area that stands about 4 or 5 feet above the ground-level tables. It was not that busy, probably due to the fact that our reservation was for 2pm.
These bros can cook
As we soaked in the view, our tummies were growing hungrier by the minute, so we quickly made up our minds, although all the 3 options for each of the courses did sound very appetizing.
With our starters and main courses selected, we were provided with two types of bread and a lovely little beehive of butter, all of which were fine but not stellar. 6/10.
As I was mainly having veggies and fish, I wanted to go for a white wine (Mrs. LF was not drinking as per usual since ‘the bump’ had appeared). I was looking at the wines by the glass, but the sommelier persuaded me that their other deal (3 courses, half a bottle of wine, water & coffee at £39.50) would probably be more economical and enjoyable, and that they had some very nice wines on the accompanying half-bottle selection. Like The Dude I am, I abided, and chose the 2008 Mâcon Villages Caves de L’aurore (Burgundy), which served its purpose very nicely throughout the first two courses. It had a nice golden color, a subtle nose of tropical fruit and a nicely integrated touch of oak. I’ve seen this on other restaurant lists for about £15 per half-bottle, so it was a decent deal given that the water and coffee were basically thrown in for free.
Starter 1: Slow Cooked Hens’ Egg, Warm Salad of Charlotte Potatoes & Smoked Haddock, Whole Grain Mustard Beurre Blanc
Simply put, my starter of slow cooked hens’ egg was as beautiful to look at as it was to taste. Everything here worked well together. When split, the egg yolk that oozed out was of a good thickness and orangey-golden hue. The sea of mustard beurre blanc was a perfect surface for the potatoes and haddock to float upon. The sauce itself was delicious – in fact, I spooned up a good deal of it on its own – and the potatoes were just warm, still firm and exhibited a note of sweetness. The taste of the smoked fish was not overpowering as not too much had been added, and as it all mingled together joyfully in my mouth I had the feeling that this was going to be a good meal. It was certainly an excellent beginning. 8/10.
Starter 2: Ravioli of Braised Beef Short Rib, Roast Red Onion Fondant, Horseradish Velouté
I thought that Mrs. LF’s was also presented in a beautiful and simple manner. Here’s what she thought: “The braised beef short rib inside the ravioli was moist and tender and the ravioli was not too filled (compared to the one I had in the York & Albany earlier in the year). The foam, or velouté, was exquisite: it kind of looked like a cream velouté and almost tasted like so, but was in fact horseradish. This was delicious and very innovative as it was a fusion of Italian and British cuisine.” 8/10.
Main Course 1: Fillet of Royal Bream, Gnocchi, Shellfish & Trompette
Okay, here was the deal-sealer. These boys can cook. Well, it is actually Head Chef André Garret presiding at Windows, but I am sure you get what I mean. This was a pretty flawless bit of cooking. Like my starter, it may not have been the most inventive or complex dish in the world, but it is the kind of thing I like to eat, and could do so quite often. The fish had been cooked to textbook perfection, still moist and soft yet adequately firm with a crispy skin. But, in a way, the real star here was the shellfish sauce, which was truly delectable. Its saltiness and sea flavors played off brilliantly against the slightly sweet and mild flavor of the Gilthead (‘Royal’) Bream. The mushrooms also worked well and the creaminess of the sauce admirably tied the whole dish together. Another 8/10 for me.
Main Course 2: Risotto of Butternut Squash, Sage & Mozzarella
It had become quite bright in the airy dining room, and it turned out that none of the pictures of Mrs. LF’s main course really did it justice. It was a nice looking…risotto. Yes, risotto, an Italian dish if I ever saw one. And I was a little puzzled at what this and the earlier ravioli were doing at this very Anglo-French-seeming restaurant. But nonetheless, this is what the good lady ordered, so was it any good?
Mrs. LF recalls that, “The risotto was cooked perfectly, and the smooth taste of the butternut squash worked well, making the risotto creamy and unctuous – as it should be – although I would have liked some kind of kick coming from one of the remaining ingredients, in order to open my appetite and make me want to go back to the dish after each bite. The taste of the sage didn’t do it for me, but maybe that’s because I am sensitive to strong aroma at the moment (being pregnant). I didn’t taste the mozzarella that was listed on the menu description, but noticed and tasted some shaved parmesan in its place.” 6.5/10.
Shared Dessert: Hot Chocolate Fondant, Salted Caramel, Praline Ice Cream & Hazelnut
In the end, Mrs. LF decided to opt-out of dessert (so her 2-course lunch cost £19.50), and I eventually and reluctantly succeeded to sharing my dessert with her. I really wished we had both got our own portion of this though. After waiting for a long time, one of the waiters informed us that the kitchen had messed up the fondant and was making a new one from scratch – this was annoying but their honesty was appreciated. When it did arrive, it was pretty much the perfect chocolate fondant. A moist dark chocolate cake encased the hot chocolate which gently leached out from its shell upon being broken by my fork. The combination of salty caramel, praline and warm chocolate was divine and I truly enjoyed devouring this little piece of edible beauty. 9/10.
After all of the aforementioned lusciousness, I decided I definitely needed a coffee, and then realized that it was conveniently included in my upgraded lunch package. It was a high quality black filter coffee, and the petit fours consisted of two chocolates and two truffles from L’Artisan du Chocolat, which was a nice treat. We have had the pleasure of exploring their range thanks to my parent’s holiday gifts over the past two years, and these didn’t disappoint. I also noted the fact that they provided two of each, so that Mrs. LF could have one even though she hadn’t ordered tea or coffee.
After relaxing for a bit more, we asked for the bill, and were pleasantly surprised when a glass jar of big, fluffy pink and yellow marshmallows were offered to us as well. They were really good and left us with a well-deserved sweet memory of our meal.
One down, three to go
We looped around the dining room on our way out and had a look at the fun fair down below, and really were on Cloud 9 at this point.
It had been a smooth, leisurely, pleasant and delicious lunch. Service throughout had been attentive, thoughtful, friendly and efficient. The views and the setting were fairly unique for London and the prices were reasonable within this context. I don’t think I need to say it again, but the food was of a very high calibre: each dish was technically well-cooked and had the added bonus of delicious, tried and tested flavor combinations that we certainly both enjoyed. I can understand why they have just been elevated to 1 Michelin star status in the 2010 UK guide (they didn’t yet hold the star when we dined there).
I am now eager to try their less formal Marylebone Bistrot de Luxe and am meant to be hitting Galvin La Chapelle with some other food bloggers in about a month’s time. I just hope that Jeff and Chris Galvin heed the warning signs of other British chefs who have grown too fast and too furiously in recent years and are now paying the price. In Windows, they definitely seem to have found a winning combination. I hope their other restaurants do the same and that they keep their enterprise manageable and consistently infused with their obvious skill, know-how and cooking ability.
Wine: a nice selection of half bottles for the 3-course lunch deal; I didn’t check out the larger list in too much detail
For more about my rating scale, click here.
Note: I have dined at Galvin at Windows once, and it was for Sunday lunch.
Really really can't fault galvin. Fabulous food, views to die for, lovely service. The food is beautifully presented and the portions are quite small but it's so rich you feel perfectly content at the end not sickened. They also do little touches like icing happy birthday onto desserts plates which makes you feel valued and special. Bear in mind you won't get a table near the window if you are more than four as these tables can't accomodate more than that so your view will be less good. And afterwards you can go for a stroll in hyde park to work it all off!
This review is for the bar only, I have not yet been to the restaurant.
I have attended a business function at the Hilton Park Lane for the last 20 years. Each year the prices go up and the level of service down. I can't understand why the hotel treats its events guest with such resentment. After all, this must be one of the most profitable areas for the banqueting department.
The trip up to the 28th floor has become something of a tradition once the main function in the hotel's ballroom has come to an end (quite an abrupt one with staff removing the furniture around lagging guests, in order to get ready for the next event - we are herded out like sheep ...).
The bar has undergone quite a transformation. No longer called "Windows on the world", the furniture and decor have been modernised. In keeping with the more modern skyline London now has to offer. The views are spectacular and well worth a visit. Without them this would be just another overpriced hotel bar with snotty staff.
The drinks are amongst the most expensive in London. You really would expect these to be accompanied by 5-star service.
Once inside it is quite pleasant that the room is not overcrowded. However, the door policy and ridiculously long queues seem excessive. And why is a table in the corner marked as reserved when it so obviously hasn't? We politely asked if we could borrow the space until the rightful owners turned up and were very brusquely turned away, so were many who came afterwards.
As it stands, I look forward to visiting again come next year's business function, but remain reluctant to risk taking friends and family here - the view alone just doesn't cut it if you are not made to feel on top of the world at the same time.
Galvin at windowz, situated at the 28th floor of Hilton hotel in Hyde Park Corner is the place to go if you enjoy good food, friendly staff, good wine, and superb view. It is expensive, but for a special occasion it is absolutely worth it. The staff took us behind the kitchens to have an overlook on one of the most stunning panorama of London I have ever seen. Taste their English mojito at the bar after your meal, absolutely amazing!
The views are one of the best qualities about Galvin at Windows, situated on the 28th floor of the Hilton hotel just off Park Lane in London, you are able to see many of London’s top attractions. The London Eye, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, Canary Wharf and the Gherkin are just some of the highlights you can see in the evening.
The food was amazing! I enjoyed the added extras that the waiters brought out- the little 'amuse-bouche’, the box of different chocolate varieties and finally the pot of marshmallows- made the meal a special experience. The service was great from the (mostly French) staff, they were very attentive and informative.
The meal is very pricey but seeing as I went there for a special occasion, I think it was definitely worth it!
The bar however was smaller than what I expected and drinks were ridiculously expensive. My only gripe about it was that I didn’t enjoy having a bunch of 'city boys’ in suits bragging about how much money they have despite the recession and pushing everyone to get to the bar.
It is no doubt that this restaurant is pricey, but its worth every penny. Not only is the food absolutely divine, the atmosphere is relaxing and soothing, the service is top class!
The staff are polite, friendly and very attentive.
This is undoubtedly one of my favourite restaurants in London, and I can’t wait to dine here again!
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