Last year Michelin starred chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin, owners of Galvin Restaurants, took over the running of food and beverage at the five-red-AA-star hotel in London. Seeing as we were staying only two floors above, we decided to stop by Galvin at The Athenaeum during our stay.
Hotel restaurants often get a bit of a bad rep but in recent years this has changed and London’s best culinary experiences are now in hotels.
The menu at Galvin at The Athenaeum has British take on it, slightly different to the other Galvin restaurants. The menu features an array of British dishes such as Sticky toffee pudding, Cornish fish soup, and Braised Dingley Dell pork faggot.
I’d heard good things about the Galvin restaurants so expectations were high.
To start Karl ordered Deep fried whitebait & tartar sauce (£7.50). I have a slight seafood allergy so sadly didn’t order the dish myself but this didn’t stop me from risking it and trying a few. The portion was generous so Karl was more than happy for me to help him and I was not disappointed. Full of flavour and covered in a light batter, the white bait was absolutely delicious and some of the best I’d tried.
I went for Smoked barbary duck breast, crassane pear & turnip remoulade (£8.50) which was incredible. It was beautifully presented and the duck and pear flavours created an incredible explosion of flavour.
For a fine dining establishment and considering the location, I would say that these dishes were reasonably priced. You can view the menu here.
After our incredible starters we were really excited for the main courses. I love that the menu is simple and fuss-free, it made picking our dishes easy and there’s a dish to suit every taste.
I rarely cook meat at home so when I eat out I like to indulge So for my main course I ordered the Haunch of Denham Estate venison with smoked mash & chocolate (£24.50). A mind blowing dish with an incredible amount of flavours. Savoury but sweet with an aroma of chocolate and the delightful explosion of pomegranate seeds in every bite. There were 2 generous chunks of meat on the plate of possibly the best venison I’ve ever tasted. Venison can be quite tough but this meat was so soft and tender, it was absolutely incredible.
Karl ordered the Rose county beef rib eye which came served with chips & green peppercorn butter (£27.50). Again, another absolutely flawless dish with the steak cooked to perfection and full of flavour.
For dessert I went for the Sticky toffee pudding with Cornish clotted cream (£8.00). After our delicious two previous courses I was eager to try dessert and although feeling very full, the size was just right to satisfy my sweet tooth without feeling like I had overindulged.
Karl ordered the Caramelised apple tart & cider brandy cream (£7.50) which I read has been on the Galvins’ menu since Bistrot de Luxe opened in 2005. Some have even called it the finest dessert in London.
Each dish came so wonderfully and elegantly presented. I loved the vibe in the restaurant, it is fine dining but in a comfortable and relaxing way.
There’s a range of dishes to suit any budget from the Prix Fixe menu priced at £23.50 for 3 courses to 30g of Exmoor caviar for £150.00 or 30g of Oscietra caviar for £170.00. It’s an extravagant venue with a friendly and warm vibe serving top quality dishes.
Luckily for us we were able to go straight upstairs into the privacy of our own rooms (and hide that food baby and sink into that food coma) and continue to enjoy the rest of our luxurious stay at The Athenaeum. You can read my review here.