On 17 September, my better half and I decided to head to Marylebone and treat ourselves to a gastronomic meal at The Winter Garden restaurant of The Landmark hotel since we were staying in Central London for Her Majesty’s funeral, which was the following Monday. We both had shed a few tears for our late Queen, but we also felt that it would be a nice way to celebrate her glorious reign and pay tribute to her lifetime of devoted service to our nation.
The Landmark Hotel still has an establishment feel to it, with marble floors and portraits of famous politicians or royals on its walls, but as one walks their way to the centre of the building, the mood and style of the property changes completely – and for the better! The Winter Garden restaurant has got much more to it than what its name suggests, with its super high glass domes which give the impression of being in a gigantic conservatory; not to mention its contemporary cosy décor that blends very well the old and the new – and this in the heart of London.
As we were shown to our table, a pianist who played divinely was having the time of her life mixing classical tunes with more recent ones from the 70s and 80s, while in-house guests and outsiders started filling the place, which has a good mix of people from different walks of life. Not far from us was a group of 8 friends having a merry ladies’ night out, while the rest of the tables quickly filled up with couples and families of different ages.
As we ordered two flutes of pink bubbles to start the evening, we got acquainted with Helmi the restaurant manager who took great care of us during the whole evening. Discreet but open and fun, he has all the qualities of a perfect hospitality professional, and he applied himself in giving us useful tips about the menu as well as the wines to pair with our food. I always believe that the team in a hotel or restaurant is the key factor that makes or breaks a place, and our host who ended up being very chatty, told us about his life in Tunisia before moving to Blighty, would be the kind of person anyone would hanker to have as a butler at home!
The food lived up to its reputation, and my personal choice of a butternut velouté as a starter followed by the grilled lobster with béchamel sauce was sensational. However, one can safely say that the offer at The Winter garden has something to please everyone’s taste buds, may one be a meat lover, pescatarian or vegetarian. My other half spent the whole of Sunday raving about her steak sirloin and grilled vegetables, and we both agreed that our pudding (Tarte Tatin and cheesecake respectively) was maybe beyond calorific …. but excellent in taste. Our small talk with other guests confirmed our impression – the menu is varied, the produce is fresh, and it all has an international twist to it.
We then moved to one of the small private alcoves surrounding the restaurant as our pudding and Armagnac were served to us in style (which means the right way – since Armagnac is at its best when served slightly pre-heated over steaming water), and by then, our pianist was wishing us farewell with ‘God Save the King’ which was her own way of paying homage to our new Monarch.
It was a delightful evening in a relaxed classy environment, with excellent food and service.
To discover more, visit: landmarklondon.co.uk
All imagery courtesy of The Landmark.
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