• Daniella Wu

The Lanesborough Grill: British Fine Dining at its Best

LONDON


Nestled between Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Belgravia sits the iconic area of Hyde Park Corner, home to some of the most outstanding and beautiful properties of London and among these contenders is The Lanesborough. A lavish, iconic luxury hotel paying homage to the emblematic era and aesthetic of the British Regency that is incorporated into the total experience and atmosphere of the establishment. Nostalgia of a time gone by, of tasteful refinery and effortless sophistication, is the bedrock from which the concept of Lanesborough seems to emerge and through renowned interior designer Alberto Pinto's vision, who adapts the restaurant with a twinge of contemporary glamour. From the distinguished doorman clad in black and hat to the exclusive use of the best of British-only produce, all is incorporated in the Lanesborough dining room. The establishment boasts British quality and screams British heritage in whichever corner you may find yourself in.


The Lanesborough
The Lanesborough Grill | Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

The Lanesborough Grill team and vision is led by executive chef Shay Cooper who is acclaimed for his modern and subtly sophisticated take on traditional British cooking as well as having previously won a Michelin star for The Goring in Belgravia. Driven by a focus on tradition combined with innovation, the restaurant's vision is to deliver the very best of what British quality produce can offer in high-end contemporary, gastronomic cuisine within one of London's most spectacular and inspiring dining rooms. Expect fresh, seasonal British dishes and unrivalled seasonal produce as well as world-famed British hospitality and service. Some of their star dishes include the Dover Sole, Beef Wellington as well as their Coronation Crab Salad.


Entering the Lanesborough Grill is not a moment to be rushed, it is to be savoured. As a self-proclaimed romantic old soul, I wish that before I'd entered the dining room, I had closed my eyes, taken a deep breath and used a few seconds to imagine myself in an elegant, empire-silhouetted evening gown instead of my rather business-casual dress I'd snagged on a sale at Reiss, before walking through the doors.


The Lanesborough
The Lanesborough Grill | Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Instantly I was transported into a timeless, sophisticated little grand world of The Lanesborough as I entered one of the most exuberantly decorated and breathtaking dining spaces I have ever encountered. An expansive glass-domed, ivory-panelled skylight encompasses the entire roof of the restaurant's atrium allowing radiant natural light to spill into and illuminate the place. Exquisite crystal chandeliers twinkle and reflect golden glints which sit aligned amongst elaborate, ornate cream-white and baby-blue walls and pillars, creating this grand, ritzy open dining area. Blue, white, gold and wood tones are thematically carried throughout the entire restaurant and the large foliage and statement plants around the restaurant allude to the natural, botanical aesthetic inspiration drawn upon in the venue's art collection. Put simply, any glamorous regency fantasy you could have possibly dreamed of is manifested here in the resplendent and elegant Lanesborough Grill.


The Lanesborough Grill | Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Curated by The Lanesborough's partner Art Acumen, their inaugural exhibition is based on the theme 'Botanical' and it brings a selection of celebratory and affordable artworks in a variety of mediums by a select group of talented British artists. You'll find works such as Dragica Carlin's Swirls Series depicting the ephemeral and dreamy unfolding of energy and light as they are created through a labour of shades, light, colours and texture combinations on oil on canvas, or Baldvin Ringsted's All Summer in a Day; a stunning, vibrant geometric abstract floral oil on canvas mixed with wood and enamel prints that blend in harmoniously with the restaurant.



The Lanesborough Grill | Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

The Lanesborough Grill | Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

As we nibbled on bread and butter, we began with a glass of bubbly each, the Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2018 an acidic and crisp sparkling chardonnay with delectable notes of green apple and citrus hailing from the vineyards of Southeast England. Much to our fascination, our outstanding sommelier explained to us that English vineyards are a rather new phenomenon as a consequence to global warming helping raise the temperature in the Southern region to acclimate to perfect grape harvest seasons!


Buttermilk Fried Quail at The Lanesborough
Buttermilk Fried Quail at The Lanesborough Grill | Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Our starters consisted of Buttermilk Fried Quail, Mushroom, Spring Onion and Orkney Scallop, Marinda Tomato, Toasted Hazelnuts, Smoked Rapeseed Oil. The buttermilk fried quail came highly recommended by our server and what a recommendation it was. We were blown away by the tender, lightly crispy batter that wrapped around the poultry meat just perfectly as well as with the superb refreshing and tangy cream of mushroom and chicken vinaigrette sauce it lay upon. I don't have quail often at all, there it was a surprising and delectable starter that was not too filling and unique. The Orkney scallop came out looking like a gastronomic delight plated excellently with sea kale sprinkled on and simply sitting atop a bed of vibrant Miranda tomatoes. For seafood, sashimi and ceviche lovers, this starter ought to be the one for you with the raw scallop's texture being the obvious marker for its first-class quality and freshness, a serving of semi-soft, creamy fish. Citrusy and sweet notes bathe over the fish from the scrumptious almond gazpacho sauce and who doesn't love a good crunch from toasted nuts just for texture versatility.


Orkney Scallop at The Lanesborough
Orkney Scallop at The Lanesborough Grill | Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Grilled Dover Sole at The Lanesborough
Grilled Dover Sole at The Lanesborough Grill | Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

I found myself bound to traditional obligations when it came to ordering my main course, it simply would not have been acceptable, had we not ordered their signature dish, Grilled Dover Sole in Brown Butter paired with a glass of Fram's 2016 Chenin Blanc, a lovely, oaky deep lemon-coloured wine that leaves a lingering aftertaste of sweet honey. Guests can choose whether they'd like this iconic British fare either grilled or cooked in brown butter. I chose the former as an avid fan of how delicate and succulent this meaty, prized fish tasted simply grilled and coated in butter. Drizzled over with fresh lemon juice, the fish flaked tenderly in the mouth and was still juicy with the aforementioned delicate, buttery and mild sweetness.



Poached Native Lobster at The Lanesborough
Poached Native Lobster at The Lanesborough Grill | Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

My dining partner selected the Poached Native Lobster, Courgette Purée, Spring Vegetables, Lemon Verbena Butter for herself and the wine pairing chosen was the Love by Léoube Côtes de Provence Rosé, an extremely dry and light, pale salmon-coloured wine with a subtle blend of strawberry, citrus and pear notes. An excellent complement to her perfectly poached lobster that yielded a satisfying texture akin to butter when you slice a hot knife through it. A beautiful plate with the courgette and carrot purée arranged in colourful dollop-smears within a clear pool of mouthwatering, citrus-sweet, lemon verbena butter. The entire dish screams vivid spring goodness and the freshness of this seafood dish and accompanying buttery, sweet and refreshing flavours created a wonderful, light summer fare.


Caramelised Brioche Pudding at The Lanesborough
Caramelised Brioche Pudding at The Lanesborough Grill | Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Concluding our 'best of British' dining experience we rounded off the evening with some delectable desserts. The Caramelised Brioche Pudding, Burnt Orange Puree, Milk Ice Cream was another dish that came with a glowing recommendation, paired with a glass of Chinese sweet wine, Golden Icewine Valley from Changyu, a honey, apricot and peachy alcohol that enhanced the notes of burnt orange flavours from the brioche pudding as well as the syrupy peach nectarine. Additionally, the lovely creaminess and mildness of the milk ice cream served as a perfect balance to the bold, candied fruit flavours from the soft soufflé-like pudding.


The Dark Chocolate Mousse, Pecan Praline and Cocoa Nib Ice Cream was paired with a glass of sweet wine from Sauternes. La Fleur d'Or, with notes of honey balanced with a bright and crisp acidity. The chocolate mousse itself is, in no exaggerated terms, a silky, smooth temptatious concoction that will leave you completely lovestruck. Its melt-in-the-mouth texture and unfathomably rich chocolate flavours are contrasted wonderfully with the delightful crunch from the Cacao nibs. There are some flavours you never forget, I say with utmost honesty that this is one dessert I will think back on time and time again for years to come.


Dark Chocolate Mousse at The Lanesborough
Dark Chocolate Mousse at The Lanesborough Grill | Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

The final petit fours came shortly after and thus concluded our contemporary, gastronomic medley of sophisticated British cuisine. Should you be seeking an elegant dining affair that represents the best of what British gastronomy, produce and heritage can offer or even just a gorgeous, relaxed afternoon sipping on Earl Grey and nibbling on scones under the warm wash of natural sunlight within opulent surroundings, we recommend you book your next visit at The Lanesborough Grill!


The Lanesborough
A trip to The Lanesborough Grill is not complete without a glass of bubbly | Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

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Website: oetkercollection.com | Phone: +44 (0) 20 7259 5599 | Email: dining@lanesborough.com | Visit: The Lanesborough Grill, The Lanesborough, Hyde Park Corner, London, United Kingdom SW1X 7TA | Facebook: @LanesboroughLondon | Instagram: @The_Lanesborough | LinkedIn: Oetker Collection | YouTube: The Lanesborough