In some respects I have a ridiculously long memory: flavours, kindnesses, lyrics to 90s pop songs, houses that have friendly cats. It’s also in respect to restaurants that I fancy visiting. and Galvin at Windows is somewhere that had been on my list for more than an age.
We just hadn’t quite gotten around to booking a table, but luckily my Mr Kiwi has an even longer memory than me (or is just more susceptible to hints) so for my birthday, he treated me to a million dollar view over London – and a Michelin starred dinner to boot.
We began with a relaxed drink (or two) in the sky bar on the 28th floor, watching the twilight settle on the horizon, and before we knew it it was time to take our table in the Michelin-starred restaurant.
Freshly baked bread and perfectly poured Bellinis were served to us as soon as we slipped into our seats, allowing us to peruse the menu. (My photos aren’t professional level because whipping out my camera disturbing the pleasant murmur of diners didn’t seem appropriate, and well, it was my birthday.)
Normally I would draft out a flavour-by-flavour degustation of our meal, but the menu has changed drastically in the time it’s taken to write this review – what a shame! We’ll just have to go back!
I enjoyed a Chicken Pate filled vol-au-vent hearkening to classic French menu that we’ve enjoyed throughout France and Mr Kiwi enjoyed his Butternut Squash soup (though got HUGE brownie points by saying umprompted that mine was better. Who needs birthday presents, eh!)
I enjoyed a lovely sliver of pork belly, served with a rich gravy and seasonal veges. Mr Kiwi had a twist on vegetable risotto.
As well as holding a Michelin star since 2007 (the chef-patrons of 10 restaurants including Galvin at the Athanaeum and La Chapelle, Chris and Jeff Galvin are the only brothers in the world to both hold Michelin stars) Galvin at Windows has also been named one of the 50 most romantic restaurants in the UK several times.
Our desserts were equally as delicious – executed flawlessly and perfectly proportioned (this was no snack-on-the-way-home-Michelin-star dinner).
At the end, well, we thought it was the end of our meal, their team brought out a birthday cupcake and sweetly wished me a happy birthday. We swiftly wrote a few of the skyline postcards that were left for us to write to our families (such a sweet, old-fashioned touch) and I was delighted to see that Fred Sirieix, General Manager wandered through the restaurant, keeping an eye on the smooth running of things (ovbviously on a night off from filming First Dates.)
Leaving at the (actual) end of our dinner, we were kind of confused when the Maitre-D offered to take my shopping bags (*cough* birthday shopping is the best *cough*) and our waiter took us, just us, on a quick tour of the kitchens and then out the back of said kitchen to enjoy a very, very special view out over London.
Those dark patches to the right of the image? That’s the Mall and St James’ Park if my geography serves me correctly.
All in all, we need to go back for another twilight dinner in Galvin at Windows – top tip: for the very best seats in the house go as a couple and get the earliest booking that you can. Whilst most of the tables have at least a peep of the beautiful out over the Hyde Park treetops, some of the middle ones are more restricted.
Beautiful views, kind service and delectable French flavours? It was a birthday win.
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