The Lanesborough is a luxury 5 star hotel located in Hyde Park Corner with a rather lovely view over Hyde Park. It’s subtly grand exterior houses Michelin starred Apsleys – a Heinz-Beck restaurant. German born Heinz-Beck opened his restaurant in 2009 and his Mediterranean influenced food was awarded a Michelin star within 5 months of opening.
From the minute we walked through the door of the hotel we fell in love with the place – the greeting from every member of staff was that of warmth and friendliness. The dining room was simply stunning with its glass roof and three huge chandeliers – it’s possibly my favourite dining room in London. It had a feeling of understated luxury which was matched by the charming and efficient service.
All of the above doesn’t come cheap and the a la carte is a little pricey so on this lunch visit we ordered from the Menu Del Giorno which was three courses for £35 with a good selection of choices for each course.
The bread on offer was divine. The sweet and salty thin crisp bread that was so light it melted on my tongue and the poppy seed brown roll were real highlights. Served alongside a mound of salt and some of the finest olive oil I’ve ever tasted – I instantly knew I was going to enjoy my lunch.
I decided to start with the veal salad with potatoes, green beans and tuna sauce and was intrigued by the combination of veal and tuna. A fishy sauce? With meat? Well I never. But it bloomin worked deliciously. It was refined and the proportions were perfect – a very cleverly devised plate of food.
My gentleman companion went for the ‘Pappa al pomodoro’ tortellini which was basically pasta parcels filled with cheese in a light tomato sauce. The pasta was made fresh that day and was so thin and delicate which married brilliantly with the fragrant basil oil drizzled over it.
My main of halibut fillet with crushed lime potatoes and celery looked beautiful. The lime worked obviously well with the fish but also more unusually with the potatoes – the flavour combinations were so well balanced that it was like a choir singing together in perfect harmony.
My gentlemen companion’s rump of lamb with courgette escabeche, coulis of fresh tomatoes and salted ricotta was another winner. Generous chunks of really rare lamb were soft to cut through and the black olive crust was a yummy addition. It was a taste of the Mediterranean, in Hyde Park Corner.
Desserts were both astoundingly beautiful. My mango mousse, poppy-seed parfait and rosemary ice cream was so intricate I was shocked it had come from a set menu. Who knew rosemary, poppy seeds and mango would be such a harmonious flavour pairing. Every mouthful was that of sweet refreshing heavenliness.
My gentleman companion’s cocoa sable with liquorice “cremoso” and strawberry ice cream was the richer of the two desserts and had slightly less going on but the aniseedy liquorice was balanced wondrously with the chocolate and strawberry – it didn’t overpower one bit.
A friendly selection of staff provided a service which was faultless. They made us feel at ease and comfortable from the moment we arrived. And to top it off, considering we only ordered from the set menu the level of skill and the quality of the cooking that we saw from Apsleys was seriously impressive. It’s a beautiful dining room serving beautiful food – what a lovely place.