If you want to celebrate a special occasion, look no further than Lancaster London hotel, where they always make a tremendous effort to deliver a unique experience. We went along recently to sample their cleverly designed Valentine’s Day tasting menu at Island Grill. It’s a 9 course sharing menu with subtle nods to the romantic at heart.
The decor has modern, clean designs which you would expect at any top London hotel dining establishment. It has superb floor to ceiling windows overlooking Hyde Park. There will be adding some intimate decorations for Valentine’s day, as they normally do for other celebratory occasions like Halloween.
For the starter courses, some have been adapted from their a la carte menu. Smoked salmon includes heart-shaped beetroot and luscious tasting avocado mousse. The fish isn’t just fatty tasting but sustainably sourced as well from their trusted supplier, Chapman’s, who work with fishermen that are part of the “responsible fishing scheme”.
Crispy Gressingham duck salad has that perfect balance of healthiness and naughtiness. It was particularly invigorating with blood orange and soy & lime dressing.
For the main courses, they were all fully plated including side vegetables and potatoes. Pan-fried sea bream was surprisingly filling with potato gnocchi, confit tomato, watercress and keta salad. Although I think their a la carte version with squid ink tagliatelle and fish cream would have had stronger flavours.
Roasted fig, pine nut and cherrywood-smoked cheese tart had rich, indulgent flavours with caramelised shallots. Even meat aficionados would be falling in love with this dish.
My favourite dish was perhaps the roast fillet of Suffolk pork which had a great variation of flavours and textures with braised red cabbage, celeriac purée, wilted spinach, crackling. There will be no arguments between couples, because there is simply something for everyone with this menu.
This was very much in evidence with the desserts. Dark chocolate fondant is always addictive if you get the gooey centre, but here they also use dreamy Bailey’s Chantilly cream and matched with a raspberry sorbet. Strawberry Panna cotta is in a suitably romantic heart shape along with candid rose petals. There was also a very luxurious looking forty mile cheese board, complete with heart biscuits.
As you would expect, they have an extensive wine list for a hotel restaurant, but the beverage I would recommend to try is Seedlip, which is the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit. Perfect for those who want to extend their dry January experience. It has intense botanical flavours like gin without the hangover after-effects.
Whether it is Valentine’s day or another special occasion, make sure you check out the brilliant offerings at Lancaster London.