Last night, I tested out the newly re-opened Apsley's restaurant at the London's 5 star Lanesborough Hotel.
Past the lobby's ornate flower arrangements, statues and plush carpets, we entered the dining room to find a scene reminiscent of London in the 1920s.
Three glistening chandeliers hung from the glass-roofed ceiling of the two-tiered Art Deco dining space (tip: if you like people gazing, request a table on the top level).
Charming waiters floated around us effortlessly bringing us foccacia, homemade bread sticks and olive bread, which we dipped into a choice of two olive oils along with some coarse and incredibly strong tasting salt that we were advised by the waiter was originally used by the Romans.
Triple Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck has devised the new "light Mediterranean menu", and while he's not around executive chef Massimiliano Blasone will head up the team.
Best dishes included perfectly al dente rabbit ravioli with asparagus and pistachio and potato gnocchi in shellfish broth.
A sommelier chose all of mine and my pal's wines, pairing us something different with each dish and each one was spot on.
Fergus O'Sullivan gave it a pretty crap write up in today's London Paper which I thought was a bit harsh!
London Paper verdict:
Food - 4 stars
Vibe - 3 stars
Service - 1 star
Veggie choice - 2 star
He said "staff scurry around with crumb catchers and constantly ask if you're enjoying the meal".
I found the staff to be a complete pleasure and despite the huge size of the dining room, everything worked like clockwork and every waiter was busy at all times looking after customers needs. In my opinion attentivness is part of what you're paying for in a fine dining restaurant, no?
And yes, it was on the expensive side Fergus, but for a one-off special occasion and to sample Heinz Beck's fabulous food I would say worth it.
Ps. Image is of our very lovely amuse bouche.
Apsleys - A Heinz Beck Restaurant on julib.com