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What with the opening of Arbutus this week, I seemed to have missed the quiet opening of new venture from Chris Galvin and his head chef André Garrett.

Any Egullters been yet? Are they open for lunch?

Was a review in the Telegraph today, JM was on holiday so Belinda Richardson? filled in for her. She seemed to enjoy it.

I went into a French restaraunt and asked the waiter, 'Have you got frog's legs?' He said, 'Yes,' so I said, 'Well hop into the kitchen and get me a cheese sandwich.'

Tommy Cooper

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I see that the review included the omnipresent sentence about loud Americans at the next table. I wonder if we, the soft spoken, will ever live down this awful generalization.

It's not just the same sentence - it's the same Americans.

Theres an underground facility at the embassy in Grosvenor Square where they train a crack team of 24 extrovert Tennessee hog callers. Then they issue them with chemical warfare 'ceegars' and a series of scripted jokes about how the Brits have third-world plumbing and pre-enlightenment orthodontistry and dispatch them to postings in London's finest restaurants.

The US takes its responsibility for providing national stereotypes extremely seriously - as indeed does the UK.

Our public schools continue to turn out dim, braying, breadroll-chucking fops and shrieking, nymphomaniac gold-diggers at a level which frankly staggers the mind while the Cambridge Footlights are, even now, honing cruelty into weapons-grade sarcasm.

I'm proud to say that sitting next to a table of well-trained, special-forces British Toffs can be every bit as ghastly an experience as anything the Yanks can devise.

And if we don't get them at the table, the crack troops of our new 'Surly Fascist Cab Driver' training facility in deepest Essex will mop them up on their way back to their ludicrously overpriced hotel.

Bung Ho

T

:laugh:

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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I see that the review included the omnipresent sentence about loud Americans at the next table. I wonder if we, the soft spoken, will ever live down this awful generalization.

You're right. All you soft-spoken Americans should speak up for yourselves more. Something of a Catch 22, that.

A lukewarm review of G@W by the Harden brothers in City AM, a London business free-sheet, which I will summarise in the style of their eponymous guide:

"Extraordinary" view in a "tastefully, if neutrally, revamped" room. "Some very good," if "not especially ambitious" dishes. Service was "generally solicitous" but

"it would have been polite" for the waiter "to mention that an unspecified glass of Bollinger was vintage and was going to cost £28.50". In summary, not enough attention to detail when the bill "could so easily reach a tonne a head". Three stars out of five.

Edited by naebody (log)
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Dinner last night - it has to be said that on a sunny evening the views over Hyde Park are simply stunning.

Food is pretty good too. Of the starters, The seared foie gras with salsify and raisins was top notch, the marinated sea scallops with Jersey Royals less convincing. Lamb was superb, John Dory just OK. Which - admittedly on the basis of a very limited sample - suggests its best to stick to the meat options.

Cheeses were good - excellent Eppoises, a few too many Goats, and only one English (stinking Bishop) - but priced at what unfortunately is becoming the 'norm' - £11. We shared a plate which was fine.

It certainly adds up - came to over £100 each. There's a degustation menu of course which looked OK value at £65 (or £95 if you go with the wine per course recommendation - which did look interesting, I have to say).

Would I go again? definitely.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Somewhat underwhelming, although the view is nice the food is rather dull.

Staff a mixed bag of pros and people I reckon have been hastily seconded from other parts of the hotel. Annoying to be given wife's dish and vice versa followed by a load of faffing about passing them back and forth like a bad farce. Some amateur kept trying to fill our glasses while they were still pretty much untouched, again I suspect he wasn't one of Windows main staff.

Decor is too retro 70's for me and there are, I think, still rather a lot of oldish men dining with young fleshy female companions who I suspect may not be their daughters.

Strangely Buck House seems to have no lights on at all at night, not a one and I never knew Liz had such a nice garden. So I learned someting.

S

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there are, I think, still rather a lot of oldish men dining with young fleshy female companions who I suspect may not be their daughters.

and what, exactly, is wrong with that?

he he you know what I mean, don't make me spell it out geezer

S

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  • 2 weeks later...

I booked to go here for lunch tomorrow on 23rd of May (we were planning a big eating and drinking session) and requested a window seat realising that they will be popular. I rang a minute ago to confirm my table only to be told they can't confirm a window table because everybody asks for them. Of course my reply to that is that most of those people didn't ask for them before 23rd May. She told me she can put in a request but they still won't guarantee the table and they were normally given to the first people to arrive, as I was booked in at 13:00 I didn't think I stood much chance, so I told her to cancel it.

Absolute nonsense, what about good customer service? If everybody asks for window tables why not assign them when they are booked and once they are full up tell the next customer they aren't available.

Now I'm pissed off and trying to think how to fill my day off work.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Well, you could always go there anyway and see what they've got and walk away if they can't give you a window table. You'd be near enough to dozens of other restaurants to salvage something if it didn't come off as planned. The food I think is excellent and worth suffering a less than perfect table for, although everything you've read about the wine list is true.

Alternatively Mews restaurant in Lancashire Court has just opened this week - chef is David Selex ex-Grocer on Warwick, where the food I thought was really terrific, even if hiding a restaurant behind a food shop wasn't the cleverest of concepts.

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I booked to go here for lunch tomorrow on 23rd of May (we were planning a big eating and drinking session) and requested a window seat realising that they will be popular. I rang a minute ago to confirm my table only to be told they can't confirm a window table because everybody asks for them. Of course my reply to that is that most of those people didn't ask for them before 23rd May. She told me she can put in a request but they still won't guarantee the table and they were normally given to the first people to arrive, as I was booked in at 13:00 I didn't think I stood much chance, so I told her to cancel it.

Absolute nonsense, what about good customer service? If everybody asks for window tables why not assign them when they are booked and once they are full up tell the next customer they aren't available.

Now I'm pissed off and trying to think how to fill my day off work.

Common sense doesn't always go hand in hand with the front of house. they're either super brilliant, or... err... not.

Besides, if they give you a window seat now, what will they do if someone more important just drops by on the day :laugh:

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Have now booked the Sportsman in Seasalter. :smile:

I think you'll find that's not quite as high up as Windows. However, in order to replicate the experience, simply stand on your table and peer out at some ants that happen to be passing by the restaurant and shout "Wow, the people look like ants from up here!" Just as much fun, but much, much cheaper. For the full effect, you should also arrange for Massive Attack to mime silently outside the pub (they were playing Hyde Park the night I went to Windows. I had a great view of the giant screen but unfortuately couldn't hear a note).

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If you had been in the India Club last night on the Strand you would have been able to hear Corinne Bailey Rae (I heard her warming up while we ate before going to the concert). Her performance couldn't make up for the food though, I suspect that if the Beatles had reformed and played in the restaurant you would have still left saying "that food was crap"

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I see that Galvin's Bistrot won an award at the Catey's on Tuesday for newcomer of the year - was anyone there?

Edited by ravelda (log)

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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I can understand both sides of not guaranteeing tables. On the restaurant's side, if they have limited tables but a lot of customers, they are bound to create problems by promising tables before people arrive.

2's can become 3's and vice versa, no shows, lates, early tables all mean that it is dangerous to promise specific tables.

However, on the other hand, the only reason they put the tables booked early there is so that the problem goes away quickly. By 1pm at lunch, no more window tables, no more problem. Same by 7pm for dinner.

This I think is wrong, surely the earlier you book, the higher chance you have of getting a more desirable table. Otherwise it defeats part of the object of booking early, might as well call up a couple of days before if that is the case.

On another note, I'm also suprised the hostess let you cancel so easily. There seems to be a little arrogance/lack of care which is a dangerous thing in a hotel dining room. Very soon the spotlight will be on another new opening, the focus will have passed. I wonder whether they'll lose business so willingly then.

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Alternatively Mews restaurant in Lancashire Court has just opened this week - chef is David Selex ex-Grocer on Warwick, where the food I thought was really terrific, even if hiding a restaurant behind a food shop wasn't the cleverest of concepts.

David Selex' food at the Sugar Club was sometimes quite wonderful, so Mews could be great. Can we have a separate thread for it, please?

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On another note, I'm also suprised the hostess let you cancel so easily. There seems to be a little arrogance/lack of care which is a dangerous thing in a hotel dining room. Very soon the spotlight will be on another new opening, the focus will have passed. I wonder whether they'll lose business so willingly then.

She did seem surprised and assured me she would put a note on the booking but said she couldn't promise the window table, that they were under strict instructions not to. With that I told her I realised it wasn't her fault and cancelled the table.

Matthew, if you get a window seat and you didn't book before 23rd May I'll expect a phone call from you so that I can claim it back! :laugh:

Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I can highly recommend the pear tatin to share - probably the equal of The Square's version and that really is saying something. They serve it with jugs of caramel sauce and cream on the side which sounds over the top but is in fact utterly delicious.

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Gloves off it seems!

Matt how was The Sportsman?

I went into a French restaraunt and asked the waiter, 'Have you got frog's legs?' He said, 'Yes,' so I said, 'Well hop into the kitchen and get me a cheese sandwich.'

Tommy Cooper

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The Sportsman was fantastic and in all honesty I was glad I cancelled my Galvin booking! More details when I get a chance, probably tomorrow, River Cafe for Lunch in a couple of hours :smile:

Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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