When the entrance to a hotel is as grand as The Corinthia’s it’s hardly surprising the establishment has made quite the name for themselves since 2012. Yep, I’m talking about the stunning Baccaret chandelier which graces the entrance ceiling as soon as you waltz your way off of the busy streets of Westminster.
As I raced across the city in an attempt to make it to my dinner reservation in The Northall on time and bursting through the double-doors looking like a sweaty mess (definitely wasn’t channeling hot mess vibes), I was excited where the evening would take me.
It’s not just the hotel itself that has stacked up quite the reputation. No, it’s thanks to the bustling restaurants and beautiful interiors scattered across the ground floor. To the right of hotel, you’ll find the legendary Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, channeling classic dishes and traditional techniques of cooking, served in his pub-style restaurant. While over on the other side of the hotel, I settled in for an evening of wining and dining at The Northall, adorn with burnt orange leather banquette seating and antique mirrors helping to champion the glorious natural light from outside.
Although I learnt the restaurant is scheduled for light refurb early next year, despite opening in 2012, the restaurant still feels bright and new like the day it first opened. Designed by G.A Design, on the main restaurant floor, you’ll find awe-inspiring floor to ceiling windows bellowing in the light from the city streets, with the restaurant seating up to 120 covers. While up on the mezzanine level, this 24-seat section is perfect for those wanting an evening to themselves, withdrawn from the rest of the restaurant.
Nuzzled just adjacent is The Northall Bar, again featuring double-height ceilings, a sensational marble bar and a wall bellowing 350 of the restaurant’s wines. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t dream of having a wall of wine in their apartment?
To get the night started, I opted for a Renaissance passion off the cocktail menu as I waited for my accompany to arrive. This little fruity number was concocted of Renaissance vodka, apricot liqueur, passionfruit, apple juice and vanilla, and went down swimmingly.
Earlier this year, The Northall welcomed the much celebrated Executive Chef André Garrett to take centre stage, transpiring his wonderful experience from Cliveden House in Berkshire and many other world renowned Michelin-starred kitchens, and transforming the cooking style entirely at The Northall. (Side note – you might recognise him from being the guy who let James Corden and Chris Hemsworth run the restaurant and kitchen for The Late Show a few months back…)
André has helped redefine the restaurant, expertly bringing his classically-based modern European style of cooking. As well as overseeing the Corinthia London’s entire food and beverage service (minus Kerridge’s Bar and Grill, of course). So, er, his arrival was a pretty big deal.
As expected the food delivered on excellence and flavour. To start, I opted for the heritage beetroot salad with compressed pear and black olive, which was lightly refreshing and scattered with delicate bursts of flavour from the salty olive to earthy beetroot. My accompany chose to go with the lobster bisque to start, served beautifully at our table, with braised lentils and alsace bacon cognac, which I hear went down a treat.
While my accompany opted for another glorious fish main (which just as beautiful as the starter), I went on recommendation from the restaurant manager and opted for his favourite the ‘cep mushroom risotto’ and, boy, am I glad I did! While sometimes risotto can be a disappointing and overly stodgy, this little number was rich with hearty meat-like mushrooms that went down happily against my expertly paired wine. Scattered on top, the risotto was adorn with pickled walnuts, fried ceps and cavolo nero which added the right bite of texture needed to round off this dish perfectly.
A way to a girls heart is always through chocolate so, of course, when it came round to dessert I had one thing on my mind. The poached pear with 68% chocolate whipped ganache and pear sorbet. On slicing, the pear burst its juices across the plate, while the ganache added a rich element to the dish, and rounded off the dining perfectly.
Despite being Executive Chef for less than a year, André has certainly made a respected name for himself and The Northall, and there’s no doubt I’ll be back for another round of the cep mushroom risotto soon!
10a Northumberland Avenue, WC2N 5AE