Luxurious fine dining
Occupying the former space of the 1 Michelin starred The Apselys by Heinz Beck, Celeste is located inside the newly furnished stunning 5 star The Lanesborough Hotel on Hyde Park Corner. It has been over a year in the making, with new owner (Oetker Collection) investing multi millions of pounds into the renovation to create one of the most luxurious and glamorous hotels in London, with the cheapest room costing £700 a night upward with a personal butler for each room, I don't think you can get more prestigious than that. The talents behind Celeste itself is nothing to be sniffed at also, chef patron Eric Frechon is holder of 3 Michelin stars at Epicure in Paris while executive chef Florian Favario was head chef at the same restaurant so my expectation was rather high.
|Cream & roasted cauliflower, curry infused olive oil,|
aged Parmesan cheese
|Heritage tomatoes, green zebra tartar, pineapple, |
tomato juice, red pepper shake
I have visited Apsleys two times already and one of the things that really impressed me was the decor of the restaurant with stunning classy interior design and artwork. But Celeste has taken it to the next level, with beautiful chandeliers and elegant decoration. It has a royalty feel written all over it. We opted for the tasting menu, I was on top of the world with the laungoustine ravioli, never before have I tasted a pasta dish that exquisite in taste, the sweetness of the shellfish blended in so nicely with the herbs and the aromatic seafood broth was nothing but outstanding. Perhaps the weakest dish on the night was the turbot, a great concept with an Asian infusion from the lemongrass butter, ginger puree followed by a garnish of baby pak choi, but it lacked seasoning which was a shame as the fish was cooked really well with a perfect soft texture.
|Langoustine ravioli, fresh herbs, claw veloute|
|Poached Cornish turbot, lemongrass butter, |
baby pak choi, carrot
|Scottish grouse, French ceps, chestnut, game jus|
|Confit grouse leg and foir gras pie|
The main of roasted Scottish grouse was a show stopper dish, served in two stages, the first was breast that was carved in front of us then plated with French ceps and chestnut, the meat was really tender with just a tiny hint of smokiness, what does it for me was the meat jus, the flavours were so intense and powerful, I have never quite experienced something that tasted similar before and it was stunning. Second serving was surprisingly a pie but what a luxurious pie it was, containing confit grouse leg and foir gras in a crispy and buttery pastry with a great depth of richness. Desserts at Celste was just as good if not better, the dark chocolate ganache contained multi elements of jelly, crumbles and sorbet within, but it all worked so well together with the perfect balance in both texture and taste, you can really see the technical and presentation skills that are required to pull this off so a massive shout out to the pastry team.
|Peach, verbena, redcurrant, ginger consomme|
peach sorbet, fresh almonds
|Hand crafted sugar strawberry, chantilly and sorbet|
|Illanka dark chocolate, lemongrass sorbet, jelly & crumble|
I was really impressed with Celeste overall, some of the dishes were spectacular and full of imagination and drama without being gimmicky. For me Celeste is the best restaurant opening in 2015 so far and hard to imagine any other opening later this year which can rival it. Service was also world class (even without my favourite waitress on duty that night!), assistant manager Mattero was truly a fabulous host and made us feel extra special through the entire evening, from a tour around the hotel to a surprise live pianist performance to celebrate our birthday dinner, it was indeed a magical and memorable evening. With such a talented team and the investment power of the hotel, there is every chance for Celeste to become one of the top dining destinations in London and clearly a Michelin restaurant in the making. If you are a fan of classic glamour and fine dining, I can't think of a better place than Celeste.
What I paid:
£140 pp with a glass of wine
Average cost without drinks and services:
Tasting menu: £75
Hyde Park Corner, London SW1X 7TA