Can there really be a better ways to spend lunch time than enjoying good food in the opulent environs of a luxury hotel with a good friend? Today Lauren and I were meeting at Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane to sample the delicious Italian food on the menu at Amaranto, the hotel’s main restaurant.
Last time Lauren and I visited the hotel to sample the British Summertime Afternoon tea, it was the hottest day of the year…sadly the weather wasn’t quite what it was before and the pouring rain meant drinks in the Veuve Cliquot Secret Garden weren’t quite on the cards.
But that’s ok as there’s plenty to admire in the hotel’s beautiful interior. Amaranto is split into three different areas and the bar and lounge lead through to the restaurant at the back.
I love the sumptuous red velvet sofa and the beautiful Oriental-style tables inlaid with gold…and I loved that we were basically surrounded by walls of the world’s finest champagne.
Perfect cushions, just to melt into and spend the whole day enjoying the attentive service of the fantastic staff at the Four Seasons London at Park Lane.
Lauren and I took out seats in the conservatory-like dining room and started with a glass of Veuve Cliquot whilst we enjoyed our view out to the hotel’s private garden. I’ve already mentioned my love for the beautiful Veuve Cliquot pop up outside. With beautiful floral design, cosy blankets and cushions and an all-day Summer menu, it’s also the only terrace in Mayfair where you enjoy a glass of refreshing Veuve Cliquot RICH.
A really good and varied bread basket always pleases me and it was great to have something to munch as we looked through the menu made up of classic Italian soups, pastas, risotto and grills.
Having tried it before Lauren suggested we shared a plate of Culatello di Zubello or air-dried ham with gnocco fritto and smoked aubergine caviar. I’ve not got a huge sweet tooth and I’d always choose something salty as a my first choice, so I loved the tangy ham and the fried dumplings provided the perfect accompanying crunch. And smoked aubergine caviar…well I could just have that with every meal.
Less successful were the Sicilian red prawns with heritage tomatoes and grilled peach. Though the prawns were juicy and well cooked, we found the dish overall too watery from the tomato juices and also a little bland.
But we weren’t disappointed for long as next came my favourite dish of the day. Scottish blue lobster linguine was absolutely perfect… the pasta had just the right amount of al dente bite, and it was mixed with a generous helping of juicy lobster and a light tomato-based shell fish sauce.
And an extra course from the chef, a really superb risotto, cooked absolutely perfectly. The chef told us that the melt-in-the-mouth creamy rice was the very finest imported from Italy and the smattering of girolles and truffle gave it that earthy taste with just a touch of lardo for flavour.
By now we didn’t really need a main course but obviously we were having one anyway…the grilled fish platter featured some of my favourites: scallops, salmon, sea bass and tuna all cooked just right and the light drizzle of olive oil and lemon was subtle enough to let the freshness of the fish do all the talking. Grilled vegetables, broccoli, poached asparagus and duck fat roast potatoes were all ideal accompaniments.
Light fruity desserts are my favourite and the Hampshire strawberry and basil mousse was absolute perfection, so light with delicious floral flavours. I also loved the combination of textures as well as the palate cleansing Chianti sorbet.
Our other dessert as like a love letter to chocolate! Billed as Six Little Sins the platter encompassed the perfect molten chocolate fondant, a dusting of cocoa crumble, white chocolate ice cream and vanilla cream. Delicious Gianduia chocolate sauce is poured over a hollow chocolate ball revealing fresh fruits inside.
Hotel restaurants can be a little uninspiring but for me Amaranto breaks the mould, Lauren and I absolutely loved the food served at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane. It’s certainly a place that I can see myself returning to again and again.
PIN FOR LATER:
Amaranto at Four Seasons Hotel at Park Lane
020 7499 0888
Our lunch was complimentary.