W1 at The Cumberland Hotel, W1

W1 @ The Cumberland Hotel 300x207 W1 at The Cumberland Hotel, W1Formerly home to Gary Rhodes’ eponymous restaurant, W1 at The Cumberland Hotel sees the restaurant’s former head chef Paul Welburn take complete control of the kitchen.   Whilst replacing someone of Gary’s ilk may at first appear a challenge, as is often with celeb chefs, it’s the restaurant’s head chef that actually handles cooking, so in this respect very little has actually changed.

This is a good thing in all aspects of the restaurant, starting off with the dining room itself.  Originally designed by Kelly Hoppen, the ‘new’ W1 restaurant gives the old a restaurant the most subtle of polishes to ensure it continues to be one of London’s most chic and glamorous venues.  Truly a feast for the eyes, the room is tastefully appointed with beautiful antique mirrors draped in plush velvet, stunning Spina crystal chandeliers and the most comfortable of antique French chairs.

The atmosphere is classic fine-dining, with the emphasis on discretely attentive service and a relaxed environment.  Contrast this to the spate of new restaurants enforcing time limits on their tables and motivating their staff to make the most money out of you as fast as possible and suddenly a more old-school experience starts looking pretty appealing again.

Dining options comprise of either a 3 course a la carte menu for £49 or a 7 course tasting menu for £75. If it’s a special occasion you’re coming for then it’s definitely the latter that you want to choose. Chef Paul has essentially added a modern touch to traditional haute cuisine, so expect beautiful presentation, fine ingredients and exquisite cooking on dishes such as Foie gras,  pineapple, pain d’epice, Monbazillac & duck ham; Monkfish with a chicken wing, salsify, chargrilled leeks and jus gras; and Chocolate cremeux peanut with caramel ice cream.  Push the boat out and include the wine matches and you’ve got a serious night of food indulgence ahead of you!

Food: 4/5
Venue: 4/5
Value: 3/5

Cuisine: Modern European
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £49 for 3 courses, £75 for 7 courses
Wine: £9

W1 at The Cumberland Hotel
Great Cumberland Place
London W1H 7DL
www.guoman.com/hotels/united_kingdom/london/the_cumberland/restaurants_and_bars/w1_restaurant.html

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