Have you ever walked past a building again and again without ever entering, then one day you finally get the chance to go inside and it’s like stepping through a wardrobe door and ending up in Narnia?
Well, that’s exactly what I experienced this weekend when I finally got the chance to take a look inside the beautiful Landmark Hotel in Marylebone and experience the luxurious Winter Garden restaurant.
Don’t get me wrong, the hotel’s exterior is also extremely impressive. Built in the late 1800’s, the Gothic Revival style architecture was designed to reflect the wealth and power of the Victorian era.
However, the Landmark Hotel’s central atrium has to be the most distinctive feature of the building, and as you walk in the front doors you quickly notice the change from the Gothic exterior to the light and open interior.
The central 8 story glass-roofed atrium is filled with towering palm trees and is home to the iconic Winter Garden restaurant and raised gazebo. All of which is looked down on by the surrounding rooms – which makes it a great hotel for people-watching.
Winter Garden Restaurant
My reason for visiting the Landmark Hotel was a late Valentines and Birthday surprise for my other half at the 2 AA rosette holding Winter Garden. Set at the heart of the impressive atrium, the restaurant serves up high-end British and Mediterranean dishes throughout the day to hotel guests and non-guests alike. The glass ceiling and palm trees give the restaurant a slight ‘al fresco’ feel, but still with the elegance and grandeur of a 5* hotel.
To start I opted for the poached hen’s egg with truffle brioche, wild mushrooms, parmesan and chervil aioli, and I can quite honestly say I’ve never experienced a flavour combination quite like this before. The perfectly poached egg was paired excellently with the selection of distinctive tasting ingredients.
For main I tried the barbecue short rib of beef with mashed potatoes, green beans and chestnut mushrooms. Simple but delicious, with flavoursome meat that melted beautifully in my mouth. The other options included chicken, salmon or vegetarian gnocchi.
Finally, on to many people’s favourite part of the meal, dessert. The menu featured a warm chocolate fondant, blood orange pannacotta, rhubarb and ginger cheesecake and a selection of British cheeses.
Being a self-proclaimed chocoholic, I obviously chose the chocolate fondant, which oozed out a mouth-watering warm chocolate filling the second I dug my spoon into it. But if you’re after something a little less rich, the cheesecake was also light and delicious.
The Extra Bits
As if the mesmerising surroundings and tastebud dazzling food wasn’t enough, the Winter Garden restaurant ensures that it’s guests are treated to the full 5* experience of the Landmark Hotel, with pianists and harp players setting the atmosphere with beautifully played classical versions of modern hits throughout the day.
Having stated in advance that we were coming for my partners birthday, at the end of the meal we were presented with a lovely little cake and chocolate written note, accompanied by a rendition of Happy Birthday by the pianist. A thoughtful way to top off an already extraordinary lunch.
The Landmark Hotel
A trip to any luxury hotel restaurant isn’t complete without a little nosey around the rest of the building, especially when it’s as lavish as the Landmark Hotel. Walking down the staircase leading to the atrium I truly felt like an American teenager making my debut at a debutante ball (I watch too many young adult films I know!).
Down to the smallest detail, the Landmark Hotel ensures that everything is perfect for their guests.
Whilst exploring we stumbled across the Grand Ballroom, with more tall ceilings, grand chandeliers and soft Victorian style furnishings. The room is used for corporate events and, you guessed it, weddings! Until I laid my eyes on this room I always imagined my (distant future) wedding being outside of London, but the Landmark Hotel has certainly changed my mind on this. I better start saving now then!
But how can I afford to eat at the Winter Garden restaurant!?
Some of you may have been reading this, or just admiring the photos (no judgement!), and be thinking ‘this all looks great but won’t somewhere like this be a little out of my price range?’. Well, the answer is maybe, it can work out a little pricey if you order several dishes from the main menu. However, I’ll let you in on a little secret…
The Winter Garden restaurant is on bookatable with some amazing deals, such as the one I booked; 3 courses and a Bellini for just £38pp. Worth every penny… and more!