The Malta-based Corinthia hotel group spent a mint turning this ex-government building near the Embankment into its London flagship, with stunning lobbies and two high-wow-factor restaurants, Italian Massimo (see p165) and this one, with a modern British emphasis. Decor is a blend of classic grandeur (soaring Corinthian columns, of course), modern glitz and old-London poshness, with very comfortable leather seating and lofty windows. It’s all very dressed-up, but not so clear on where it’s going. Service seemed oddly uncoordinated. Menus make great play of the origin of the quality British ingredients, but the cooking seems to lack the flair of its best grand-hotel competitors. From the three-course set lunch menu – a reasonable deal for this kind of venue – cod brandade with smoked salmon, and roast barnsley lamb chop with forest mushrooms, shallots and a pile of parsley, were both pleasant, but unexciting. Just reading the ‘Afters’ list had us drooling, but, sadly, vanilla parfait with cherry compote and watermelon and mint jelly had almost tasteless jelly. The wine selection is suitably grand without any special highlights, but one plus is the offer of superb Damian Allsop chocolates, for an extra charge.
10 Northumberland Avenue
|Opening hours:||Breakfast served 6-10am Mon-Sat; 6-11am Sun. Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Sat; noon-4pm Sun. Tea served 5.30-7pm, Dinner served 5.30-11pm daily|
|Transport:||Tube: Embankment tube|
|Price:||Main courses £24-£39. Set lunch £28 3 courses. Set dinner £25 2 courses, £28 3 courses|