Skylon can’t really fail: its setting on the first floor of the Royal Festival Hall, with lofty ceilings and superb Thames views from soaring windows, is always spectacular, by day or night, and adds wow factor to any meal. The chic cocktail bar, amid sofas in the centre of the space, also offers a dose of metropolitan pzazz. Dining areas are split between the brasserie-style Grill on one side of the bar and the Restaurant, with a more fine-dining menu, on the other.
A new head chef, Adam Grey, took over in spring 2013, promising a more recognisably British style than the former slightly Scandinavian-influenced fare. Nothing in our meal (in the Grill) was as special as the view. Lentil salad with feta and piquillo peppers was pleasant; gravadlax with a ‘russian salad’ of beetroot and chives was smooth but a bit bland. Next, a Skylon burger was good but not exceptional; ditto Norfolk mussels with linguine, peppers, lemon and garlic – though the seafood was quality stuff.
Many fellow-diners were drinking cocktails, perhaps because the hefty wine prices made them seem a relative bargain. Service was oddly slow at times despite an abundance of staff.