London foodie of the week: Father's Day Special


Anytime someone mentions the words Galvin and food in the same sentence, my mouth salivates a little.

Not just because the Galvin brothers seem intent on hiring the most attractive men in hospitality - if you missed my review on La Chapelle, you're gonna want to open another tab on your web browser and drool at the hot chefs now - but also because the food is always superb. 

This visit was no exception; Kat and I recently tried out the latest in afternoon tea trends at the Galvin restaurant in the Athenaeum Hotel in Mayfair. Replace the prosecco with whisky, exchange the macaroons for Eccles cake, add Alsace bacon butter to the scones, and you've got yourself a Gentleman's afternoon tea. 

The service is impeccable, absolutely faultless - Luigi and his team will take good care of you. Despite the exclusivity of the location and the luxurious surroundings, you'll feel at home here. Start with a pot of tea, a strong macchiato and a copy of the paper.

You're recommended to start with the board of hot dishes first, which include a sausage roll, Lancashire bomb rarebit and English crumpet (my favourite!) and a Goosnargh duck Scotch egg. This is closely followed by a triple tower of sandwiches; Dingley Dell ham and Maille mustard, Cumbrian beef and horseradish, cured smoked salmon and Burford brown egg & watercress. 

At a glance, these savoury options don't seem too exciting. Any ol' pub serves basic sausage rolls and sandwiches, right? Remember, this is GALVIN - where there is no such thing as basic food. The simplicity of the menu actually works in its favour, the chefs have taken seemingly simple dishes and perfected the flavour. 

As part of the gents' afternoon tea, each guest is also given a dram of the hotel's own Athenaeum Blended Scotch Whisky. The drink is a good supplement to the meal, with a smooth and slightly fruity palate. If your dad is a whiskey connoisseur and prefers a stronger flavour, he can choose from an extensive drinks list, including a 25-year-old Macallan at £227.00. 

Kat - who was feeling fragile from a night out on the town - stuck to her pot of tea, although I tried to tempt her into at least trying the Corpse Reviver cocktail (pardon the pun). 

Overall, we had a brilliant afternoon acting as gents. If you've been looking for a place to take your dad on Father's Day, I highly recommend the experience.

However, a word of warning. On the top of the triple tower of sandwiches you'll encounter the gentleman's relish, a pungent, green olive-cum-moss coloured spread consisting mainly of anchovies. If you have a sensitive stomach, are struggling with a hangover or intend on engaging in some form of kissing post-tea - don't eat it. You'll thank me later.

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