“ Address: 22 Park Lane / London / W1K 1BE / England „
I was unfortunately very lucky the other weekend- unfortunate- because the hotel I had booked into for an overnight stay in London had overbooked-very lucky- because by way of an apology they had booked me into The London Hilton Hotel in Park Lane at no extra charge- wow!!!
I had arranged to meet two friends in London, to go to a matinee and then go to dinner. After the show finished and I switched my phone back on I saw I had 3 missed calls from a number I didn't recognise-but before long I discovered that it was the hotel ringing me to apologise and tell me about the change of plan.
"Right " said one friend as we sat down to dinner...."no starter, no dessert.. just a main course and then straight to book you into the hotel and drinks in Galvin Bar". We all agreed.
You are greeted by a doorman at the hotel and you enter into a stunning foyer, guests busily arriving, leaving, or heading to the restaurants and bars on the ground floor. It felt special being there and we hadn't reached Galvin's yet. The lifts are directly opposite the entrance and on a keyboard by the lift you punch in where you are going- in this case the 28th floor- the digital display on the keyboard tells you which lift will take you there and points to tell you in which direction that lift is.
On arrival on the 28th floor there is a cloakroom on your left to leave coats and or bags. Then you enter the restaurant and bar area. Having asked for a bar table for three we were escorted to a table. A waiter placed a beautifully designed container of complimentary cocktail nibbles with a serviette on our table and passed us each a drinks menu. The choice was very good, champagnes, wines, cocktails, shorts, and soft drinks, so it took us a little while to make a decision, but we did and the drinks were served and we sat back to enjoy. One of my friends had a non-alcoholic cocktail called The Mayfair and his face showed he was in ecstasy as he drank it.
Now a word of warning- our three drinks cost £28- but if you recall we had only had a main course at the restaurant to facilitate this extravagance.
But it is so relaxed there that one drink lasted ages.
The price was well worth paying for the views over London- one side of the bar has no tables along it, so that customers can just enjoy the views. The views were stunning, we were there as dusk became nightfall and the streets and buildings of London lit up. A panoramic view of London with a lovely drink in hand- what a perfect end to our day.
Galvin at Windows restaurant and bar is a fantastic venue on the 28th floor of the Hilton Hotel on Park Lane, London just beside the Nobu restaurant. It is accessed by entering the main reception area of the Hilton Hotel and taking the lift at the back of reception straight up to the top where you will be greated by someone at the entrance who will show you either to the cloakroom to leave off your coats or else direct you straight into the bar or restaurant.
Each side of the bar and restaurant is surrounded by floor to ceiling windows providing amazing views across London which include Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and many other of the city's recognisable buildings and landmarks.
I visted this venue a few weeks ago for the first time when I was in London for the weekend and I have to say it was pretty impressive - though somewhat expensive! Unfortunately I didn't go to the restaurant - which looked busy and popular but I can only comment on the bar at this stage. The bar had a very relaxed, chilled out atmosphere and comprised of leather style cream and brown seats and sofas - some alongside the windows and some in the middle of the room. The great views can be seen from most areas, however when the bar gets a bit busier there tends to be more people who stand by the windows looking out.
The service is great with the bar staff being very attentive. It tends to be more of a table service bar but it is also possible to order drinks at the bar if you wish. Cocktails tend to be the speciality - they are well made but you do pay for the effort that is put into making them! Generally the drinks are quite expensive. I think for a gin and tonic it worked out about £15 which probably isn't a lot to the normal clientele who go there! It is very much a bar where the normal choice of drink tends to be champagne and from having a quick glance around some of the other tables that seemed to be the favourite choice! We actually ended up buying a bottle of champagne in the end also as it actually worked out better value for money as an average bottle cost the same as what you would pay in any other bar. There was of course the option to splash out on the more expensive bottles at several hundred/thousand pounds but needless to say we didn't bother!
The clientele mainly consisted of wealthy older men with their stunning younger girlfriends but there also seemed to be a number of other rich men with their 'girlfriends for the evening' about as well as a few single girls out together looking a rich guy!
The bar is open until 1am during the week and 3am on a Friday and Saturday night. I was there on a saturday night which was good but we left about 11.30am and ended up going back to the cheesey nightclub we had been in the night before which was much better fun and cheaper!
Windows is a great bar to go to for one or two drinks or if you are wanting to impress a girl, having a few drinks whilst enjoying the good views but I wouldn't recommend it as somewhere to go for a mad night out or if you are planning on drinking a lot unless you have plenty of money with you! I would definitely go back though and would also like to try out the restaurant next time.