Hi and welcome back.
Today I thought I would share my experience Eating Out at a Michelin star restaurant; Galvin at the Athenaeum in London. Last year I married my best friend in a beautiful country house; Pendrell Hall. If you would like to know my top tips for organising a wedding, sorting out catering, cake etc., please let me know in the comments below. We had such an incredible day celebrating our marriage with family and friends. Some of our lovely friends were very generous and bought us a gift experience:
The View from The Shard with 3 Course Michelin Dining and Bubbles for Two. We were blown away and couldn’t wait to go. 2018 was such a busy year that it was only at the beginning of January 2019 we were finally able to go. Here is my experience.
As I have already mentioned, the gift experience included a 3 course meal and a view from the Shard. We decided to have lunch first then visit the Shard. That way we weren’t rushing to leave the Shard and head for food. There were a few options included in the voucher, but we opted for Galvin at the Athenaeum. We called to book the day before and were informed they could cater to gluten free so I was excited to experience the food.
We arrived in London at London Waterloo and took the underground across the Jubilee Line to Green Park station. From there, it was a five minute walk to the Athenaeum. The building was just beautiful and soon we were seated in the restaurant. A menu was bought to us and we could order from the Prix Fixe menu but said whiel could cater to allergens, it was unclear what I could order. The staff were so helpful and accommodating and I was soon advised the parfait, sopu or Deep Fried Whitebait could all be adapted to gluten free. Now, while I enjoy soup I have missed fried food since being a coeliac so I was immediately sold on the Whitebait. It felt like no time at all before we had food and I was anxious to get started. It was incredible and such a treat to enjoy fried food.
Now time for main – again all the dishes could be adapted so they were gluten free. Personally, I couldn’t resist the Amber Braised Pork Cheecks with apple and sprout leaves. The main does come with a potato croquette but sadly this can’t be adapted to gluten free. In hindsight, I probably should have asked for a substitution such as a side of vegetables but I was so full from starter that it didn’t occur to me. Luckily, the pork cheeks on their own tasted devine and I didn’t feel like I was missing out by not having a side.
Even though we were getting really full, the gift included dessert. We opted to wait a while and enjoy the gorgeous interior. I t was so nice to sit and relax. Even though the Athenaeum is situated on a main road, you can’t hear any traffic in the restaurant. Finally we were ready for dessert. Sadly, none of the dishes could be adapted to be gluten free from the set menu but the staff were quick to offer an alternative; Chocolate mousse. Deliciously rich and indulgent served with fresh orange segments and sprinkling of honeycomb; if I hadn’t been so full I would have bought a second helping to enjoy again!
The Athenaeum is incredible and I would highly recommend a visit if you are in the area. The other part of our gift included a trip to the Shard so it was back on the underground to London Bridge station. We joined the queue and within 30 minutes, we were rising in the elevator to climb to floor 68; the Sky Boutique. From there, it was a short climb to level 72: the Open Air Viewing Platform. Wow! The views are just out of this world. It is such a humbling experience to be able to look out across London as far as Battersea or to look down ans see people running about on their daily business. I felt like I could have stayed mesmorised up there forever but it was quite cool so we headed down to floor 69; the Main Viewing Platform which is enclosed so a lot warmer! Drinks and snacks are available here but I was so full from our meal, it was nice just to site there and enjoy the view.
There you are. If you are lucky enough to receive this gift package, be safe in the knowledge that there are incredible food options for you to indulge in and the view from the Shard is worth the fear from being up that high.
Thank you for taking the time to read this Eating Out addition. If you ever visit Galvin at the Athenaeum or the Shard, let me know by tagging me on Instagram using #livingcoeliac or by sharing your experience directly to my Facebook page. Let me know where else you would like to see in this mini-series. Newsletter is now live! Don’t forget to subscribe so you do not miss out on any future blog posts.