On a mezzanine overlooking the fruit and veg section of the Knightsbridge department store, an unsurprisingly pricey café/brasserie, where the quality does broadly measure up to the prices.
e wouldn’t normally review a restaurant on the mezzanine of a department store, however grand, but the Galvins are acknowledged treasures of London’s foodie firmament, so we thought we should check out their fourth outlet, recently opened within Harrods.
They’ve spent a lot on fitting out the space, overlooking the (listed) opulence of the fruit ’n’ veg hall. It’s been done in a grand-café sort of style, with tasteful blue banquettes, and reassuring sturdy, if quite small, marble-topped tables. Sounds as if it’s not quite sure whether it’s a café or a brasserie? Quite so. Our (largely foreign) lunchtime fellow guests largely seemed to regard their visits as a great opportunity to sample a rather elegant-presented meal… which a local might describe as a ‘full afternoon tea’. Each to their own.
Not having just got off the plane from Tokyo, our digestions were more prepared for some classic light gallery fare, such as the soup du jour (mushroom velouté on Fridays, and very good too), an excellent endive and Roquefort salad, and a fancy (lobster) fishcake. Pâtisserie (baked up by the store, to the Galvins’ own recipe) is a highlight still too hard to find in London – both a millefeuille and a lemon tart were commendable. Everything was presented with great charm.
The coffee was good too. And so it should have been for £4 a cup (even for an espresso)! We all know Harrods doesn’t do cheap, but tiny bottles of San Pellegrino at £4.50 each? (Can’t remember paying that much for a mini bottle of water since that night club in Monaco, half a lifetime ago!) The odd money-saving tip here is: drink wine. There’s a good selection for around the £30 a bottle mark, which, by the local standards, is a positive bargain.
Our light lunch for three, no booze, came to just over £100. This total was boosted by the £4 the staff charged for the small cup of espresso consumed by the charming Christopher Galvin who, knowing our guest, joined us for a chinwag after our meal. So you really can trust Harden’s reviews. Not only do we pay for own scoff, but sometimes, it seems, for le patron’s too.