Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
“Top notch cuisine and super service” still secure many plaudits for Alyn Williams’s (windowless) Mayfair dining room, in the bowels of a hotel off Bond Street, but it put in a more uneven performance this year. “As quite often happens with hotel restaurants, its atmosphere can lack” however, and it took significant flak from critics this year for a number of “disappointing” and “unjustifiably expensive” meals.
“Consistently punching above its weight” – Alyn Williams’s “inventive” cuisine and “the most charming service” are often “in excess of expectations” at this windowless hotel dining room, off Bond Street, whose “widely spaced tables are ideal for a discreet business meal”.
Alyn Williams’s “stunning” cuisine, along with notably “solicitous” service helps create a mightily “civilised” experience at this sleek – if slightly “muted” – hotel dining room, just off Bond Street. Top Menu Tip – “very good-value set lunch menu”.
“A hidden gem!”; with Alyn Williams’s “superbly executed” cuisine, “interesting” wines, and service that’s “so charming”, this “swish” Bond Street hotel dining room deserves a wider following; the catch? – atmosphere is “slightly lacking”.
Alyn Williams, Westbury Hotel Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Top class food cooked very well. Wine list OK but expensive and not as good as it should be for the food"
"What a fantastic surprise ! We had come here a few years ago and, while it was very good, it didn't struck us as a "must go". It did this time ! The tasting menu is audacious, original, and it works ! The service is very good, friendly but very professional. We'll go back"
"Great food but someone needs to tell the waiting staff that people go for a meal to enjoy themselves. The £30 lunch is a steal but the room was empty and the French waiters have no concept of how to interact with people. They continually butt in to 'introduce' the food - ahhh! Such a shame as the food is some of the best in London"
Alyn Williams at The Westbury W1
Hidden-away inside Bond Street's only hotel, a grand new dining room for an ex-Marcus Wareing chef of whom we suspect we're going to be hearing a lot more; our lunchtime visit offered invariably high quality, and extraordinary overall value.
Half way up our grandest shopping thoroughfare, this hotel dining room certainly has a handy location. Not that you'd know it was there from external appearances. Perhaps why, when we visited for a midweek lunch in the second week of opening, it was at best sparsely occupied.
Undistracted by punters, we had plenty of opportunity to consider the décor. Well, let's just say that, though the place reeks of money, it's been spent with more discretion than at the same hotel's tart's-boudoir-like number two restaurant, opened a few months ago, which trades under the name of The Gallery (of what, Bad Taste?). In short, this is a suitable setting for an emerging name who was until recently head chef at Marcus Wareing's equally plush Knightsbridge joint.
The set lunch menu was presented almost apologetically, but surely few are the people who - especially in the early days of a restaurant - are particularly likely to want to embark on the full works? We certainly didn't. Between us, however, we were able to sample the entire carte du jour.
Fish dishes seem a particular highlight. A starter of escabeche of gurnard, for example, was notable for the perfection of its timing, as was piece of hake presented on seaweed butter with grilled whelks and truffle. Presentation throughout was of a very high standard. And even the wine prices were not so high as to spoil the experience. Wareing, with his Lancastrian roots, famously has a gift for puddings, and that strength is echoed here in desserts both British (jelly, charmingly presented) and more classically French in style.
As it turned out, it would have been difficult to imagine an occasion when most people would want to lunch much more splendidly than we did for our £24 a head! The set lunch here is an incredible bargain.
Now all we need do is find an excuse to go back for dinner.
37 Conduit St, London, W1S 2YF
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Last orders: 10.30 pm