Last month, I was part of the selected few invited by London hotel Xenia to preview the city hotel after a £100 million refurbishment. And to sample the dishes from the hotel’s Evoluzione Restaurant headed by Michelin Star awarded Italian chef Andrea Angeletti.
As far as city hotels go, Xenia is perfectly located near the busy green park area in central London but tucked down Cromwell road for the perfect getaway.
I didn’t get a look at the entire hotel but I loved the little I saw. Warm dark décor in the foyer and bar area with comfy chairs you could lounge in all day. And the hotel has a roof bar which I didn’t get to see but loved the downstairs terrace where the drinks reception was held. It was intimate and warm, even in September.
Back to the 13 course taster meal; yes, I said 13. It was a fantastic meal accompanied by even better wine. The signature menu was supposed to pay homage to the chef’s regional produce while showcasing his personal flavour fantasies.
I did think the menu was on the ‘cheesy side’ sometimes making it more French than Italian but in the end the chef pulled it together. It was beautifully orchestrated from start to finish and weeks later, I’m still raving about the chef’s Scallop salad with ice cream and caramelised soy parmesan.
There were some fantastic red wines on the night as well; my favourite was the Paltrinieri Lambrusco dell’Emilia ‘Solco’ 2013, a chilled red that made a huge impression. All in all, it was a fantastic night of delicious food and marvellous wine.