As I mentioned, my new haunt means I’m always looking for fab new places to try – whether that’s dinner, drinks or just a bit of a dance. And being in west London, there are plenty of those. Mainly because I’m usually found east or somewhere in the city and to me, west is unchartered territory.
After a blazingly warm week, the last thing I wanted was to be stuck indoors with air-con blowing freezing air over me. Enter The Terrace, part of Jumeirah’s Lowndes Hotel, who invited us to give their grub a go.
The Terrace at Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel
Walking from Knightsbridge, we trundled through the beautiful streets, and soon spotted a sign for Jumeirah. After being greeted by the doormen we stepped inside the hotel’s reception. We walked through and met a server who directed us to the gorgeously wood-panelled room, a restaurant manager greeted us and we gave him details of the reservation.
He looked puzzled.
‘The Terrace?’ he said, to which we replied yes, we had a booking.
He walked us through the restaurant – us gasping at the splendour of the place, thinking we’ll be whisked up to the roof Sushi Samba style. Instead we were shown to a small courtyard on the street, full of people drinking on low chairs.
Yes, we spotted a celeb or two – David was gushing over seeing a sports hero of his who was enjoying a glass of wine with a friend – but this didn’t look like the place. Because it wasn’t. Lowndes has a sister hotel, Jumeirah Carlton Tower. And we were at it.
After being pointed in the right direction by a courteous doorman, we arrived at the right hotel.
After being in the swanky sister hotel for all of five minutes, we were slightly disappointed with what we stood before. It was a very corporate hotel, all magenta walls and built resembling the tower blocks which sprung up in London during the sixties.
Still, service was courteous and we were shown to the right Terrace this time, a floral hidden garden tucked away through an ornate walkway.
We were shown to our seats – the place was bustling for a Monday – and presented the menu. It definitely had a Greek influence, so I opted for the mezze platter or dips and pitta bread, and David chose a lentil soup.
Both were delivered promptly with cheery service, and while delicious, I wasn’t massively enthralled with my choice. The olives were lovely, in a lemon and coriander seed dressing just like I’ve had in Cyprus, but the others, tsasiki, hummus and taramasalata were pretty standard dips, dolloped much like you’d get at a supermarket.
The lentil soup was flavoursome and very moreish, I was gutted I didn’t go for that option!
Once plates were cleared it was time for the specials from the grill. The night was beautifully warm, but after getting a bit chilly we asked our server to pop on the patio heaters and sat all warm and toasty waiting.
I chose a chorizo burger in a brioche bun, while David’s was the lamb skewers with chips and a mint dip.
The burger, again, I was a little disappointed by. The portion sizes were large, and it was cooked just the way I like, but it tasted very greasy, like it had been fried in oil that hadn’t been changed in a while. I desperately wanted to enjoy the meal, but the chorizo was tough and I wasn’t able to eat the burger as a burger, instead having to deconstruct it and try again.
David’s enjoyed his lamb, but the chips weren’t cooked all the way through, leaving hard lumps of potatoes in some. Although the food was presented well, we left feeling like it just wasn’t up to standards of the area. In fact, our opinion was that it was very much hotel food. Good grub if you’ve got nowhere else to do.
We weren’t massively keen on choosing a dessert – brownies were a bit too heavy for the summer weather – but at the suggestion of our lovely waitress we said we’d try her favourite, the exotic pavlova. This was the shining star of the meal, and although the rest had left us feeling a bit ‘meh’, we were so pleased we managed to share this.
It finished a slightly disappointing meal off wonderfully.
Our thoughts of The Terrace
Service is what you’d expect – it was warm, friendly, courteous and extended to all. The staff made this place.
The venue itself is stunning and so quiet. It’s shrouded in flowers at the moment, and was busy with everyone from business folk enjoying celebratory champers and nibbles, to families chatting about the fun they’d had in London. For a Monday, it was buzzing.
We’ll definitely go back for drinks and dessert, as well as a coffee when we’re tired from window-shopping, however the food for us wasn’t quite up to our expectations for the hotel and the area and we probably wouldn’t be back for a meal.
A meal for two, including one shared dessert and a bottle of wine was just shy of £100.
We say: Go for the cocktails, and grab a cake while you’re at it! Enjoy summer in a secret garden while being in one of the busiest boroughs of London.