London has no shortage of great ‘date night’ places. The Electric Cinema in Notting Hill has always been a firm favourite, or The Comedy Store in Piccadilly, followed by Brasserie Zedel and maybe even a few late night cocktails at Crazy Coqs. But it can be all too easy to fall into the trap of visiting the same places and not discovering anything new, when London has so much to offer.
We had heard great things about Galvin La Chapelle, and the images that popped up on a Google search were enough to convince us that we had to give it a go. A modern restaurant inside an old converted church, in the middle of the city and surrounded by tall and towering modern office buildings, it’s like discovering a little secret.
On the inside the interiors are simply mesmerising, with enormously tall ceilings (as you would expect from a church) with exposed beams, and two eye-catching and sculptural chandeliers hanging down from them. Original pillars and open brickwork are set off against a modern glass staircase leading up to a glass mezzanine for private dining. The space feels chic from the second you step inside.
We arrived a little early, around 7pm on a sunny day, so the place was a little empty at first, but around 8:30pm every table had been taken and there was a great atmosphere and buzz.
We started the evening on a couple of cocktails, and watched as the bar man stirred and shaked and foamed and popped and sprinkled until we were handed our concoctions. They were so more-ish they went down a little too quickly!
We were sat at our table and looked over the menus. I was amazed at how affordable the prices were, considering the quality and the atmosphere!
Then the sommelier came over to help us pick a wine. To accompany the first course, the Dorset Crab, he recommended a glass of 2013 sancerre which was simply delicious – and I’m not usually a fan of white wine!
The Dorset Crab was very soft, subtle and creamy.
Next, I had the corn-fed duck, whilst Jonathan tried the Cumbrian beef with heritage carrots and bone marrow. Both meats were melt-in-mouth soft, tender, juicy and perfectly pink, and both dishes were swimming in just the right amount of juices and gravy! We washed them down with a glass of Lebanese wine – one of the best red wines I’ve tried in a very long time!
Finally, dessert. I had a light and refreshing English strawberry tart, whilst Jonathan dived in to a black forest mousse with pistachio cake. We didn’t leave a single crumb!
Then we lingered just a little longer, enjoying the last dregs of our Lebanese wine, whilst soaking up the buzzing atmosphere around us.
All in all, a great date night restaurant, and an unexpected gem tucked away in between tall and towering sky scrapers.