Bite: The Phenomenal Cuisine at Hotel Xenia

Recently I was fortunate enough to be invited to Hotel Xenia where I got taken on a tour and to taste what their chef has to offer. The hotel itself is in-between Earls Court and Gloucester Road tube stations, not far from Hyde Park, on Cromwell Road. It is not part of a chain, but a spectacular boutique property. This means that the care taken of the hotel is close and full of pride. The owner hand picked the furnishings.  When seeing something in a restaurant abroad that he loved he sourced the same extravagant unit that now occupies an entire wall in the bar. The shower pictured below is one of a kind because of the stone used. It is this level of detail that is reflected in the kitchen too and by the staff that I encountered. 

The Head Chef is Andrea Angeletti, who was previously Chef Patron of a restaurant that, under his ownership, received a Michelin star. Angeletti describes his Italian style as being based on three fundamental elements: respect for tradition, the use of seasonal produce and a creative essence. Of the three what stood out the most to me was his knowledge of the ingredients and his Michelin flair and creativity. The food he so kindly prepared for me was exquisite in the detail. The combination of flavours was unexpected but entirely successful. Angeletti's skill in the kitchen enabled him to offer food that boasted  extraordinary detail resulting in something really quite special. I've never before eaten oysters any other way than slurped from the shell with additional drizzles of flavour and yet one of the surprising standouts was the oyster and chocolate bite pictured below. Also there was fried cheese balls (a heart attack in a cone) but ever so worth the sin. Served along side rolled chicken with parma ham and asparagus, sashimi salmon sandwich and truffle rice with diced tomato and seasoning in a shot glass. I specifically asked for a canapé style of dining as I love an abundance of flavours and to try a little bit of everything. This is even more preferable in the heat. And yet to my surprise I could quite easily have had another round of fried cheese balls, sashimi sandwiches and the chicken. 

Fear not for desert was to come. Four beautifully presented options laid out before me; a girl with a sweet tooth's heaven. The Rum Baba, a type of cake (this is no victoria sponge people!) that made me want to send the other three back and ask for more Rum Baba. However I then tried the other three and was glad to not act in haste for they were simply wonderful. Equal first place was a sort of inside out creme brûlée, creamy caramel delight. The passion fruit and dark chocolate truffle and macaroon were by no means disappointing. All in all I was thoroughly satisfied and extremely impressed. The two courses of canapés were the perfect mix of familiar Italian ingredients, distinguished display and exciting combinations. 

To wash down all of this delicious food called for some taste testing of the cocktails (all in the name of research!). The kind and attentive waiter had the skill and flair to take a list of my likes and dislikes and create a magnificent tasting and utterly refreshing alcoholic beverage. After dinner I finished with one of my age old favourites, a margarita. This didn't disappoint. 

Having only sat in the Herb Garden (where we dined),  which is a stunning piece of private outdoor space in the midst of London, and the Living Wall Bar to enjoy an after dinner treat I can assure you that I will be back to try out the restaurant, Evoluzione. As the evenings get cooler I look forward to cosying up with a glass of red downstairs in the media room. For now while the sun is still gracing us with its presence I will be enjoying a refreshing glass of white on the roof top terrace which only recently opened. There aren't many places where you can have sophisticated dining, unwind with an excellent cocktail, and sit outdoors privately or on top of the building in London but Hotel Xenia is definitely where I would recommend doing any number of these pass times, if not all. This hotel mixes the history and grandeur of the building along side modern and contemporary chic interiors successfully. See below for pictures.

From my evening at the hotel and the experiences I had it is clear to me that everyone who works at Xenia takes great pride in their craft. Whether it is the owner's care for the modern yet comfortable decor or the waiter's pride in finding you your perfect cocktail, the service is exceptional. With 99 luxury guest rooms and the prime location Hotel Xenia is a wonderful place to stay for your city break, although you might just forget you're in the city!

The Location

The Inside

The Food and Drink

The Girls and Boys

Photo of head chef Andrea Angeletti courtesy of Hotel Xenia London

This entry was posted on Thursday, 14 August 2014 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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