Caterer loves… Dining rooms with a view

27 April 2006
Caterer loves… Dining rooms with a view

Living the high life will take on a whole new meaning next month with the opening of the revamped Galvin at Windows. Dining rooms with a view are evidently back in vogue as May also sees the opening of Tamesa on the second floor of London's Oxo Tower.

Few places offer really amazing views, but there are some gems across the country not to be missed. As Tamesa proves, you don't need to be on the top floor of the highest tower to benefit from wonderful views.

Galvin at Windows is on the 28th floor of the London Hilton Park Lane, and gives customers views over Hyde Park and most of west London. Tamesa, on the other hand, looks out over the river and offers a more intimate backdrop.

It's difficult to pinpoint why a great view makes such a difference to a dining experience, but Dominic Ford, previously in charge of the eighth-floor restaurant in the tower, but now running Tamesa, had a go: "It's the additional ambience that the view gives. When the tide is in you really feel as if the boats are part of the space. It's almost as if there's an animated wall running down one side of the restaurant. It's great for people working there and it's got to be better than slaving in a basement."

City-wide panoramas may be considered the pinnacle of great views by some, but watery vistas are favoured by others. Lucky diners at the Langdale Chase hotel in the Lake District can gaze out over Lake Windermere during dinner. For seaside views it's hard to beat the peaceful scenes over Porlock Bay enjoyed by diners and residents at Andrews on the Weir, Porlock Weir, Somerset.

For those preferring a country view, a trip to the clubhouse at St Andrews Bay in Fife should satisfy. Perched on a cliff top overlooking the fairway is a great place to enjoy tee for two.

If it's the convenience of the city with a view of the country you want, then the Tenth at the Royal Garden, with Kensington Palace Gardens 10 floors below and London's tallest landmarks beyond, is a great compromise.

Alix Young

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