I was lucky enough to win a three-course meal for two at La Chappelle via a Bownty competition. Bownty in case you don’t know is an excellent service which sends you one e-mail with deals from all the daily deal sites, such as Groupon, KGB Deals, Amazon Local etc, in one handy e-mail. You can also customise it so that you only receive the deals your are interested in. Don’t want to know about beauty treatment deals? No problem just remove that category from the list and you won’t receive them in your mailbox. It makes the whole daily deals thing a LOT easier to manage that’s for sure. Anyway I digress!
Last Tuesday in the drizzling rain my friend Rebecca and I headed to the restaurant after work to indulge in a little bit of French fine dining. La Chapelle is the third restaurant opened by the Galvin brothers Chris and Jeff and is situated inside a beautiful converted Victorian school chapel with stunning high ceilings and wonderfully twinkly lights it was a breathtaking venue and definitely somewhere to impress.
I was quite early for our 6:30pm reservation but they were quite happy for me to prop up the bar. I showed off my complete lack of knowledge by asking if they had a white zinfandel rosé on the wine list but the bartender was more than helpful when I asked for the sweetest rosé they had available and the one he provided me to taste (sorry I didn’t think to get the name!) was delicious if a bit expensive – £11.50 is not a price I would usually pay for a glass but as drinks were the only thing I was paying for that evening it didn’t seem so bad. I was also provided with a small range of bar nibbles to keep me going until Rebecca arrived.
After we’d had a good natter about our day (read: bitching session about work) we were swiftly shown to our table and asked if we would like the glass of champagne that was included with the prize now or if we wanted to wait. Naturally we wanted it right there and then! It was a beautifully light bubbly champagne and exclusive to the Galvin brand of restaurants. We then settled down to peruse the menu and decide what to have!
For starter I had the Charentais melon & Bayonne ham with Castelanotti olive oil which was absolutely delightful. The melon was just the right ripeness and went beautifully with the ham. It was also a fairly substantial portion for a starter but I was more than capable of finishing at all as it was truly delicious.
I was less enamoured with the main of roast supreme of corn-fed chicken, parmesan gnocchi, spring vegetables & mushroom consommé that I chose finding the chicken to be quite a rubbery texture and the consommé extremely salty. I didn’t even come close to finishing this but after the starter I didn’t need to to feel satisfied. The gnocchi was my favorite part of this dish.
The highlight of the meal however was the pudding a buttermilk pannacotta with poached English strawberries & basil. It was creamy and smooth just like a good pannacotta should be with the strawberries just the perfect ripeness to boot. Despite the fact that I was struggling to finish it I made sure that I savoured each and every bite!
We decided against teas and coffees instead choosing to finish off our champagne and wine while we chatted some more but there was still more to come and we were presented with the cutest little dish of petit fours; almond biscotti, pistachio macarons and dark chocolate truffles. Now I’ve never had anything sweet that tastes of pistachio before as I find it an extremely odd combination and so wasn’t keen on the macaron (but not as much as Rebecca who actually has a vendetta against macarons!) but the biscotti and the truffles were to die for!
As if that wasn’t enough on our way out we were also presented with a small chocolate box with more complimentary truffles! Our meal was from the prix fixe menu which is priced at a very reasonable £24 for 2 courses or £29 for three although the a la carte is a bit more on the expensive side so probably best saved for a special occasion. The service was impeccable (if a little slow to begin with), we weren’t made to feel like we didn’t belong and the place had steadily filled up over the course of the evening so it’s evidently very popular. Incidentally Galvin La Chapelle is a 2014 Michelin star restaurant so this also means I’ve ticked off the first thing from my 30 by 30 list!
Galvin La Chappelle
35 Spital Square