With Christmas now just days away, Theo Randall at the InterContinental is offering a seasonal gift with an Italian regional tasting menu.
Comprising four courses - including antipasto, primo, secondo and dolce - guests can sample the very best from the country alongside hand selected wine pairings.
Highlighting favoured producers and classic ingredients that have inspired the British chef on his travels throughout Italy over the last two decades, the menu is the epitome of luxury epicureanism.
The restaurant itself is located on the ground floor of the InterContinental London Park Lane – itself a bastion of respectable hospitality.
Blending the elegance of Mayfair and the glamour of Knightsbridge, while steeped in royal heritage, the property sits in one of most prestigious corners of the capital.
Inside, understated décor is matched with atmospheric lighting to create an informal, yet enticing, atmosphere.
Black-clad staff breeze around the 20 or so tables, while an imposing bar – packed to the ceiling with exotic drinks – looms enticingly in the background, packed with possibility.
While there have been reports of cancellations across the city in recent days, the venue was full during my visit earlier this week, with well-heeled guests enjoying the sumptuous delights.
Our first course was cocktails – with the menu offering a trusted selection of favourites.
A tasty Old Fashioned was surpassed only by a caper-infused gin Martini, packing as much punch as it did flavour.
With our palettes suitably festive, the tasting menu antipasto was carpaccio di manzo - delicately sliced beef fillet adorned in rich Italian parmesan and balsamic vinegar.
It melts in the mouth, lingering only a moment and is all the better paired with the floral aroma of the accompanying Pieropan, Soave Classico.
The menu is designed to take guests on a tour of Italy, with the primo dish – pappardelle con anatra – a feature of Tuscan culinary heritage.
Handcrafted pasta ribbons with a slow cooked duck ragu sauce and topped with shaved black winter truffles, it is surprisingly robust, offering a warm antidote to the cold outside.
It is paired with a weighty Selvapiana, Chianti Rufina with its full-bodied, blackberry notes.
Italian cuisine is so thoroughly ingrained in the landscape of the UK it can be difficult to shine, but Theo Randall and his team offer a reminder of just why we fell in love in the first place.
Faraona ripiena takes centre stage for the main, tender roasted guinea fowl stuffed with chestnut pancetta and rosemary.
It is served with braised winter greens and a rich Amarone sauce, and accompanied by Borgo Selene, Nero d’Avola/Nerello Mascalese.
Much juicer than chicken, the meat is beautifully tender, packed with flavour and a delight to eat.
Our meal finished with Italian Christmas favourite, baked Panettone bread pudding with vin Santo ice cream.
While many of the steps on this Italian journey might be familiar to visitors, each is prepared to the highest standards and would delight those who have tried them a hundred times.
The Christmas regional tasting menu is the perfect celebratory meal to enjoy with family and friends over the festive season.
New Year’s Eve at Theo Randall at the InterContinental
Guests can this year see in the new year at Theo Randall at the InterContinental, with a luxurious five course set menu.
Beginning with classic antipasti options from creamy fresh burrata with sweet and juicy marinated red peppers, moreish thinly sliced black Angus beef with refreshing zucchini, peppery rocket and aged parmesan are also an option.
For primi, guests can enjoy flavoursome traditional Italian dishes, from hand-crafted pasta with slow cooked veal and earthy Porcini mushrooms.
For secondi, enjoy a comforting Fontina cheese and squash soufflé to lean and buttery Aberdeen Angus beef fillet with celeriac and tangy cavolo nero.
Finish with rich and creamy Il Formaggio, a selection of the finest Italian cheeses or even a delectable selection of Dolci from Torta Caprese served with nutty roast almond ice cream.
The New Year’s Eve Menu is available from 20:30 to midnight of December 31st for £130.00 per person which includes the five-course set menu.
Theo Randall launched at the InterContinental London Park Lane in 2006 with a commitment to deliver rustic produce-driven Italian food.
His famed cooking earned him loyal followers and rave reviews from critics and food-lovers alike.
Find out more on the official website.