The Northall review: Brilliant service, hearty British cuisine in a grand Victorian dining room
The Northall is an upmarket restaurant in the five-star Corinthia Hotel in Westminster. Located on Northumberland Avenue, just a stone’s throw from Embankment tube station, the Victorian building started life as a hotel, before becoming government offices, and reverting back to a hotel in 2011.
The Northall restaurant is located in the south-east corner of the building, with lofty windows giving a glimpse of the River Thames. The huge ceilings are held up by imposing white columns, giving the room a feeling of grandeur. While the windows, columns and stucco work on the ceiling throws back to the hotel’s Victorian origins, the room is brought into the 21st century with huge, dramatic, contemporary chandelier -esque lighting and jet black tables.
I have been to the Northall for dinner twice – in February 2012 and more recently, last week. On both occasions, my party were celebrating a birthday. Last week, a female friend and I booked the set theatre menu, which includes three courses and a glass of Laurent Perrier champagne for £30. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the friendly host, who showed us to our table – a comfortable brown armchair for me and a plush sofa on the room’s curved walls for my friend. We hadn’t seen the contents of the theatre menu before arriving at the restaurant and were pleased with the choice. We had a few questions about the menu and were given informative answers by the helpful waiting staff.
To start, I had a Fresh Pea and Mint Soup, which was a generous portion and tasted lovely with the warm, fresh bread accompaniment. My friend ordered the Pressed Ham Hock with Piccalilli and really enjoyed it. For our mains, I opted for the Cornish Cod with Mussel and Squid Fregola Pasta with a side order of mashed potato and spinach. Despite the three different fish and seafood, the dish didn’t tasty too ‘fishy’ and was filling and tasty. My friend ordered the Risotto of Butternut Squash and Red Wine with Rocket Fritters. She found the dish delicious, but incredibly filling.
Although I didn’t finish my main because I was feeling so full, I managed to find a bit of room (always!) for dessert. I had the Open Jaffa Cake with Mandarins and Chocolate, which was soft, full of flavour and quite decadent. As I have a sweet tooth, I easily managed to eat the whole thing. My friend opted for the Syllabub, Cherry Compote and Sugared Almonds, which she really liked.
Overall, the service, food, ambiance and presentation were great. Hence why I have now been to the Northall twice. As well as the restaurant, there is also a neighbouring bar, which does a good cocktail and wine menu. The theatre menu is a particularly good deal to get high quality food at an accessible price.
Thanks to my friend Amy Lorna for the kind use of some of her photos.
- The Northall, Corinthia Hotel London, 10 Northumberland Avenue, Westminster, WC2N 5AE. Nearest tube: Embankment, Charing Cross or Westminster. For more information and booking, visit the Northall website.
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