Restaurant Review: Galvin La Chapelle, Spital Square in London
Heritage lives within the walls of fine dining French restaurant Galvin La Chapelle. Situated within the grandeur of a prominent building, tucked behind Liverpool Street Station, a visit to this fancy French spot hints at the history of the building and how it became what it is today.
Having opened in late 2009, Galvin La Chapelle is the third restaurant opened by gourmand brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin and today has been acclaimed as amongst the Top 10 French Restaurants by Bookatable diners, in the Top 50 Restaurants in London and was included in TimeOut’s Recommended list for 2017. Wind back a few years and things weren’t always so exemplary. Originally built in 1890 as a girls’ school, in 1975 it became derelict and was saved from demolition when locals staged a sit in protest and chained themselves to the gates to deter bulldozers.
This passion taken to save the building channels into the kitchen today at Galvin La Chapelle. With desire to offer high quality cuisine, served in luxurious surroundings by warm, hospitable and professional front of house the concept here, as it does throughout the Galvin collection of restaurants, revolves around family. This also translates into the design whereby the Galvin family were highly involved in creating the aesthetic which showcases the building’s original woodwork in the ceiling and the granite pillars.
Keeping up with modern day dining whilst adding their French flair, Galvin La Chapelle has applied its fine-dining expertise to a new seven course gourmand menu especially designed for vegetarians and vegans that complements the standard fine French meat and fish dishes that has established the restaurant. I bring along a vegetarian friend who is thrilled to have as much choice as I do. Maintaining a high quality, dishes within this new meat free menu include heritage beetroot and raspberry, radish and gingerbread and hazelnuts, tagine of spring vegetables, couscous, confit lemon and harissa sauce and apple tarte Tatin with Normandy crème fraîche.
Jeff Galvin outlines: “In the past we’ve seen a few dishes on menus that cater for vegetarians or vegans, but nothing quite like an entire tasting menu designed specifically around these requirements. At La Chapelle we are determined to make the dining experience spectacular for all customers, and with a growing number of guests requesting both vegetarian and vegan options we decided to create something special that is both aesthetically appealing as well as delicious.”
In line with the launch of this new menu, the Galvin brothers are also looking at the wider picture and have gone green across their portfolio of restaurants offering biodegradable straws partnered with local produce and wine on tap to reduce glass bottle usage which comes in the form of a James Bond style hand held enomatic wine dispenser.
Galvin La Chapelle: www.galvinrestaurants.com/s/61/galvin-la-chapelle, 35 Spital Square London E1 6DY 020 7299 0400