With a car-mad four-year-old (and his daddy) in tow, there was always a chance that we were never actually going to make it into the restaurant when there is one of Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One racing cars in the foyer to drool over. But that’s just one of the unexpected delights of the Hilton on Park Lane – you never know just what – or who – you might bump into.
However, rumbling tummies and the promise of a children’s corner filled with fun activities won the day and we settled at our table for Sunday lunch. Located on the ground floor of this fine establishment, the Podium restaurant exudes a cool, calm and contemporary air – well, maybe not quite so calm in the children’s corner where a gaggle of children were blowing up balloons, then letting them whizz around the air. With a selection of books, games and activities, it also gives parents the chance to ponder the delights of the three-course buffet.
For starters, there’s a selection of about 30 salads – including green beans and potatoes, Niçoise and Greek salads – and you can go back for more if you’re hungry. The main course is served at your table. There’s lots of choice for adults, from Stilton tart to lamb, while child staples include chicken strips, fish fingers and macaroni.
We all plumped for the one dish that appeared on both menus: roast beef with Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes. To finish, the delectable desserts included tiramisu and crème brûlée and we all visited the dessert table a couple of times before heading off to Hyde Park to enjoy the sun.
Times: Sunday lunch at Podium is served from noon to 3pm.
Cost: The three-course buffet costs £30 per adult, £15 for under-12s and is free for under-fives.
Contact: tel: 020 7208 4022; www.podiumrestaurant.co.uk
Address: Podium Bar & Restaurant, London Hilton, 22 Park Lane, London W1K 1BE; nearest tube station, Hyde Park Corner