Luxury Hotels


Oh what a difference a view makes, and Scott Paterson, chef at Ting, on the 35th floor of SHANGRI-LA AT THE SHARD, LONDON, capitalises on the view down to the Thames, far below. The restaurant’s pastry chefs produce a dessert, above, that is a replica of Renzo Piano’s shard-shaped building. The Italian architect’s masterpiece soars up 310 metres. This chocolate mousse is small enough to come on a billow of dry ice. Floating above the clouds.

Ting is full both main meals, and we all know how difficult it is to get people into hotel dining venues, especially middle of the day. Ting’s view helps, and so does service, and the food. Girlahead lunched off salmon tataki and black miso cod, choices that allowed the kitchen to add flavour (which they did, magnifcently) to apparently ‘safe’ dishes.

At WSB, formerly known as W SOUTH BEACH on Miami Beach, its Restaurant W South Beach is similarly updated, as RWSB. Food is under the care of Miami-based KNR Hospitality Group, and naturally there are, fortunately, several old favourites on the menu. Prosciutto di Parma is ‘safe’. ‘House made’ burrata is not. How can burrata, that treasure product that ideally comes from buffalo living free be made inhouse? Here also is what is becoming the Italian winner of 2023, Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe, pasta with salt and pepper. It seems to be on every menu – Girlahead last had one at Pampero in THE HARI LONDON, where it was dramatically presented in a near-empty parmesan wheel. It was delicious, and the spaghetti was not overcooked as so often sadly is the case.

Talking of Italian, FOUR SEASONS FLORENCE is getting back into its culinary stride with new chef Paolo Lavezzini, a former footballer. Despite the image of the Four Seasons brand, the hotel’s Summer-long terrace is humble enough to offer such traditional-Italian as cabbage risotto. This appears on the menu alongside something-for-everyone suggestions. Girlahead applauds the way simple Josper Grill steaks are marketed by breed, Limousin from his home area, Emilia Romagna; German Scottona Bavarese and Spanish Galega, Spagna – all for two, with potatoes and green salad.

Good food, and believable. Let’s listen to this week’s PODCAST: