I love local and seasonal food that is true to its origins and changes with the season. There is a shooting season for everything, pheasant, partridge, grouse, duck, goose, coot, moorhen, deer and even geese.
Anyone following me for a while, knows that I have tried my hand at shooting and thoroughly enjoyed it (shooting clay pigeons), however if it were down to my ability to catch my own food, then I would go pretty hungry.Therefore I jump at any chance to eat fresh game from someone else's endeavours.
So when The Park Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge made contact and asked if I would like to try their autumn hunting Game Menu paired with Dalmore Whiskies, I was keen to tantalise my taste buds.
I was very thankful that Executive Head Chef, Pascal Proyart was willing to cook for me, and is partial to a bit of shooting himself.
The reputation of the Hyde Bar precedes itself as one of only a few bars in London to serve the finest whiskies and cigars.
Now that's quite the drinks collection is it not. The interior of the hotel is also elegantly beautifully with wood panelling, plush leather chairs and their own in house pianist.
As you know most hotels generally disappoint me on the food front. Mainly I think because they have to cater on mass to so many diners, food is often either boring or sounds much better on paper than what is delivered. Recently though I have found a few hidden London foodie gems in hotels where the food excels.
Sitting down, a cursory glance over the menu tells me I am in for a treat, with lots of food that I would happily eat.
For my starter I opt for Game Pâté - with pickled mushrooms and blueberry compote, served with toasted sourdough bread (£14).
The game pâté was the perfect combination of meats, a wonderful texture and rich taste. The sourdough had a wonderful smokiness and the blueberry compote gave a superb tartness to balance out the richness.
To accompany the game dishes is a selection of Dalmore whiskies. Now I cannot profess to be a great Whisky drinker, so the idea of matching the food with Whisky was an interesting one. However the male counterparts in my family love whisky, so maybe a taste for it runs in my blood.
The Dalmore Cigar Malt Reserve Whisky was poured as the perfect accompaniment with the pâté.
Surprisingly this Whisky was a great pairing the smoky and sherry like tones complemented the game perfectly.
Picking the main meal was slightly more challenging there was loads on the menu that we both wanted to try and it doesn't help sitting next to someone who also wants what you want on the menu. So we decided that we would both choose something different and share.
The roasted Duck breast with confit leg, parsnips, green peppercorn and lime sauce (£20).
Where can I start, this was absolutely delicious the duck was cooked to perfection, the parsnip mash with its creaminess was the perfect accompaniment with the tartness of the lime sauce.
This was a difficult meal to share I would have happily fought my other half to have consumed it all.
However don't feel too bad I don't think I really lost out.
The matching King Alexander III whisky with the duck was made the flavour of the duck more prominent. The whisky has a wonderful caramel and berry taste this was for me the better whisky of the two. It matched the food perfectly.
Vanilla Cheesecake and British Strawberries (£10). Now for me the way that this was described does not do the dessert justice. The cheesecake was wonderfully creamy, perfect crunchy base and the strawberry sauce wonderfully natural in taste, genuine strawberry. Delicious.
Now my eyes are seriously too big for my belly. I opt for a selection of four cheeses, quince jelly, fig chutney and crusty bread (£15).
The selection of cheeses had a good mix of soft, strong and more milder cheeses in flavour. The fig chutney and walnut bread for me was the perfect partners in crime.
A truly wonderful meal. I was in two minds about sharing this place for fear of not getting a table at my new found favourite bar.
The food in the Hyde Bar is of exceptional quality and the atmosphere of the bar a personal preference to a stuffy restaurant any day. The food speaks for itself. I also might now me a convert to whisky, well Dalmore anyway.
The Hyde Bar Game Menu will be available from Tuesday 14th October 2014 until Friday 30th January 2015.
Right next door to the Hyde bar is Harvey Nichols and upon exiting the restaurant I couldn't help but take some pictures of the superb Christmas window displays that are truly spectacular. So feast your eyes on a couple of these pics.
*I was kindly a guest of The Park Tower Knightsbrige, however in no way did that affect this review I had a superb evening, in wonderful surrounding and even better food.