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“'Not what it's cracked up to be'” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Greenhouse

The Greenhouse
27A Hay's Mews | Mayfair, London W1J 5NY, England (Mayfair / St James's / Piccadilly / Green Park )
020 7499 3331
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Ranked #522 of 18,011 Restaurants in London
Price range: $54 - $140
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Neighborhood: Mayfair / St James's / Piccadilly / Green Park 
Description: Escape to an elegant, peaceful setting at the heart of Mayfair, where The Greenhouse serves a Michelin star accredited combination of modern French and European cuisine, accompanied by an extensive wine list of over 3,400 labels. Internationally renowned, The Greenhouse is one of only four restaurants in the world to win the Wine Spectator Grand Award since 2005, the highest award given for an exceptional wine list. Crafted by Head Chef Arnaud Bignon, the seasonal menus change regularly to showcase the finest and freshest ingredients of the season, highlighting a well-balanced approach to flavour and presentation. Diners can also sample the highest quality artisan cheeses, sourced from small farm producers, primarily located in France. For further luxury, The Greenhouse offers a private dining area for up to 10 guests, featuring a view of the restaurant and curtains to draw for a more intimate experience.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“'Not what it's cracked up to be'”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

A meal for 2 cost over £400 with a glass of champagne costing £22. We had the seasonal tasting menu £110 plus £70 each for the wine accompaniments. At least 3 courses were composed of foam which Is not a personal favourite. The servings were quite small and although tasty were not overly spectacular. There was a definite over-reliance on foam and the rather passé smear across plate with some jellified blobs which were slightly indifferent in flavour. Extras prove costly and I felt there was a certain pressure from zealous staff to have aperitif, tea or coffee, cocktail, wine, water, digestif and cheese plate. It was difficult to carry on a conversation with my colleague at times as we were constantly interrupted by waiters explaining next course or asking if we wanted something extra. I know it is all about business and making money but I didn't expect it to be so overwhelmingly transparent to the point that it began to detract from the experience and irritate me. I would not say the food was bad, but it was not as nice an overall experience as I've had elsewhere. Some of the food was obviously prepared in advance and constructed to order and therefore slightly less freshly prepared than you would expect. I've certainly eaten better elsewhere and for me they sacrificed food quality for the customary drama and synchronised service we are now used to. It's supposed to be a bit of a performance but for me this is all getting a bit silly and I'd rather have a damn good plate of food than all the theatre-because believe me you pay for that too!! I like good food, cooked in an honest way and with the customer's enjoyment being the first priority. I don't mind paying for extras but this was a money making machine at work, lacked value for money and left you feeling slightly gullible after the fact. No, I won't return here because food elsewhere is much better and I hate leaving a restaurant feeling that that they were only interested in divesting me of the contents of my wallet!!!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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292 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
London
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“This restaurant is spectacular in all aspects”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

We went to Greenhouse for my best friend's 40th birthday.
It is an oasis of tranquility in Mayfair.
The beauty of the tree lined entrance with decking and small statues makes one feel at peace immediately.
The staff were absolutely brilliant in terms of friendliness and service.
We originally went for the 3 course set lunch with coffee and choices of starters and mains.
This is superb value for £29.00 per head.
As it was a special occasion, however, we chose from the A la Carte.
After amazing appetisers, my friend and I both chose separate starters.
The waiter asked who was having which starter and upon hearing that we were going to share, they actually brought us each starter separately in generous half portions.
Amazing experience.
The fish mains we had were both delectable, accompanied by a delicious array of vegetables.
Before dessert, we were presented with an unbelievable selection of cheeses from the sumptuous cheeseboard.
Almost magical crispy biscuits and the freshest selection of breads were on offer.
My friend's dessert then arrived with the beautiful touch of a single lit candle and a happy birthday inscription, tastefully italicised on the dessert plate.
The array of coffees was superb and the call for a taxi met with an instant arrival.
The staff, presentation and delivery of the food was faultless.
We have visited Michelin 2* restaurants all over the world, and by comparison, Greenhouse matches and supersedes anywhere else we have ever been.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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sadell
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“mystical”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

A meal at the greenhouse is certainly a unique experience.I have to admit that I consider myself to be a dedicated foodie. I love to eat at fine restaurants and cook for hours and here the attention to detail is remarquable, the atmosphere unassuming, cosy and intimate and the food, for the most part, delicious. The meal is expensive, and sets an expectation that it doesn't quite achieve. Over and above the quality of the food and service (on par with many top restaurants), what you are paying a premium for is teh chef's creativity (every dish is truly original) and his brand.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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london
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“something wrong with michelin”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

I have been eating in restaurants everywhere in the world and i can tell you that most of the time the michelin star rating system is pretty accurate but Greenhouse is an exception to this rule ! This is a gross mistake - this restaurant should have 2 stars easily - i have been visiting for a few years now and it stands at 1 star - it is much better than many other 2 starts I know in london.
Also it has the richest and most diverse wine list I know of in london (even better than gavroche which does mainly french wines)

I advise this restaurant for people who enjoy their food and wine -

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Expensive and disappointing so not in agreement with previous reviews”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2013

All reviews are highly personal but I thought the previous reviews were not well balanced. Yes well worth a try …but I do not think I would want to go back unless to impress a Japanese client. That said I am trying to balance the previous glowing reviews. Some will love this dining experience.

Second, it is all too easy not to find it. Locals seem to be used to people walking straight past. Look for a tree jutting out of the North side of Hay’s Mews, a few yards before the Western end of the Mews. Once you see many garage entrances, you have gone past it.

Third, this is in the same price range as The Fat Duck, Waterside Inn, Restaurant Gordon Ramsey, Square or Ledbury. In other words with one half a bottle of wine per person expect to pay at least £150 per head. Possibly more.

Atmosphere. Wonderful and indeed magical entrance. Oasis is correct. The restaurant is not that big but is quite intimate. I liked it. Is it romantic? Yes definitely. Is it easy to have discrete business conversations? Yes.

Staff and service were impeccable - unobtrusive and efficient but the restaurant was not full.

Food. The marketing material specifies French. To be exact: “…acclaimed light touch with highly flavoured dishes brings a thrilling dimension to classic French cuisine”. However, this is a predominantly fish restaurant with a slightly Mediterranean flair. Not so much French but definitely Nouvelle Cuisine and smallish dishes beautifully arranged. However, I always feel hungry after such dishes. This was no exception. Lots of amuse-bouches during the meal and many petits fours at the end. Vegetarians can be catered for with both a tasting or a la carte menu. The menu is not particularly long. In terms of style and taste this is closer to the Fat Duck than, say Le Gavroche.

Wine: incredibly long and full list. Though surprisingly this is a personal list – too me it was not particularly well stocked though. For example none of the famous Provençale labels were stocked. Do ask for help and the sommelier will readily provide it.

One reviewer said she would be sure meat dishes would be just as good. If you don’t try something you can’t really comment – it is just speculation. Our meat dishes had a mixed reception and not as good as the fish dishes.

Some of the dishes can be very garlicky – too much even if one is a fan. The food is not to everyone’s taste. I didn’t enjoy any of the three courses or the amuse-bouches or even the desert. That said others in my party did and some were undecided.

Summary: so lovely entrance but the food was a bit of a let down. Good for fish lovers and those who want a nouvelle cuisine experience. Very expensive. Service impeccable. However, none of the London reviews on the internet put this is in the top/best 10 restaurants though from a price viewpoint it certainly comes close.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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