After seeing the matinee performance of Cinderella at the London Palladium, Ann and I wanted to do something festive. As we were on Oxford Street, we liked the sound of the John Lewis winter rooftop pop-up bar and restaurant but it was fully booked, so we settled for Selfridges “Forest on the Roof”:http://www.forest-restaurant.co.uk/ bar and restaurant.
We were a little early and killed time by look round each floor on our way up. However, at the fourth floor we were told we’d have to go back down to the ground to get the express lift to the fifth floor: we should have checked the email confirmation which clearly told us this.
Getting out of the express lift, we wandered down a short ‘tunnel’ lined with sparkly tree trunks and bedecked with glitter balls of all sizes which wouldn’t have looked out of place on Strictly Come Dancing. It looked promising and after checking our reservation, we were asked to wait in the bar for a few minutes before being shown to our table.
This is when the disappointment kicked in. For some reason, both of expected something smaller and more festive and wintry. What we got was a huge restaurant set under a long, narrow awning with a roll down transparent screen to protect tables from the elements. In the main area, tables looked cramped together but we were shown to a table for two set down a corridor opposite the long kitchen. There were no festive decorations and what I can only describe at techno disco music blaring out with a draught coming through the awning. There was no city-scape view as such, but we could make out a well-lit ferris wheel at the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
The drinks “menu”:http://www.forest-restaurant.co.uk/menus/Forest_Menu_Wines_WINTER.pdf was clearly priced with wine available in different sizes – 175ml/250ml/500ml/Bottle. We decided on a half carafe of chardonnay (£20) whilst deliberating what to do. The wine was pretty good and so we plumped for a “winter cabin Swiss cheese fondue with garlic toast” for £8 with the waitress suggesting an extra portion of toast for £1.50. When it arrived, it was actually delicious with a ramekin full of gloriously gooey cheese. The oily focaccia toast strips were firm and scooped up the cheese beautifully. Melted cheese and bread can quickly fill you up and so we decided to end our night after a quick look around the beauty counters on the ground floor.
The “food”:http://www.forest-restaurant.co.uk/menus/Forest_Menu_a_la_carte.pdf redeemed our visit but it’s not somewhere I’d recommend as the main courses are expensive (ranging from £14 for a burger to £26 for organic salmon and clams) and the lack of atmosphere lets it down completely.