The Aviary is an absolutely stunning venue on the 10th floor of the new Montcalm Royal London House Hotel in Finsbury Square.
You are greeted by a beautiful open air rooftop area with comfortable chairs and sofas and fantastic views over the City which will, no doubt, be popular in the summer months. Still absolutely worth a visit in the winter, as there are heaters on the terrace.
The restaurant (which is covered!) is stylish and modern with a bright atmosphere, without being too pretentious and an impressive central bar dividing the restaurant area from the bar lounge.
We started off with some cocktails – Not a cosmopolitan (sipsmith gin, st germain elderflower, mondino and lime) and a Jennings Steam Boat (santa teresa ciaro rum, pineapple, honey and lime) – both beautifully presented (mine was in a copper tankard!) and delicious. The cocktails are based around a botanic theme using natural ingredients.
One thing I noticed straight away was how professional and welcoming the staff were – our waitress helped me pick a cocktail and my main meal. They make you feel looked after without being overbearing, which sometimes is a fine line!
For starters we had the barbary duck, carrot, buckwheat, chervil root, black garlic, which was well presented and flavoursome.
For mains I had the butchers cut of the day which was lamb with some thrice cooked chips – I was told that the lamb came on the bone before I ordered so no surprises – a beautiful tender medium rare cut.
The other half had the loin of scottish red deer, bolognese, crosnes, quince, red wine jus, which was melt in your mouth and an interesting combination with the bolognese, which we think worked. The jus was also fantastic.
On to the dessert, we went for the custard tart with banana ice cream and the sticky toffee pudding with spiced apple, vanilla ice cream, and tonka crumble. The tart lacked flavour but the sticky toffee pudding with the crumble (great added touch) was delicious.
A lovely dining experience at the Aviary and a fantastic venue just for drinks too. Brilliant service and beautiful food. A three course meal for two with drinks is around £100 -120 but, for the service, views and quality of food, it is worth it.
Aviary is a clear rival for the fancier venues in the city, including Eight Bar and lounge and the South Place Hotel and is perfect for date night, corporate events or some drinks with friends.