We’re the first guests of the new season so the Veuve Clicquot is on ice. Just in time for sunshiny days, The Dorchester Rooftop has reopened for those who like to see the bigger picture, or at least take in a sweeping panorama of the better half of the Capital. We’re going up in the world: a lift to the ninth floor of the hotel opens into a former penthouse which is now a suite of lounges with pleated satin hung walls, deep pile carpet and velvet sofas. The Rooftop Restaurant sweeps around the lounges.
Lunch isn’t cheap, but what price decadence? Executive Chef Jean-Philippe Blondet and Head Chef Bastien Bertaina pass with flying colours: crushed olive amuse bouche; multicoloured seabass ceviche, citrus and cucumber; golden and silvered seabream, fennel and pastis; red berry vacherin. A jazz singer and keyboard player serenades us with “Georgia”, “Love is a Losing Game” and “Isn’t She Lovely”. Just as the waitress gleefully smashes the perfect meringue disc atop our pudding, the singer bursts into a timely rendition of “Oh Lovely Day”. Alfresco lunch reminds us of Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris except this time we’ve been elevated from courtyard to parapet.