The new and striking Terminal 5 at Heathrow has some of the best shops around as well some as some good restaurants. They range from the casual and humble sandwich bars to the refined dining venues such as Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant which offers a classic dining experience as well as take-away meals for in-flight enjoyment. Yes, plenty of delicious food at the Terminal and The Hilton outside!
Holidaymakers on the way out or on the way into the UK, and businessmen who need a well-equipped base with good transport connections to central London. Hilton Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 could well fit the bill for both workers and wanderers alike; the Hilton also offers easy access to the M4 and M25.
This particular Hilton isn’t at the terminal but it’s associated with it and just a short distance away. Shuttle buses provide transport every half hour or so for travellers. It’s a quiet location with plenty of parking. We only noticed one flight over the hotel: not sure if that has to do with the benefits of double glazing or advantageous flight paths but we had an undisturbed rest. That is always welcome when one is travelling, and a necessity if one is expected to conduct business.
This Hilton offers 929 sq m of flexible conference space, specifically designed to cater for global conferences, business meetings and events for up to 1170 guests. The Fitness Centre by Precor® will appeal to many who have “enjoyed” a transatlantic flight, or you might simply relax and unwind in the luxury spa with sauna and steam room.
There is a business centre with the latest in audiovisual equipment, and also an Executive Lounge which offers light snacks and drinks from early morning till late night. Less formal that the two restaurants, it’s ideal for colleagues to catch up on the day’s projects or have breakfast while leafing through the newspapers.
It’s a new hotel and striking. The huge, imposing and galleried reception area reminds one more of The Guggenheim in New York with curved whiteness and sweeping stairs. A coffee bar provides a casual seating area for meeting and greeting but you will likely be more interested in the quiet comfort of your private quarters.
All suites and guest rooms are fitted and fixed with roomy beds, cool linen, covetable bath products, flat-screen TVs and all the luxury one would expect. Attractive muted colours and artwork reminding one that this is Greater London help to create a relaxing bolt-hole for the weary. Not really surprising, this is the Hilton.
Enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail in one of the two stylish bars before having dinner at either of the restaurants at the Hilton. Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen is the finest of Indian fine dining and is the eponymous restaurant of Cyrus Todiwala, one of the UK’s most celebrated chefs. This evening we chose The Gallery restaurant which is situated on the mezzanine floor and is truly a gallery over that aforementioned lofty reception.
The Gallery is a counterpoint to the exotic style of Mr Todiwala’s. It’s a vision of teak-coloured wood and some rather delightful sofas strewn with cushions that will have you lingering over the British-inspired menu – plenty to entice even the most conservative of eaters. The guests are from every corner of the world but are mostly from the US, and those visitors enjoy the superbly cooked meats and fish that reflect the best that’s available in the UK.
We ordered a cold meat platter and a pork rillette platter. They were both generous boards of food to graze on whilst sipping a glass of chilled crisp white. The potted pork was chunkier than I would have expected from a rillette and that made the starter more substantial and more flavoursome. Rillette is more often a meat paste and seldom bears any resemblance to the original joint in either taste or texture. Executive Chef Paul Danabie presented a pork dish that had real porcine punch. The board of cold cuts showcased some British fare that was the equal of the meats from the Continent. A garnish of traditional yellow piccalilli and some grilled bread completed this spread.
My guest loves duck in all its guises so he chose from the Spit Roast section on the menu and ordered Gressingham duck, which was cooked to succulent pink but without being bloody. Yes, I have heard that some folks like their duck oozing red but I am not keen. This duck was deliciously done, and was accompanied by fondant potatoes with a crusty outside and a fluffy interior.
There are some Trolley Specials on the menu and these add theatre to your evening. They are dishes that will be tossed and tweaked in front of you before serving. I was looking for something warming and comforting, and lingered over the list of Casserole dishes. Lots here for those with hollow legs: Braised Lamb Shanks or Flank of Beef in Dorset Ale would fill those gaps, but I wanted light and healthy fare and I was drawn to the Casserole of Daily British Fish and Shellfish.
This should surely be a signature dish. Its classy presentation in an individual copper pot leads the diner to expect something rather good …and this was. Chunks of delicately grilled salmon floated along with cod and mussels and prawns in a light broth. A side dish of steamed broccoli and new potatoes made this a sustaining yet guilt-free option.
Desserts here are traditional and sensible. If you only have a little room then go for the Cambridge Burnt Cream which is the English equivalent of the French crème brulée. Paul presents the cream in a wide shallow dish which allows for a greater ratio of crunchy caramel topping to smooth, sweet and silky cream. This is served with tangy lemon shortbread.
You will likely want some wine with or after your meal and there is a solid bistrot-style list of wines and spirits on offer. Lots by the glass but there is also a trolley which offers tasters from a selection of vintages so you can sample before settling on your favourite. I notice that they also have dessert wine by the glass, which is always an attractive proposition when one needs something sweet but dessert would be too much volume.
The new Hilton Terminal 5 is fresh, bright and well designed. It’s also cosy and tasty and that’s enough to assure the return of those looking for both comfort and amenity. There are lots of airport hotels but this Hilton is up there with the best.
Dress Code: smart casual
Children are welcome in The Gallery when accompanied by an adult.
Every day: 6:30-22:30
Hours of Operation
High-speed wired and wireless internet access
Audio/visual equipment rental
Business phone service
Faxing, copying and scanning services
Video conferencing available
15 Meeting Rooms
Seating upto 1056
Largest room 8867 m2
350 Guest Rooms
Hilton London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
Colnbrook SL3 0FF, United Kingdom
Phone +44 (0)1753 686860
Visit this Hilton here
Hotel review by Chrissie Walker © 2018