La Belle Époque is a hidden gem at London Heathrow Airport .
Easily missed by travellers rushing to their gate, the fine dining restaurant is located at Terminal five inside the five star luxury hotel Sofitel London Heathrow.
I luckily stumbled across the three AA rosette winning restaurant when I heard that it had launched a new spring menu and was intrigued by the Asian inspired European cuisine.
Head chef Mayur Nagarale has created a menu that takes the restaurant’s classic French influence and expertly blends it with light and fresh south Asian spicing and the finest British produce.
New dishes for the season include herb crusted monkfish fillet with Dorset crab, Thai spiced wild mushroom pie and assiette of lamb.
Seasonal, British-sourced ingredients dominate the menu, with elegant, colourful plating adding an additional important sensory dimension.
Chef Mayur said: "Spring is such an exciting season for the team in our kitchen, with a raft of light, fresh tastes, fragrances and vibrant colours serving as inspiration for a menu using the best produce nature’s larder has to offer.
"Our menu for the season has been designed to showcase these exceptional ingredients to the very best effect."
My mother and I experienced the seasonal delights lavishly by ordering the seven course tasting menu.
The sommelier was also able to show off his passion and knowledge for fine wine from around the globe as we indulged in the wine pairing option with our dinner.
As soon as we arrived at the super chic restaurant lined with stunning mirrors, charcoal leather banquette seating and rich plum-coloured fabrics, we were guided by a friendly waiter to our table next to the most magnificent water fountain.
The tranquil, unique setting was stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the airport.
It was as if we had magically jetted off to a boutique eatery on the other side of the world.
The luxurious tasting menu featured small yet perfectly executed dishes, each presented beautifully and using the most superb flavour combinations.
Among the savoury delights were roasted breast of Aylesbury duck with confit leg angolotti, roasted squash and galangal scented jus.
It was equisite. The rich, moist bird was cooked perfectly pink and the crispy leg was divine.
Another stand out dish had to be the smoked wood pigeon.
Served with an impressive confit hens egg yolk, sweetcorn and truffle, the pairing Burgundy pinot noir was a match made in heaven.
Each dish was presented on the most gorgeous ceramics and the sweet offerings were just as delightful as the savouries.
Marinated gariguette strawberry, pink peppercorns sorbet and basil was arranged idyllically on a huge round plate.
Fresh yet tangy, light but satisfying, the inquisitive flavours created an amazing sensation in my mouth.
Our second pudding was very different to our first.
Named 'dark chocolate terrine, orange and elderflower', it was decadently rich, sleek and sophisticated.
I can only describe the deluxe log and accompanying soil as an 'adult pud', for it was seductively indulgent, brilliantly bitter and dangerously moreish.
Plus for a touch of booze, it was matched with an incredibly sweet Sandeman Founders Reserve port from Portugal.
We rounded off our incredible gastronomic experience with creamy coffees and dainty petit fours.
We may not have jetted off to a tropical island when we visited Heathrow Airport, but we certainly had a taste of true bliss.
Price: Tasting menu costs £64 each, with wine pairing an additional £38 each
Telephone: 020 87577777
Dress code: Smart
Parking: Underground hotel car park on site