Bring On the Skylon (SE1 8XX)

Skylon

There could be no better treat than watching a winter afternoon fade over the Thames from a table at Skylon. The multitude of issues the restaurant faced after opening have also faded, and the result is an excellent dining experience.

I recently went with two colleagues after avoiding the restaurant when it opened in March because of poor - no, ghastly - reviews.

And while the space is still a bit loud, that was really our only complaint. Of course, the three-course menu has also increased in price almost £10 since opening, but if that has brought the improvements, then it's well worth it.

After being given a table by the window (a nice surprise since we hadn't requested it), we started our afternoon of leisurely dining, assisted by the friendly, helpful staff. We were even visited by the Finnish chef, who'd been summoned by a Finnish-speaker in our group so he could get some practice.

We were pleased with our starters (two of us had crab and the third had the interesting and very successful combination of squid and ham). Even the herbed bread was delicious enough for seconds.

For mains we had the signature halibut with artichokes (perfect), the lamb (a few too few vegetables but otherwise good) and another interesting combo of pork belly with lobster (a few too few bites of lobster but again, very good).

Desert also didn't disappoint, with two of us going basic (bread and butter pudding, which was small, elegant and fabulous) and the third making up for it with Crepes Suzette (prepared at the table and as good as she'd hoped).

Three hours, eight petits fours and £200 later we left, very satisfied and not alarmingly full.

But maybe that's what happens when lunch takes up a whole afternoon.