Gillray’s is a steakhouse with a view. Its prime location across from the Palace of Westminster on the southern side of the river is one reason for a visit.

The other reason for a visit is of course the steak, and for this reason alone we decided to give this grandiose steak house a try. The restaurant is located in the former County Hall building as part of the Marriott Hotel. The hotel entrance courtyard sets the scene for what follows as a grand affair, the hotel lobby and entrance to the restaurant is a beautiful honey coloured wooden interior. Expressing the subdued, English opulence of the hotel and the location.

The restaurant has a great bar, which on a Tuesday night was not jumping, but is an ideal place to begin the evening and take in the location. There are plenty of chesterfield sofas for larger groups and more intimate tables for couples. The bar offers a great range of cocktails and specialises in Gin with over 100 different batches on offer, just don’t ask for the Monkey 47 (the only one on the list they didn’t have!).

The restaurant has a grand sense of style that befits the building it occupies, with the curved dining room facing out over the water with views of both Parliament and the London eye. The decor is much as the rest of the ground floor with warm wood paneling and a herringbone parquet floor with a modern twist on the furniture.

It has a broad menu including fish and non steak mains (which is all we need to say on the matter). It does have a good range of steaks including a 300g Fillet, a 400g T-bone, a 250/300g Sirloin, a 250/300g Rib eye and a monumental 1kg Bull’s head cut (a rib eye butterflied) for the hungry/brave. There are the usual sides with the triple cooked truffle and rosemary chips and the spinach with lemon and chilli standing out from the norm. The puddings range from a traditional English cheese board featuring the award winning Yorkshire blue, to a sherry trifle and a chocolate volcano pudding. The sherry trifle was a pudding that came with an introduction, with the waiter giving us a demonstration on how best to tackle the dessert! It was well worth the speech…

All in all this is great restaurant in a part of town that is lacking in high end steak houses. The service on the night was excellent given we were a group of nine. The thing that let the evening down were the steaks, which is unforgivable for a steak house. The two T-Bones, both ordered medium rare, came in well done. The fillets were tasty but not amazing, which is unfortunate given the high expectation. We were joined in the restaurant that night by former British tennis champion, Tim Henman, I’m sure he also appreciated the service… A great venue, unfortunately let down by the steaks. Did we mention the view?

Venue: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Steaks: 5/10

An overdone 6/10