It's the little things. Attention to detail is something we all appreciate, in any and every walk of life. But when it's offered in a swanky new restaurant and bar, with views so good and tables so well positioned you feel as though you're floating above the City's skyline – it's hard not to feel like the cat that got the cream.
14 Hills, Fenchurch Street's new tower-based venue, is the latest in a long list of esteemed favourites from food and drink powerhouse D&D London. (Others to note are 100 Wardour Street and Coq d'Argent.) And boy has the team come through with the goods.
The whole venue is an oasis of calm, and cool. Very cool. Its lush interiors resemble some kind of scene from Avatar – with green leaves, trees and flowers that seem almost computer-generated.
That the indoor wilderness seems to match the very modern, intimate and sleek setting so perfectly is an achievement in itself. From the bar to the dining area to the toilets – there's a whole host of vibes, all brought together through careful design and excellent mood lighting.
Being that this is the City, the bar is as much of a standout feature as the restaurant. With an extensive cocktail, wine, beer and champagne menu, there really isn't anything you can't ask for. (To prove that theory, my girlfriend ordered one of the only cocktails not on the menu – a Pornstar Martini – and the staff presented her with what she described as "one of the nicest pornstars she's ever had". Risky.)
The food menu is equally impressive. With starters, mains, sharers, grill options and dessert galore – there's, again, very little room to be disappointed. And with the kitchen being headed up by famed French chef Thomas Piat, offerings are amongst the best of British with a very welcome nod to Piat's home country. The result is, of course, tres bien.
If I could recommend two things that will change your entire 14 Hills experience, it would have to be the gratin dauphinoise (yes, it's a side but it's the best potato dauphinoise I've ever tasted and I could genuinely go again and eat nothing but it), and the apple and blackberry pie for dessert.
The pie comes with clotted cream ice cream and a raspberry jam, and is served warm and wrapped up in the most crumbly and delicious puff pastry artistry known to man (this man, anyway). Would recommend. A lot.
It's true, London is home to many sky-high restaurants and bars. All with unparalleled views, great food and excellent drinks. But something tells us that 14 Hills is going to, quite easily, establish itself as a rightful contender to some of the City's greats.
Watch this space – or better yet, go and check it out.
Ask for a table by the window. Trust us.
14th floor, 120 Fenchurch St EC3M 5BA, 14hills.co.uk