In “one of Kensington’s loveliest streets”, this quiet townhouse is a “hidden gem of romance and intimacy”; after a chef change this year, however, reports are very up-and-down, and we’ve felt it best to leave it unrated.
STOP PRESS: Tristan Welch left the restaurant in January 2012. He is replaced by Timothy Allen.
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A former Duke of Devonshire once observed that he was the only person he knew who woke up every morning with nothing at all to complain about, save possibly the fact that he had nothing in the worl...
Press Reviews (11)
Jay Rayner (6th October 2008)
A rather up-and-down review of the long-established Kensington restaurant, now run by the D&D group, and with a chef (Tristan Welch) drawn from the restaurant now called Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley. Service is “savvy”, though, and the cooking, if rather inconsistent, is “worth watching”.
Susan Low (11th July 2008)
Bizarrely late in the day, TO gets round – three months on – to reviewing the D&D group’s relaunch of this Kensington townhouse classic, which has “shed its former dowdiness for a sultry, chic elegance”, and where “[b]oth menu and chef have changed too”. Now, there’s a surprise. Everything about the visit pleases, and the critic leaves feeling “cosseted and pampered”.
Matthew Norman (9th June 2008)
The critic visits a “nook-and-crannyish” Kensington room that “has been done out in Green & Black's dark-chocolate brown, the flower displays are glorious and the banquettes incredibly comfortable”. “It's a touch dated, in a 2004 edition of Wallpaper* kind of way”, he concludes, “but inoffensive and relaxing for all that”.
Giles Coren (28th May 2008)
The Times’s man notes that it’s only in the last year or so we’ve all had to start giving our first names, in the American style, when we book restaurants. (A particular irritation, as he says, for those who have to dine under pseudonymns).
Zoe Williams (19th May 2008)
The critic finds this Kensington back street restaurant “much better value” in its new guise, and she’d have been in 7/10 territory until some disappointing puds. “I still say it's worth a look, but mainly if you're likely to be pleased at how unlike it used to be it now is.”
Marina O'Loughlin (24th April 2008)
“From the moment I phone to book, I'm love-bombed … The food is a terrific collision of finesse and fun and the environment is luxurious and cosseting. Really, what more could you want?” – the top and tail of this review of the recent D&D relaunch of the Kensington institution tell you everything you need to know about it.
Jasper Gerard (15th April 2008)
Visiting this relaunched Kensington restaurant, the critic finds himself “missing” the old place, whose “intimacy” has been lost. His meal is very up-and-down, and he discerns “just the faintest hint that Welch has set out to box-tick his way to Michelin glory”.
Terry Durack (7th April 2008)
The Independent on Sunday's man seems to have been to a different restaurant from the one AA Gill visited. In fact, he checks out both Launceston Place and its sibling Kensington Place. He finds “two icons of the 1980s... back, and better than they have been for some time, with cooking that has something I was not expecting: real personality”.
AA Gill (7th April 2008)
Musings on pennywort take up much of the critic's review of D&D's relaunch of this Kensington back street restaurant. He concludes that it is “a restaurant that wants to be taken seriously by the sort of people who take restaurants seriously”.
Fay Maschler (20th March 2008)
The Conran interior of this relaunched Kensington backstreet restaurant – run by the restaurant group now called D&D London – is, Ms Maschler notes, “a uniform shade of a particularly unforgiving dark brown”: “what the locals in this Kensington backwater will make of the spotlit starkness of a place where they once enjoyed cosiness remains to be discovered”.
Jan Moir (13th March 2008)
The critic is bowled over by the D&D (fka Conran) group’s revamp of this Kensington townhouse restaurant, which a young ex-Petrus chef (Tristan Welch) “has turned… into one of the most exciting new places to eat in London” (as we suggested was likely to be the case in our 6 March news item).