RestaurantsLondonKensingtonW8

survey result

Summary

£95
 ££££
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Have never had a bad meal over the 30 years I have eaten here!”. “You feel spoilt and well treated” at Sally Clarke’s Kensington HQ, established in 1984 – she was a very early exponent of Californian-influenced cuisine in London, a formula she has stuck by ever since with “forever outstanding dishes from seasonal produce” (“fresh-tasting and beautifully prepared”). Opinions differ on the understated decor, which is “a bit cold” for some tastes, but “calm and relaxing to others”. In any case the “lovely and helpful” staff add further vim to the experience.

Summary

£71
  £££
4
Very Good
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Never failing to excel, even after years and years…” – Sally Clarke’s Kensington HQ (opened in 1984) is nowadays a “classic”; and even those who say “it’s a bit of a time warp nowadays”, concede that her California-inspired cuisine is nigh-on as “modern and fresh” as ever. “The moment you step in, often to be welcomed by Sally herself, you know you are in for a wonderful evening, with imaginative but unpretentious dishes that are impeccably prepared – with great ingredients that are allowed to stand out – while service is always professional and present-without-hovering”. The atmosphere here has always been slightly divisive: for a few “dull” or “formal”, but to most diners – “with its artwork, soothing colors, and low noise level to allow plenty of engaging conversation” – romantic and “always a delight”.

Summary

£71
  £££
4
Very Good
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Never failing to excel, even after years and years…” – Sally Clarke’s Kensington HQ (opened in 1984) is nowadays a “classic”; and even those who say “it’s a bit of a time warp nowadays”, concede that her California-inspired cuisine is nigh-on as “modern and fresh” as ever. “The moment you step in, often to be welcomed by Sally herself, you know you are in for a wonderful evening, with imaginative but unpretentious dishes that are impeccably prepared – with great ingredients that are allowed to stand out – while service is always professional and present-without-hovering”. The atmosphere here has always been slightly divisive: for a few “dull” or “formal”, but to most diners – “with its artwork, soothing colors, and low noise level to allow plenty of engaging conversation” – romantic and “always a delight”.

Summary

£76
 ££££
4
Very Good
5
Exceptional
4
Very Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“There’s no messing around by chefs trying to be clever: just first class ingredients allowed to speak for themselves” alongside a “fabulous wine list” and “so-gracious” service at Sally Clarke’s California-inspired institution – a Kensington stalwart that “isn’t content to rest on its laurels”, and whose “fresh-flavoured dishes” are “some of the best seasonal food in London”. “The main room’s elegant decor makes it feel more like a private dining room than a restaurant and the tables are set far enough apart to allow for quiet conversation” making it a favourite for romance (of the silver-haired variety). “A warm welcome from Sally each and every visit sets the tone for a great evening” (“she must have some clones of herself, as she always seems to be around!”).

For 31 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Clarke’s?

Owner's description

Sally Clarke opened her doors in December 1984 offering daily changing menus, reflecting the best and freshest from the market. Still today, the lunch and dinner a la carte and set menus are constantly evolving throughout the week, with the changing of the seasons' produce.

Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner every day except Sunday, our set menus are priced as follows:  Lunch £ 27 For 2 or £ 33 For 3 courses. The 3 course Dinner menu is
£ 39

Set amongst the elegant streets of Kensington and just a stone's throw from the vibrant Notting Hill area, this gem of a restaurant has been attracting both locals and vistors to the city for decades. Tables are set with crisp white cloths, sparkling glassware and fresh flowers are everywhere.

A welcoming smile will greet you and professional yet friendly staff will serve you,  and a world class wine list will be offered alongside our tempting menus. 

 

 

Prices

Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Lunch   £35.00

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Pudding
£24.80 £39.30 £9.50
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £24.75
Filter Coffee £0.00
Extras  
Bread £0.00
Service 10.00%

Restaurant details

Yes
Highchair
Yes
28
No dress code
75
N/a
Yes

The chef

Sally Clarke, trained to be a chef in London and Paris before travelling to California where she gained further dining room and kitchen experience in Los Angeles. During her time in California she met Alice Waters, founder of the restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, who became her daily inspiration and mentor.

In 1984 Sally opened Clarke's restaurant, and 5 years later her provisions shop next door to sell the baked goods from the restaurant kitchen. Her wholesale Bakery, based in North Kensington was born out of this, and more recently the Clarke's Production Kitchen was created to provide the ever increasing range of takeaway items available in her shop.

Michele Lombardi joined Clarke's in 2015 as Executive Head Chef, leading the team of talented young people. Originally from southern Italy, he trained in Florence before travelling to London to expand his culinary knowledge. Alberico Penati employed him at Harry's Bar in Mayfair, where he steadily rose up the ranks, eventually taking over the role of Head Chef himself.   He has lived and worked in London for over 17 years.

 

 

Private dining

This beautifully panelled room comfortably seats 8-30 guests. It is lined with recognised works of art and is filled with fresh flowers and greenery. It is ideal for both corporate or family occasions, and is available for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner, or for reception or cocktail parties for up to 40 guests.

Discreetly entered via a private staircase, this room offers the flexibility of one or more tables, or, depending on the size of the party, an area for cocktails before being seated.

We offer a bespoke service, and plan each party individually.  Our Private Dining Room Manager skillfully blends the wishes of each client with the menus and wines of the restaurant, making the process of party planning seamless and painless!

 

Clarke’s Restaurant Diner Reviews

Reviews of Clarke’s Restaurant in W8, London by users of Hardens.com. Also see the editors review of Clarke’s restaurant.
H A
Classic setting for classic, but interestin...
Reviewed 4 months, 16 days ago

"Classic setting for classic, but interesting and modern, food. Warm welcome and impeccable service. Food beautifully presented and delicious. Good wine list with reasonably priced alternatives to famous names."

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Robert M
Hit or Miss as David Jacobs used to say on ...
Reviewed 7 months,

"Hit or Miss as David Jacobs used to say on Juke Box Jury. Most of the clientele at this long standing Kensington establishment were of an age that they would have known the pop programme of the day very well. Unfortunately for us on a busy Saturday evening it was a big Miss. You do get a lovely warm welcome at the door and are shown to your seats efficiently. Water is proffered quickly. The setting is relaxed and our Italian Head waiter was a delight. Our raisin bread to start was exquisite and whetted our appetite for what was to come. The artichoke starter apart from being incredibly expensive was very much flavourless. The presentation was good but where oh where was the flavour. The Orechhiette advertised with anchovies was soft yet strategically missing the umami kick of anchovy. For there was none to be had. So a couple of starters for a couple of “pony’s” definitely not worth it. Let’s hope the rib of beef to share at a whisker under a century would rectify the situation. Sadly not! It was a chunky piece of meat, cooked pink, cut with precision and presented with a side of lightly whipped creme fraiche with horseradish. Chips were good. Spring greens lovely and emerald but lacking seasoning - again. A fillet of beef for half this price at Flat Iron 4 days earlier blew this piece of meat out of the water. During our meal Sally was working the room. Well not quite. Ours was the only table that didn’t get the Sally treatment. Even if it was to say Happy Birthday or nice to see you that would have been sufficient. We did receive a very brief thank you for coming just as we were headed out of the door - sorry but this was way too late. Not much to report on the dessert front either. Very capable bits of pastry but lacking that wow factor when you are paying a tenner for each. Service was hit and miss. We had to pour some of own drinks due to lack of attention and the girl serving our main course was decidedly nervous about placing dishes in front of us. Wine slightly disappointing at the price point. "

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Alasdair S
Excellent 3 course lunch for £35 a head, r...
Reviewed 7 months, 25 days ago

"Excellent 3 course lunch for £35 a head, ricotta salad, fish and then particularly delicious cheesecake. Two powerful Howard Hodgkin pictures dominate the dining room, which subsequently feels formal rather than cosy, but the staff make up for it with charming service. "

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Jane J
Clarke’s can always be depended on for go...
Reviewed 11 months, 15 days ago

"Clarke’s can always be depended on for good food and good service. A starter of sweetbreads was perfectly cooked, and a breast of chicken likewise, accompanied by gratin dauphinoise and celeriac. I prefer the main dining room to the back room but the service was attentive and efficient."

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124 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 4BH
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Opening hours
MondayCLOSED
Tuesday12:30 pm‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑10 pm
Wednesday12:30 pm‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑10 pm
Thursday12:30 pm‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑10 pm
Friday12:30 pm‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑10 pm
Saturday12:30 pm‑2 pm, 6:30 pm‑10 pm
SundayCLOSED

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