RestaurantsLondonKensingtonW8
124 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 4BH

survey result

Summary

£115
£££££
4
Very Good
5
Exceptional
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Terrific ingredients, cleverly but unfussily combined” has long been the hallmark of Sally Clarke’s “impeccably run restaurant” in Notting Hill, which has been at the cutting edge of promoting seasonal, Californian-inspired cuisine since 1984. “It’s on the pricey side, but quality remains superb”; the setting is “romantic”; and the service, from a loyal and seemingly well-looked-after contingent of staff is “excellent, all overseen by Sally herself”. The “marvellous” wine list has an “unusual emphasis on North American wines” and some “reasonably priced alternatives to famous names”. Top Tip – “the good-value daily lunch set menu is a fantastic way to try this restaurant out”.

Summary

£95
 ££££
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Sally Clarke remains very present” at her “sophisticated” and “welcoming” Kensington HQ, which she established in 1984 at the bleeding edge of a trend to a more seasonal, ingredient-led style of dining that’s nowadays become an accepted norm. Consequently, for some fans, this has been “a ‘go-to’ for decades” owing to its “consistently superb cuisine”, creating dishes “with fantastic attention to detail” that “are imaginative without seeming ‘tricked up’”. The décor has always divided opinions here: “quite formal” for some tastes, but to others “romantic” and “perfect for a relaxed evening with grown-up conversation”. Ratings slipped a little this year across the board, though, as even those hailing it as “excellent” may note that “prices seem to have jumped here even more than most post-Covid”.

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”.

For 33 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

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Pudding
£23.50 £39.80 £10.00
Drinks  
Wine per bottle £40.00
Filter Coffee £9.00
Extras  
Service 15.00%

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.
Jeremy B
Consistently good...
Reviewed 1 months, 4 days ago

"Consistently good"

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Jeremy B
Enjoyable but expensive...
Reviewed 5 months, 30 days ago

"Enjoyable but expensive"

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Jeremy B
Become an expensive night out....
Reviewed 8 months, 15 days ago

"Become an expensive night out."

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Gordon Y
Slightly disappointed with the food , but i...
Reviewed 9 months, 2 days ago

"Slightly disappointed with the food , but it remains a very friendly and dependable venue"

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

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