RestaurantsLondonKensingtonW8

survey result

Summary

£63
  £££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“It won’t blow you away, but is still adequate and reasonably competitively priced” remains the upbeat view on this ubiquitous high street chain, whose “bistro-style” offering still has a surprisingly large fanbase (including those with kids in tow). Its ratings are entering the danger zone, though, as it passes from private equity owner to owner – the latest having purchased it out of administration in October 2020. One sceptic notes: “my favourite chain is going from hero to zero under the new ownership, and heading down the same path as Café Rouge and Strada before it”.

Summary

£57
   ££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Top choice when meeting up is more important than the food!” – Richard Caring’s “brisk” modern brasseries are “a cut-above most other chains” and were once again the survey’s most-mentioned national multiple, on the strength of their “very convenient” and often picturesque locations; and an experience generally that’s “safe” and affordable (set menus in particular are very “competitively priced”). That said, even many of its legions of fans don’t suggest that their performance will set the world on fire: “menus offer a range of formulaic dishes, some more wowing than others”, with “basic options such as steak-frites” or burger often touted as the best of the “rather unadventurous” selection. “Service can vary” but usually “problems are swiftly resolved” and staff keep things “speedy” enough.

Summary

£57
   ££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

“Top choice when meeting up is more important than the food!” – Richard Caring’s “brisk” modern brasseries are “a cut-above most other chains” and were once again the survey’s most-mentioned national multiple, on the strength of their “very convenient” and often picturesque locations; and an experience generally that’s “safe” and affordable (set menus in particular are very “competitively priced”). That said, even many of its legions of fans don’t suggest that their performance will set the world on fire: “menus offer a range of formulaic dishes, some more wowing than others”, with “basic options such as steak-frites” or burger often touted as the best of the “rather unadventurous” selection. “Service can vary” but usually “problems are swiftly resolved” and staff keep things “speedy” enough.

Summary

£52
   ££
2
Average
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

These “accurate imitations of a well-run French brasserie” have become the survey’s most-mentioned chain, on the strength of the huge army of fans who find them an “always-dependable” standby. The “perfectly acceptable” food “is quite good when you factor in the price”: “stick to their basic menus and you get a quite a good-value meal (although stray onto the more expensive dishes and you are better off going elsewhere)”. The wide range of options – including breakfast and prix-fixe pre-theatre – means there’s “plenty of choice for different appetites”. Unlike some chains there’s no effort to make outlets individual: “every branch is cut from the same cloth, but that’s no bad thing”.

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).

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