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Adieu to the old guard

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Jenny Lo

London has so few 'classic' restaurants that we should mourn the closure of any quality restaurant of the ‘old guard’ that had looked as if it might be heading for some sort of immortality. Last week, for example, we learned that Jenny Lo's Tea House SW1, founded by the daughter of restaurateur and food writer Ken Lo, had closed – a fairly spartan noodle house to be sure, but a 'stayer', long of note for its great food and fast and furious service, plus, particularly by Belgravia standards, its “amazingly reasonable prices”.

Jenny Lo's closure follows hot on the heels of the death of Choys, a Kings Road staple since 1952. The Chelsea institution bowed out in November last year.

Not so far away, in Knightsbridge, the Brompton Bar & Grill is to shut its doors at the end of this week (21 March). Owner Francois O'Neill says he has decided to close the restaurant to 'pursue new challenges'. Although Brompton Bar & Grill has only occupied the site for six years, the space has belonged to O'Neill's family for 35 years and was previously the fabled Brasserie St Quentin (est 1980) - run by O'Neill's father Hugh (Lord Rathcaven) and the latter’s cousin, the former Evening Standard restaurant critic Quentin Crewe.

And it’s not just in the more fashionable postcodes that we’ve seen surprise departures. Stoke Newington’s “stalwart curry house” par excellence, the atmospheric Anglo-Asian Tandoori – a fixture since before the first Harden's guide in 1992 – has recently shut up shop. Their website says they are making renovations but locals say the site has been dark for weeks.

Last, but certainly not least, the Anglesea Arms – a beloved gastropub in the part of Hammersmith estate agents call 'Brackenbury Village' – appears to have closed as well. Signs are up in the window proclaiming that the boozer is 'closed for refurbishment'… but it has been that way for some weeks, and locals believe it may be gone for good.

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