British, Modern Restaurants in Kensington
1. Clarke’s British, Modern restaurant in Kensington 124 Kensington Church Street - W8
“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.
2. The Ivy Kensington Brasserie British, Modern restaurant in Kensington 96 Kensington High St - W8
“Always ambient and fun” – Richard Caring’s stretching (twisting?) of the Ivy brand is easy to snipe at but has so far avoided degenerating into farce. For sure, “the food is certainly nothing superior”: fans may claim it’s “more than adequate”, but its overall ratings nowadays are only just the right side of poor. That said, even critics of the cooking often feel that the “lovely” interiors and “welcoming service” provide compensation, and fit the bill for making an occasion of a meal. In the capital, the most mentioned outlets are The Ivy Chelsea Garden (“delightful garden tables and ideal for a noisy girls’ night out”); and The Ivy Kensington Brasserie (“huge fun, loads of buzz” and “always a treat”). The Ivy City Garden and Canary Wharf’s Ivy in the Park follow along in terms of volume of feedback. The newest member of the spin-off family is The Ivy Victoria – a vast space with 300 guests over two floors.
3. Kitchen W8 British, Modern restaurant in Kensington 11-13 Abingdon Road - W8
“The cuisine’s always delicious, seasonal and inventive” at this smart venue in a sidestreet off Kensington High Street – a “top local” more akin to “West End quality” due to the input of stellar chef Phil Howard (of Elystan Street and formerly the Square), who is a part owner, alongside Rebecca Mascarenhas, who has a long history in running excellent establishments. Not everyone agrees about the low-key interior, though – what is “a little souless” to some folks, is, to others, “lovely”.
4. Megan's on the HIgh Street British, Modern restaurant in Kensington and Chelsea 204 Kensington High Street - W8
With their very “pretty interiors” and “great brunch” – this “reliable chain” of “cheerful” all-day hang-outs has emerged completely undaunted from the pandemic, expanding beyond its south west London heartlands as far as Islington, Marlow and St Albans. With new openings scheduled for late 2021 in Dulwich and Richmond, the roll-out shows no sign of slowing down. They’re very “dog friendly” too.
5. The Abingdon British, Modern restaurant in Kensington 54 Abingdon Rd - W8
This unusually chic gastropub in a Kensington backstreet (champagne buckets on the bar) is a “locals’ favourite” for good reason, having entertained them in style and fed them well for almost 25 years. The bright interior is particularly striking, with red-leather booths adding an element of privacy.
6. Park Terrace Restaurant, Royal Garden Hotel British, Modern restaurant in Kensington 2-24 Kensington High St - W8
2021 Review: With its “beautiful views over Kensington Gardens”, this “quiet and comfortable” hotel restaurant makes a useful venue for lunch or afternoon tea. “The service is a perfect blend of efficiency and friendliness”, while the Sunday roast – sirloin of Buccleuch beef, carved from the trolley – is “delicious”.
7. Launceston Place British, Modern restaurant in Kensington 1a Launceston Pl - W8
“Discreet and off the beaten track” – this supremely “cosy and classy neighbourhood restaurant” is “tucked away in an attractive street in Kensington and well worth a visit”. “Ben Murphy’s cuisine is fun and playful”, providing “absolutely sensational” dishes that are “packed with flavour”. In the last year he has rightly been elevated to being chef/patron here and – in terms of quality, if not perhaps fame – this is “definitely the jewel in the crown of the D&D empire”.
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