Tucked away on Abingdon Road off High Street Kensington is this wonderful restaurant. We first found it when looking for a place to have a family Sunday lunch to celebrate the Old Tortoise notching up another year of life. A quite hard act to cater for: a septuagenarian mother who despite a stroke a couple of years ago still doesn’t suffer bad restaurants, children ranging from twenty to six and the Tortuga who can live with any amount of chaos around her as long as the food is excellent and the wine doesn’t disappoint.
It was interesting to note the number of other large family groups, notably Italian, present. Because of this the staff do like you to turn up on time. Unfortunately, good luck if you are driving. Kensington and Chelsea seems to only cater for resident parking around here and by the time you’ve dropped-off and circled the block several times, coupled with the naturally late-running nature of certain members of the family, you inevitably arrive sometime later than planned. But they dealt with it all with good grace and impeccable politeness.
It was roast beef and Yorkshire pudding all round – what else for Sunday lunch – and not a disappointed face to be seen. The Tortuga found a Saint-Joseph on the wine list which she was delighted with. All was well.
So we decided to do it all again for our wedding anniversary one evening a couple of months ago. Evenings are much more intimate, but the quality and style is no less evident. They were offering a Taste of Spring menu of five courses starting with duck egg and asparagus with truffle soldiers. I love English asparagus and would eat it all year round if it were available, which it isn’t, which of course is why it’s so good. A couple of glasses of the house champagne – Taittinger if I recall – with lobster tail and pea mousse. It was the perfect start to a warm spring evening and the English lamb to follow was superb. It does have a Michelin Guide star after all.
Horror of horrors, that Saint-Joseph was no longer on the wine list but the wine waiter was extremely clever with some bottle of Burgundy he suggested instead. After raspberries and sorbet followed by strawberry and elderflower soup with buckwheat and crème fraiche we staggered up the road for a taxi and home, determined that although High Street Ken is a bit out of our way, we will definitely frequent this place more often.