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|Address:||122 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4BH|
|Tel:||020 3544 7974|
|Price: £56.00||Wine: £20.00||Champagne: £49.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 8am-12N, 12.30-2pm, 6.30-10pm|
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I dined at Clarke's on a recent busy evening and was quite disappointed. I go to Clarke's every time my mother comes to town as it is one of her favourite restaurants. We were given a table downstairs, at the bottom of the stairs, facing the kitchen and in front of the (drafty) emergency exit. We did ask to change but were offered to squeeze into a deuce near the door (notwithstanding that at the time of arrival there were a number of empty tables, implying that it is necessary to specifically request upstairs when booking).
All evening we were treated to the flip flap of shoes of the stressed servers going up and down the wood stairs and fast walking across the tiled floor – creating a tense and noisy environment. The lighting downstairs is terrible (on the bright side), which doesn't help what was an already clearly stressed atmosphere. And I think it was one of the fastest meals I've had in London. When my mother ordered desert, the server went to the kitchen and came straight back with the desert, no more than 45 seconds later. We had finished our apperitif and three courses in an hour. The food was good, but none of us derived any pleasure from our meal.
After being a semi-regular regular, I would hesitate to return for another perfunctory experience.