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33 Roland Gardens
One of London’s most famous hotels and fusion restaurants in the 1990’s, the Anouska Hempel designed Blakes recently underwent a transformation. Nestled deep in the heart of South Kensington, Blakes is everything you would expect from a restaurant in one of London’s most expensive postcodes: luxurious décor that plays to the old money crowd and classic dishes that have been brought up to date. The restaurant is decked out in a black and gold theme right down to the scatter cushions, making it clear that Blakes is selling ostentatious luxury, but it does it well. The crab salad starter was zesty and light. For mains, there is coconut and saffron curry, which replaced meat and rice with black quinoa and steamed vegetables to delicious effect. To finish, there is an aromatic green tea and vanilla mille feuille, followed up with miniature biscuits. The drinks menu has plenty to choose from, including a great range of cocktails, as well as some non-alcoholic ones for diners with an early start or a drive home. Like your dinner with some entertainment? Every Thursday, there's the option to enjoy your food while listening to some fantastic live jazz in the hotel's basement lounge, Blakes Below. While prices aren’t outrageous at Blakes, they certainly aren’t cheap – yet, with extremely friendly staff and high quality dishes, the expense is worth it.
Best Private Rooms: >30
33 Roland Gardens
Gloucester Road Tube Station 623m
South Kensington Tube Station 713m
Cineworld Fulham Road 224m
Old Brompton Road 418m
Mon-Sun 7am-11pm (Sun -10pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 0
Appalling, over-rated, over-priced and the staff are simply rude and pretentious. Just a horrible evening.
Decor looks OK in the photos but really doesn't cut it in reality. Just take the plates, I know maybe a minor point, but they are cheap IKEA style white and very ordinary. Bad sign.
Service is sporadic - they don't notice that you need a knife, they don't bring the water that you ordered unless you ask again (that is so long as you can get the attention of the staff). But they will constantly turn up to fill your glass, despite my wife asking four times that they don't fill her glass up as she only wanted one glass of wine. Could it be that they think you'll drink more if they keep filling it up? Aha... could be.
This hotel has seen better days and on complaining to the manager I got very short shrift. Total dismissal is probably more accurate.
Believe me this place is going down the drain.
Do not go...
By far the WORST dining experience of my short life.
Just awful. I booked Blakes after someone I had met at a party raved about it. I very soon realized that this person must have NO taste and NO experience of adequate customer service.
We arrived to be greeted by an uninterested waiter who took a minute or two to finish up a personal call before ‘greeting’ my family and I with barely any eye contact and no sign of a smile. He had no idea that we were coming for a late lunch. Even after I had made a reservation through the Hotel and called up the day before to confirm.
The restaurant was pretty empty yet we were ushered through to an un-manned bar and told bluntly to wait there. Still in our wet winter coats and wanting a drink.
After a five minute wait, I decided to take our coats myself and take them through the restaurant to be hung up.
Soon after we were rudely ushered to our table and told we had to eat in the corner at the back because people were coming for Afternoon Tea and they didn't want us eating a late lunch near them.
Following on from this, service was slow, and barely friendly let alone polite. The wait staff looked genuinely hacked off by our presence.
The bread we were served was stale.
The dim sum was over salted and the prawn and ginger won tons were cold and raw! I promptly sent them back and the waitress didn't say a word, just snatched them off me and walked away. Reemerging 10 minutes later with a half-hearted apology and stating that it will be free.
Starters were 50/50… mushroom soup was really tasty but again, far too salty! tomato galette was burnt and all you could taste was salt and butter, and served in a box that was almost impossible to eat out of. Soft Shell crab was over done and bland.
Mains were so bad, I was genuinely left speechless, upset and nauseous for the rest of the day.
Truffle angle hair pasta was inedible.. just a blob of over cooked stodge, swimming in a tasteless cream and one or two shavings of truffle. The waiter brought over ‘extra truffle sauce’ which would have been better suited to a DIY job than consumption. Looked and tasted like wall paper past in a pot.
Beef was OK but again, the flavors were so disappointing! I genuinely felt that I could have done a better job, and I am no culinary whiz! The chicken was swimming in butter and lemon juice. Couldn't taste anything but to be honest.
The side's were again, inedible. Beans were raw. Sweet potato was burnt to a crisp. Spinach was overcooked and resembled the most awful gruel from a Dickens Novel rather than a side at a 5* Hotel restaurant.
Not one of our dishes was finished. In fact, I had to get up and find the waiter to get us the bill a full 5 minutes after our mains arrived because we just had to get out of there.
The bill came to about £150, and to be honest, the meal I had in Zizzi the night before for about £30 was INFINITELY more delicious and the service was far and beyond more pleasant than all the 3 of the wait staff at Blake's put together.
If you ever take anything from a restaurant review, DO NOT EAT HERE! WASTE OF MONEY AND TIME. Left me and my family utterly disheartened and nauseous for the remainder of the weekend.
Food + drink: 5
Had dinner here recently based on the recommendation of a friend who lives locally and advised that this was a hidden gem – and they were right! It's down the stairs in the lobby of the hotel and is this real treasure of a restaurant. We had a couple of martinis in the bar which were amazing – can highly recommend – and then went through for dinner. The service was attentive but not in your face and they helped me choose a main course when I was a bit overwhelmed by choice as there were about 4 things I wanted to try! The food was stunning – beautifully presented and just delicious. Can highly recommend the seared tuna although my friends Bento Box looked incredible. The sake jelly with gold leave was the unexpected highlight of the meal and looked too good to eat! Really glad I found this place now and although loathed to share the secret, it's too good to keep to myself. Can't wait to go back.
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