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25 Winchester Road
It’s been going for 24 years now, but Simon and Jolanta Bradley’s restaurant looks sharp and contemporary. No foot has been taken off the pedal. Colours are mellow and natural, modern artworks strike a pose, and everything is up-to-date – not least Simon’s modern British cooking (‘with a French accent’, as he says himself). The great-value set menu acts as a pre-theatre option (for visitors to the nearby Hampstead Theatre), as well as a lunchtime opportunity and midweek bargain dinner. A well-chosen wine list holds plenty of choice under £30. The carte reveals the kitchen’s contemporary inclinations, with pumpkin tortellini matched with scorched onion (plus sage and Taleggio), and haunch of venison smoked in pine. Fresh fish comes up from Brixham – to be made into bourride of hake with salt-cod beignet, perhaps – and desserts are no less inviting, if the blackberry and apple soufflé is typical. All in all, a Hampstead stalwart.
Best restaurants in Belsize Park
25 Winchester Road
Mon-Sun 12N-3pm Mon-Sat 5.30-11pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 2
Very disappointing experience at Bradleys yesterday.
From the time of our arrival the waiting staff basically ignored us - 10 minutes after we’d sat down there was still no offer of drinks or anyone to talk us through the menu. When the waitress did arrive to take our orders she seemed almost offended that we hadn’t decided yet what we were having; again, no offer to talk us through the fish of the day or answer any questions - not even a friendly “no problem”, just a surly threat to return shortly.
When she did later return she refused to help one of our party decide between two dishes, and didn’t explain when we ordered spinach as a side dish that two of our main courses already came with spinach. Bread was served grudgingly.
When the starters arrived the waiters stretched across the table to serve them, and did so again when they served our drinks and later the main courses. Two different waiters tried to take our wine order. When the wine arrived it was then taken away again for 10 minutes whilst we ate our main courses; once it was finally poured it wasn’t then topped up until all our glasses had been empty for some time (well into the dessert course).
Again, when it came time to order dessert, the waitress was surly and unhelpful, and had in the meantime seemed to have been rude to various other couples in the restaurant.
If all these general problems hadn’t been bad enough, the whole black sea bream main course was under-cooked and pink in the middle. We considered sending it back, but given the food quality at Bradley’s is generally so high we decided that the fish must be fresh enough that it wouldn’t matter. This rapidly turned out to be a mistake.
What makes this all the worse is we have been to Bradley’s several times before, and have always previously been impressed with the standards there. Judging by how empty it was on a Friday night however, I suspect we’re not the only ones to have been disappointed there recently.
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