Daphne's 333

112 Draycott Avenue , London, SW3 3AE

020 7589 4257

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SquareMeal Review of Daphne's

A neighbourhood bolthole and gastronomic destination rolled into one, Daphne’s is the very personification of its Kensington clientele – handsome, refined and utterly assured. From the dark-pink marble bar with its green leather stools to the European modern art and baroque conservatory for private dining, this space resembles a tasteful and expensively clad Italian townhouse, complete with classic Jags and idling chauffeurs parked outside the concertina doors. The kitchen specialises in bold regional flavours: creamy burrata with intense cherry tomatoes and grilled focaccia; octopus carpaccio with crispy soft-shell crab; pappardelle with wild boar ragù; roast rump of lamb with caponata and salsa verde; seared slabs of tuna atop sweet peperonata. For dessert, the strawberry gelato is guaranteed to clear any rainclouds away. As you’d expect from Caprice Holdings, flawless and personable service is a given, while waiters “with a good sense of humour” take pleasure in steering drinkers through the exhaustive Italian wine list.


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8.5

Food & Drink: 8.4

Service: 8.6

Atmosphere: 7.8

Value: 7.4

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Christine K. 25 February 2016

Great food and atmosphere,although perhaps the 'piped' piano playing was a bit loud - we were sat right next to it. The waiters had a good sense of humour which is always a plus.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Gerard O. 10 January 2015

Excellent restaurant which seems to get better on every visit. Great menu, tremendous wine selection - we appreciate a good restaurant in this part of town and this is up there with the best of them!

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 1.0

William M. 29 January 2014

Food was OK but overpriced. Noise level made it hard to hear your table companion. Still a fun restaurant but resting on its laurels.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Samual C. 21 December 2012

A favourite lunch spot of mine when Mother is in town, go here for dinner with close family and friends and catch-ups over wine or cocktails. An opulent bouquet of flowers always greets you as you walk through the doors and your coat swiftly disappears into the cloakroom. Food portions are mostly generous and the wine list is actually quite exciting. There's often a bottle of something I've never heard of before. Anyone familiar with Daphne's may find this odd but I always feel like I should go for the fennel salad or something else suitably light when i'm there, I think it's the open and fresh feeling of the dining rooms, crisp whites and gold embellishments. The menu isnt for those exclusive to fine dining but it is food done extraordinarily well. The atmosphere isn't as energetic as a lot of the trendy pop up restaurants that come and go. Daphne's has that timeless elegance that reassures those loyal to this little gem that they will always have their relaxed long brunch spot down Draycott Av. for many years to come.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Toby N. platinum reviewer 31 October 2011

It was my first time at Daphne’s for about 15 years, but I won’t leave it that long again as it was a thoroughly nice experience. We went on a damp October evening when it was dark and just a little cold outside and were seated in the conservatory, only this time of year the ceiling is tented and there is a lovely open fire and the room has a distinctly Mediterranean feel with warm yellow walls, tiled floors, trees, wooden seating etc. The atmosphere is thoroughly pleasant; it feels like a local restaurant rather than the slightly precious air that some restaurants in the area can affect. All the customers were smart and professional, with the possible exception of the middle aged man with his Estonian ‘niece’ in her early 20’s – who had perhaps slightly misjudged the dress code. The staff and service were great; everyone was polite, nothing needed to be asked for a second time, there weren’t any mix ups with orders, the bill turned up on time, there were no awkward or uneven waits between courses – in short it’s as good as anywhere in London and I can’t commend them enough. The food is very nice, not truly exceptional but better than several places that have had a star from Michelin. One thing that does let every dish down is the un-inspirational presentation – nothing looks as good as it tastes. But in terms of taste I started with pumpkin tortellini which could have been startlingly bland but wasn’t; it managed to be light rather than stodgy with a warm taste of summer turning to autumn. This was followed by meatballs with roast potatoes and tomato sauce, real simple comfort food, accompanied by some deep fried courgettes – spaghetti thin strands in tempura batter that were wonderful. For dessert pear tart with Zabaglione ice cream – think tarte tatin with pear instead of apple and you’ve just about got it. My parents also both enjoyed their food, and they are people who eat out on a very regular basis, both rated the whole experience as at least 8 out of 10. Value for money is pretty good (I paid the bill) coming in at £175 for 3 people, each having 3 courses, a decent bottle of Italian white wine, water, coffees and service at 12%. I really enjoyed it and will definitely be returning and next time I won’t be waiting 15 years.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Louise A. silver reviewer 20 March 2011

I am a big fan of Daphne's and regularly come here to enjoy fabulous food. I had a lovely evening here recently with a friend on a cold wet evening. They sat us at the back of the restaurant next to the roaring log fire and the whole place felt very cosy and warm. I find the food here to be consistently good. I have dreams about the starter of the butternut squash ravioli with sage, its delicious! The grilled squid is incredible, as is the brodetto. I often choose fish for a main but friends who favour meat dishes have always reported that these have been very flavoursome and tender too. A wonderful selection of wines is available too and quite a few are available by the glass. The atmosphere is lovely here, the lighting and decor is soft and elegant with a courtyard feel – it would be ideal for a intimate dinner. The service is very good, if anything I find they can be over attentive at times. The ladies bathroom is up quite a steep set of stairs which can be frustrating if wearing a pair of skyscraper heels! But aside from that small downside, its a very lovely place to eat and enjoy a varied Italian cuisine! I will be coming back here again soon I'm sure!

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

MissSushi gold reviewer 03 March 2010

A delightful blast from the past was a recent monday lunch visit, to celebrate a friends' birthday. Admittedly the dining room was only one-third occupied, mainly by ladies who lunch with their happy spaghetti munching toddlers, some out of town families, and the occasional middle aged british gentleman inhaling an entire 4 course lunch by himself. The service was attentive and pleasant and our waiter was visibly mortified when one milanese turned out to be almost raw. The starters we had were grilled octopus (tender yet lightly charcoaled), burrata (lovely) and melanzane (very tasty). One of our party ordered an off the menu dish (vegetarian pasta) which looked and tasted a little boring, but that was her fault, not the kitchens in my opinion. Other mains included veal milanese, which after it came out the second time was very gratifying, lamb and dover sole – I did not taste either of those but I was told they were exquisit. I had ordered the daily special which were rich potato tortelloni al tartufo and half the table dove into my plate so unfortunately I only managed to eat two thirds, but it was truly satisfying with generous black truffle shavings. Pinapple carpaccio was light and refreshing and a nice finish to our meal. I am disappointed with myself that I haven't paid Daphne's a visit for nearly 8 years but after this lunch I know it won't happen again.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Adam H. bronze reviewer 07 January 2010

Daphnes are currently offering their set lunch menu for dinner as well during the month of January. I went after the theatre last night. As expected, it was very quiet as most of London had cocooned themselves up at home to take shelter from the arctic freeze. I like the dining room, which is almost in two parts, with the conservatory at the back. For some reason, it has an 80's Beverley Hill's kinda feel to it. The decor and the furniture makes it feel like a Tuscan Le Caprice. The set menu offers hree options for starters, mains and puddings and at £16.50 for 2 courses and £18.50 for three courses, one would be hard pushes to find similar quality restaurant in South Ken / Chelsea area offering these prices. For starters, a choice of wild mushroom soup, selection of meats and chicory, pear and gorgonzola salad. We had all three and they all came up trumps. The soup particularly on a cold January evening. For mains, roast duck leg on a bed of puy lentils was wholesome dish but not too rich as duck can sometimes be. There was a past and fish option as well. Service was friendly and efficient. I think it is a good sign in restaurants when service is good even when it is quiet as so often service seems to deteriorate when there are few diners. With house wine at £12.50 a carafe or £16 a bottle and very drinkable, don't worry about counting the pennies in January, go to Daphne's for a great value supper.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Luncheon Vulture platinum reviewer 22 December 2009

Aside from the cardinal sin of cramming far too many diners in over a pre-Christmas lunch service (one side of our table effectively “shared” with a party of 5 shoehorned onto a table designed for 4, whereas the other side had us sitting in the corridor), this was an otherwise wonderful experience. The food has got to be some of the best I have tasted in recent months and I am still torn between which was the better dish – my companion's rabbit ravioli or my parpadelle of wild boar. Either way, both warrant a return in the not too distant future. Service, aside from the fact that they did not think to move us to a better table for dessert and coffee (tables were available by this time) was otherwise exemplary. I had to mark them down on the ratings just for this apparent “oversight”. We will take away the advice on which tables to ask for on our next visit.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Continental Diner platinum reviewer 09 November 2009

A truly special place and a crown jewel in Caprice Holding's portfolio. Daphne is low key, the service, the food and the location being the main attractions. It delivers in a very impressive manner. The déco could do with a brush up, but Daphne's is so good overall that one doesn't mind.

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Daphne
Capacity: 40
Daphne's Conservatory
Capacity: 26