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Off Abbotsbury Road, Holland Park
Beautifully positioned and immaculately maintained, the enchanting Belvedere comes complete with rose gardens, lawns, fountains and peacocks – plus one of our favourite terraces, within listening distance of the Holland Park Opera. Once a ballroom, the main restaurant feels rejuvenated following its makeover by the late David Collins – a romantic, double-height space with mirrored screens, silk curtains and a huge baroque mirror, plus the odd piece of modern Brit artwork. The kitchen sends out scrubbed-up Anglo-European starters including asparagus with poached quails’ eggs ahead of classic mains ranging from plaice meunière with sauce choron to grilled veal cutlet with gratin dauphinoise, mushroom and Madeira jus. It’s not cutting edge, but desserts such as raspberry and almond tart with clotted cream prove that cooking like this can last the ages.
Best in Kensington
Best Outside and Alfresco Restaurants
Off Abbotsbury Road, Holland Park
020 7602 1238
Kensington Olympia Station 541m
Kensington Olympia Tube Station 694m
Holland Park Theatre 169m
Holland House Youth Hostel 198m
Mon-Sun 12N-2.30pm (Sun -3.30pm) 6-11pm
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
From walking up the drive, I recalled happy memories of this place I had left for the glitz and glamour of new restaurants that had opened since I last came .
Upon arriving at the main door I was greeted by a young lady with a big smile and who actually looked pleased to see me, a welcome change from some of the west end establishments, who seem to often have hosts who have an amazing talent for making you feel grateful for the fact that they are even letting you in. Oh fickle me for being attracted by the smooth words of some critics and promise of better things.
I was shown to my table, that had for me the perfect view, on the balcony overlooking the main restaurant, it was like being in a grand dining room of the 1930s.
Our waiter was a young handsome italian man, who was smartly dressed in a suit, he took his time to explain the menu and wine list without ever making us feel pushed into anything.
Nothing was of much trouble or effort for him, even when I asked if I could change the potato dish that came with my main course, and ordering a South African Rose he still smiled and commented how it always made him feel happy when he drank it.
The only disappointing thing about my and my guest's starter was that they came to and end. The mushroom tart with onion puree was perfect, and the crispy duck salad was seasoned to perfection and could have started a fight, over who was to have the last mouthful.
Our young waiter then asked if we would like a break so that we could chat, this young man knows just how to interact with a table, he knew when to chat and engage and when to extract himself. The service was like silk – always there when you needed it, and to leave you alone when the time was right.
When the mains arrived, the veal chop cut like butter and was cooked just as I had asked. The lemon sole melted in your mouth, the butter sauce was like eating silk. This is good traditional cooking, no smoke machines, dry ice, or cooked in a bath for 3 weeks, let alone some of the weird combinations of ingredients that someone feels would be ground breaking.
We finished with cheese and good old eton mess. Both did what it said on the tin, the cheese came with plenty of biscuits and was at the perfect temperature, also good selection of soft and hard. Then Eton Mess was naughtiness on a plate.
We need the coffee.
The evening was wonderful. Why had I not been back sooner, this forgotten treasure will remain on my radar for a long time now. There is a lot to be said for time served places. proving that all that glitters is not gold when being enticed by new establishments .
Food + drink: 3
good food, and family-friendly service when we went on a saturday lunchtime with our 1 yr old.
Food + drink: 2
Hmmm, I seem to have a difference of opinion with the other reviewers, and maybe its because I prefer eclectic food, but I was so disappointed with The Belvedere. I have wanted to go here for ages and when you first walk in, your immediate reaction is “Wow!”; the room is gorgeous and elegant. The photos dont do the room justice. The service also starts off very welcoming and efficient. Our starters were nice, but thats it, just nice. You know when you read something on the menu and the combination of ingredients sounds so exciting and then you get it and think “Im sure you could do something a lot more interesting with that mix of ingredients.”? The mains, even on the menu, were less exciting but I thought “well maybe they will put a modern twist on more traditional dishes” but alas no, it was meat and two veg style. The mains simply fell flat, it was like my mum had cooked them. The wine recommendations were lovely but that and the room just wasnt enough to lift the experience for us. After the disappointment of the other 2 courses, we just didnt bother with desserts. The service also waned over the course of the meal with us flailing our arms in an empty restaurant to get the bill. To sum up, this is a place I would take my grandparents for a meal as they like their food quite simple. The other plus is that parking is free and easy in the evenings. Such a shame, this restaurant could be amazing.
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