The Belvedere 1

Off Abbotsbury Road, Holland Park , London, W8 6LU

The Belvedere

SquareMeal Review of The Belvedere

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.

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7.6

Food & Drink: 6.7

Service: 7.9

Atmosphere: 7.7

Value: 6.9

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

sebastian r. 29 June 2013

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: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Tim J. 16 June 2013

good food, and family-friendly service when we went on a saturday lunchtime with our 1 yr old.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Tanya D. gold reviewer 23 September 2011

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.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Peter R. 15 August 2011

I thought I should update this and point our that it is still just as good but Paolo the Maitre D has left and I have yet to meet the new one. The Belvedere is one of our family favourites for Sunday Lunch and while we eat there on other occasions it has to be one of the best value Sunday lunches available in London. There is a wide choice on the set menu with good choices in all 3 courses. And where else in London can you get decent Kipper Pate? Not everyone's favourite,maybe, but it is mine! Kipper Pate, Roast Beef and chocolate marquise or apple crumble all for £29. That is pretty amazing. Wines are at a range of prices and wines by the glass have a decent choice. During the week there are also good value set menus and the a la carte is average for a restaurant of this type.The service is prompt and Paolo the Maitre D always welcomes.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

David J. gold reviewer 28 May 2011

Summer on the tube (insert groan). Anytime on the tube! The bleeding Circle line pushes along the tracks, screeching to a holt at every stop. The doors slide apart and release a whiff of warm air. A clammy lady sweats beside me reading Heat magazine. Just seeing the word “Heat” brings on another bout of heavy breathing and the sweats. Once outside I gasp for air and cross the road into Holland Park. It’s beautiful. Full of beautiful people reading and sunbathing. All the gardens are neat. I walk towards the centre to where The Belvedere sits and hear peacocks parading themselves like the once wealthy Jacobean gentry. There’s a picturesque fountain and other birdsong. There are few restaurants situated in truly stunning settings, especially in the city and grubby stains of London. The Belvedere in Holland Park, Kensington, has a spectacular location, once the former grounds of the Jacobean Holland House. Its ownership has passed through various parties over the years, all trying to define the menu and atmosphere to equally match the romance of the grounds, and currently residing in the large hands of Marco Pierre White. After a dramatic redesign by David Collins, Belvedere has been re-launched to much acclaim and now offers superb cuisine in a unique location. Its name sounds traditionally English, ghastly almost in a higher class cliché, an upstanding Lord or country house butler. I was with ‘The Boss’ from the office and meeting a client for lunch. The three of us sat outside on the balcony looking over the gardens and great banks of rhododendrons and azaleas. The sun in our eyes. There’s a Set Menu: two-courses for £15.95 and three-courses for £19.95, the A La Carte Menu and the Sample Menu De Jour with prices ranging from £14.00 to £22.50 (Grilled lemon sole (on the bone), cêpe mushrooms, potato purée, and Beurre Noir). All is developed and supervised under Head Chef, Bill Reid, “With fine French accents that lift and refine some of our favourite dishes” (www.belvedererestaurant.co.uk). Reid has worked for White at L’Escargot in Soho and gained a Michelin Star at the Vinyard at Stockcross, so you know what you’re in for here. He has the appearance and overall presence of the ‘Great White’ too: sturdy, tough and a chef you wouldn’t wanna cross. There’s a seasonal and impressive selection from the different menus and if you’re selective with your choices than very well priced. The ballotine of game with apricot chutney and hot toast was a firm pâté but rather dry with no real burst of game flavour, and in all, rather bland. It was not a soft cut, and for all my efforts, was impossible to spread on the toast. My main of confit de canard grand-mere (this is The Belvedere, remember my dear! It’s chicken), was good. A large portion thoroughly cooked and with a crispy skin. Other sampled dishes were: Penne all’Uovo Arrabiata (part of the Set Menu), reports where good, not a lot to this dish except well made pasta in a bowl but it’s a dish that pleased and did exactly what it promotes – “All’arrabbiata” meaning “angry style”, named as such due to the heat of the peppers. Wines are pricey; however there are reasonable gems to be found: a £16.00 St Véran Burgundy and an £18.00 Fleurie, I think are cheap, cheerful and fine offers. We started with a Jean Marc Brocard Chablis (£21.00) followed by a very nice 2004 Jim Barrie Macrae Wood Shiraz upon recommendation (£55.00). Ouch! The restaurant itself is large, white and clean looking. There are huge archway-windows over-looking the glorious park scenery and allowing sunny fingers to poke through and light up the dining room, in which sits a gleaming black piano and the most stunning chandeliers which slowly move to form a kaleidoscope effect. There are curtains and drapes which hang in a Moroccan fashion and seal away those “no-go” areas. All elegantly done. An evening in the dining room would be a vastly different experience from our summer lunch on the balcony, not least because there are no flowers on tables or Victorian potted palms needed. The service was impeccable, and my glass my never empty. The food was delivered promptly and we were well looked after by our Sommelier. A selection of English cheeses finished the meal and it all seemed very quaint and summery on the balcony. Not like an English summer at all! Stilton, Pout-l Evéque, fresh goats cheese, and two other clunky European varieties* which I did not take note of, and that cheeky cheese that forever makes an appearance, “Brie”, was delicious as a finish. You can dip in-and-out of cheeses, sample as little or as much as you’d like from a wide variety or hard, soft, smelly, vile, stinking, blue, mouldy, aged, cave-grown cheeses. I think that’s their draw? It’s so English while being so French. Now then, to the tube… * Naporne and Fardambay? Let me know my mistakes.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Sabrina's Passions platinum reviewer 01 November 2010

Wasn't entirely sure what to expect from The Belvedere; somewhat of an old-school Marco Pierre-White restaurant, it tends to be somewhere that I have always avoided, despite living nearby. Saturday lunches are Jazz Piano-filled and although at first I was filled with dread, it was actually a pleasant accompaniment to the meal. The dining room is filled with groups of slightly older patrons and families and the service is very area-appropriate; formal and curteous without being overly stuffy. The menu isn't terribly exciting and the sight of ‘Caesar Salad a la Belvedere’ send shivvers down my spine. Luckily my starter of Foie Gras was excellent and my main course of swordfish with salsa verde and oven roast potatoes was outstanding. The swordfish was charred to perfection, meaty yet tender and the potatoes, crisp and buttery. I didn't manage dessert, but I was incredibly impressed with the food and a 3-course meal for £24.50 is excellent value in stylish surrounds, reminiscent of the days of Art Deco and Chinoiserie.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 5.0

paul s. silver reviewer 15 April 2010

I come here on sundays sometimes for lunch with the family and is always excellent.the munu £25 for 3 courses is great value, roast beef is yummy and portions are great. wines are reasonable priced and services is very good, especially if u have children. defo reccomended

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 2.0

zahid b. 22 July 2009

great

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 1.0

vanessa s. 11 June 2009

The service was great. View was good. Inside was quiet.. which is good for whomever needs it quiet.. Food was TERRIBLE. I announced proudly it was a Marco Pierre White restaurant and tnat food should be great.. and it was hardly edible.. but atmsophere was nice and quiet and service was good… but food.. really bad…super bad…

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The Belvedere is included in the following SquareMeal lists