La Terrazza, located in Kensington’s glamorous Hotel Xenia, is an equally glamorous all-day Italian restaurant. Here, head chef Raffaele Lauriola serves up creative, modern Italian fare, taking inspiration from his childhood in northern Puglia. All ingredients are carefully sourced, then showcased in simply prepared dishes. Taking a prime spot on the corner of Lexham Gardens and Cromwell Road, the restaurant is a light and bright space. Hang plans surround the stylish bar, while numerous floor-to-ceiling windows flood the dining room with natural light throughout the day. There are cosy armchairs at each table, ideal for relaxed dining.
The menu follows the traditional Italian structure of antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci, with a few contorni on the side. There is plenty of choice throughout, catering to most diets. Diners can snack on a selection of olives, before enjoying the likes of panzanella with grilled octopus, salmon tartare with avocado and calypso sauce or burrata with wild rocket and candied tomatoes. The primi offering is, as one would expect, primarily pasta dishes such as lobster and artichoke ravioli, pappardelle with duck ragu and spaghetti carbonara. There are some non-pasta options too, including aubergine parmigiana or risotto with red radicchio and hazelnuts.
The secondi are the main event, featuring showstoppers like braised lamb shoulder with Sicilian couscous, grilled seabass with sauteed spinach or chicken Milanese with roasted potatoes. Finally, there is an excellent selection of delicious desserts like a classic tiramisu, white chocolate mousse or sfogliata with mixed wild berries. For a quicker bite, there are also sandwiches and ciabattas available, with fillings like scamorza, speck and caramelised onion or ham, pesto and mozzarella. Ideal for catching up over drinks are the charcuterie boards, featuring prosciutto, coppa, salame, speck, spianata piccante and bresaola, as well as cheeses like parmiggiano, pecorino, gorgonzola, auricchio and taleggio with millefiori honey.