Look up the word parlour in the dictionary and you will get two definitions: first, as a sitting room in a private house; next, as a room in a public building for receiving guests. It is perhaps not accidental then that Parlour, an on-trend British restaurant in central north west London, fulfils both these terms. Diners are made to feel very welcome; spending time at this venue is a bit like being in a good friend’s house. A recent 5-hour session at Parlour enjoyed by your reviewer speaks volumes. Chef Jesse and his team are clearly having fun in the kitchen and they seemingly want this vibe to extend to the whole place. Parlour hits the zeitgeist of being manging to be slightly wacky, quirky and eclectic, yet pulling it off with panache. Décor is mismatched deliberately but stylishly, with Dandy cartoon book annuals somehow complementing artwork reminiscent of Frida Kahlo. Staff give the impression of being knowingly tongue-in-cheek about the whole thing without being either achingly or irritatingly cool. Think of Parlour as being the sort of place where you’re almost tacitly encouraged to sit back, relax and let things take their course. Being open from 10am to 10pm, it would certainly be possible to spend a full day at Parlour. My dining comrade and I were pleased with our effort, which was certainly enhanced by the venue’s BYO policy. Sure, there’s a decent wine list, but if people want to bring their own, then why shouldn’t they? It’s a pity not more restaurants are sufficiently open-minded. Food-wise, there’s something for everyone. Desperate Dan of Dandy fame makes an appearance on the menu. There’s ‘cow pie’ for those who wish. Alternatively, ‘Colonel McTurkey’s Popcorn Chicken Nuggets’ gives another firm impression of the inherent playfulness that goes on when compiling the menu. Fortunately, it’s not all show; there’s much substance too. We tasted widely across the menu and were mostly highly impressed. A couple of salmon nibbles with which to begin gave a strong sense of what was to come. No venue calls the accompanying starch ‘that soda bread’ unless it’s clearly good, for surely it has a reputation to withhold. Plaudits then for expectations fulfilled. A dream pairing without doubt. Among the other starters, the McTurkey didn’t really do it for me, but the watermelon salad spoke effortlessly of summer while the duck liver profiteroles with pistachio and honey were a delight (even if a potential cholesterol red alert – one would have been sufficient). Onto the mains and the kitchen excelled with our both our fish and meat options. I love a good sardine and here it was executed with precision. The slow-cooked lamb perhaps was not presented so beautifully, but tasted unbelievably good. There was just about room for desserts, with the frangipani tart being my favourite. For such a satisfying experience, it’s even better that Parlour does not charge excessively. Indeed, a 3-course lunch menu for £19 (or 4 for £25) constitutes a veritable steal. Looking forward to my return visit already.