Kensington, it’s the home of £100m houses, royalty, film stars and those flamingos that people occasionally throw off the top of the Roof Gardens. It’s also one of London’s best dining spots, with restaurants a-plenty. Here are some of our faves…
Where: 1a Launceston Place, London, W8 5RL, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Gloucester Road (0.5 miles)
‘A glass of your finest Chinese red’, said nobody ever. Unless they were in-the-known and sitting in Min Jiang, the fine-dining Chinese restaurant at the Royal Garden Hotel. Commanding an impressive 10th floor view across Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, the food is even more impressive than the panorama out of the floor-to-ceiling windows. The Peking duck is some of the best outside of China (genuinely), while the show is unexpectedly stolen by the discovery of really nice Chinese wine – just don’t add Cokea-Cola…
Great for: Chinese wine, it’s the future!
Where: Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London, W8 4PT, United Kingdom
Nearest station: High Street Kensington (0.4 miles)
This Michelin starred restaurant, a short wander from the Design Museum, has been churning out consistently delicious food since opening in 2009. Chef Mark Kempson’s ‘English food that boasts a French soul’ is a favourite with locals, and won a Michelin star within two years of opening. The menu champions simplicity, so expect dishes like grilled native lobster, butterhead lettuce, roast guinea fowl and Cornish turbot.
Great for: Friendly, local vibes
The clue’s in the name, this is most certainly a restaurant that’ll have you wiping your fingers all over your trousers and down your jumper (ew!). Sticky Fingers is a haven of rock ‘n’ roll whose quirky nature celebrates “the best of good music, good people and good food”. Founded by Rolling Stone Bill Wyman (who should know a thing or two about messy living), Sticky Fingers declare that their food is designed to get your hands and face messy. Dishes are so lip-smackingly good that you won’t care if your lipstick ends up on your forehead, especially when tucking into deep fried halloumi slices, nachos fondita, mighty stack burgers and more.
Great for: Epic daily specials, and finger lickin’ good food!
It’s not often you venture out in search of Egyptian cuisine. But, if you are, then the Alexandria is the best place for it. Spanning two floors, the Egyptian cuisine is intertwined with a tapestry of influences, from France, Italy and Greece.
From moreish mezzes to bottles of wine a’plenty, it’s a Kensington must-visit that, we’ve heard on the social grapevine, makes for an ultimate party spot. When you’re there you simply have to try the Molokheya. This speciality serves as a traditional Egyptian herb soup equipped with rice. Meanwhile the slow-roasted tender shank of lamb is a must-eat. You won’t leave hungry, that’s for sure…
Great for: Egyptian fare and fine-dining
For those prone to thinking solely of the martial arts, Hello Kitty or sushi when Japan comes to mind, get ready for your horizons to be considerably widened at Japan House, a place with three entire floors dedicated to the culture and renowned restaurant, AKIRA.
AKIRA restaurant is the brainchild of chef Akira Shimizu, more fondly known as the man behind the bento box at Engawa restaurant. Guests to the restaurant will be immersed in Japanese food culture, exploring clean and exquisite flavours and, due to their emphasis on visual beauty, the dishes allow the Instagrammers amongst us to put away the Clarendon filters and snap away.
Great for: Some of the best Japanese food found in London…
Indulge in an Italian feast when you pop over to Baglioni Hotel London. Set in the heart of the city, you’ll find the Brunello Bar and Restaurant serving up some of the best Italian dishes you’ve tasted outside of Italy itself! The resto is inspired by Milanese trattorias of the 50s and that’s certainly clear to see. In the warmer months, you can dine al fresco style in their outdoor area – you might even be lucky enough for the sun to make an appearance!
Nuzzled just off Kensington High Street, you’ll find Zuaya, an exotic Latin American restaurant ready to win you over with every flavourful bite. You’ll feel as though you’re floating on cloud nine (or at least, high up in food heaven) with their fresh and authentic Latin Americana menu, priding itself with a scrummy selection of tapas, sharing plates, grilled meats and fresh seafood. Their sharing styles are perfect for dreamy lunch date, go on and treat yourself to a light bite.
Great for: Tasty tapas, of course!
If you’re looking for a luxe bite to eat before you head to do your weekly food shop at Harrods, stop off at Bvgari Hotel London – you won’t regret it. Bringing a slice of authentic Italian food all the way from Manhattan is the Sette Restaurant. The restaurant draws on the term ‘scarpetta’ which essentially means indulging in a meal down to the very last taste so you know you’re about to have a flavour party in your mouth. The Lounge also offers some tasty bites too, perfect for a lunch meeting!
Great for: An Italian feast
Where: Bulgari Hotel London, 171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Knightsbridge (0.2 miles)
Charm your dinner guests with a night to remember at The Milestone Hotel & Residences. Located directly opposite Kensington Palace and Gardens (it’s also super close to the Royal Albert Hall, so it’s ideal for a bite to eat before a performance too!) the fine dining experience at the hotel’s Cheneston’s Restaurant is superb, with the modern British menu matched by a quintessentially English country house decor. If you’d rather take an afternoon tea after a walk in the park, then delve into their amazing afternoon tea in the chic Conservatory, a monochromatic space decorated with with pop-art and sumptuous leather chairs.
Great for: Old-school glamour