Trendy and affluent South Kensington plays home to some of the city’s finest real estate, the streets lined with ornate and impressive buildings such as the regency style Kensington Hotel, where we dined for the evening.
The majestic building envelopes guests into its cosy ambience from the moment you set foot inside, something which is enhanced by the attentiveness of the hotel staff who are keen to welcome you in.
Once inside, you cannot help but feel cocooned by the warm and relaxing atmosphere which spreads throughout the hotel reception and into the Town House restaurant. The restaurant’s interior, which was designed by Alexander Waterworth, captures the charm of a traditional home whilst maintaining a modern and whimsical feel, featuring cosy armchairs and quirky decorations.
The dining area itself did not feel so much like a restaurant but in fact more of a lounge, where diners could comfortably relax and socialise whilst enjoying their meal. The open fireplace and the softly lit room also added to the cosy feel.
Our first taste of what the seasonal à-la-carte menu had to offer was Severn & Wye smoked salmon with Guinness bread, and Wye Valley asparagus with brown shrimps and poached hen’s egg. The Guinness bread is a must-try for anyone who visits the Town House - the almost malted taste is really unique. Our starters arrived beautifully presented with just the right amount to leave us ready for our main courses.
Next, we opted for the pea tortellini with morels and shaved Berkswell, as well as the roasted fillet of stone bass with artichoke and red pepper provençale. Although there were not many tortellini, the pea and ricotta filling was beautiful and delicate, complemented perfectly by the accompanying pea and mushroom purées. The dish itself was a good size, but those with a larger appetite may wish to order one of the various side dishes to go alongside it.
For dessert, the Valrhona dark chocolate fondant with raspberry sorbet was a standout choice, with the fondant itself brilliantly illustrating the pastry chef’s skill and capabilities. A real ‘melt in the middle’ pudding, the delicious raspberry sorbet went incredibly well with the rich chocolatey inside. For those seeking a lighter dessert option, the lemon posset is an excellent choice. The creamy texture is coupled with a zest that cleanses the palate and offers a wonderful combination of sweet and citrus.
Although the atmosphere of the Town House is unmistakably homely, there is no mistaking its luxury - the quality of food and the standard of service were second to none throughout the evening and we felt truly pampered by our experience. Another factor that contributed to this was the fact that the restaurant was not packed full, giving off more of an exclusive and personal feel. The Town House is undoubtedly one of the greatest spots to dine in this upmarket area, and anyone who wishes to visit can be assured that they will leave not only more relaxed but also with a suitably contented stomach!