Restaurant Review: The Town House at The Kensington in London
The epitome of English elegance with a creative contemporary twist, The Kensington hotel encapsulates the Royal Borough – and with an entrance of pastels playing with florals; it’s impossible to walk past without venturing further in. Intimate but exclusive, like a private home – the public spaces of this hotel are adaptable from morning until night, with the ground floor spaces recently receiving a full transformation overseen by Alexander Waterworth Interiors.
Part of a collection of three rooms, each leading on from one another, The Kensington hotel’s restaurant – the Town House is all in the name. Mirroring the stature of a smart English house, the ground floor features the warmth of open fireplaces and connects through from the library into the dining room and the glamour of the K Bar. Each has been created to adapt to a variety of settings from the ultra-smart, down to the casual but equally sophisticated.
A large table dressed in a white table cloth is illuminated by the early summer evening light as we are seated towards the rear of The Town House restaurant. With the glamour of The K Bar peering into the dining room, we order over a couple of champagne cocktails to warm up.
A menu that is as classically English as its surroundings, the kitchen of the Town House is run by Executive Chef Steve Gibbs, who trained under the great British chefs Jason Atherton and Mark Hix. Catering to hotel guests and visitors such as ourselves, the comfortable and familiar selection of dishes are locally sourced and seasonal.
Presented on a bed of mustard crème fraiche with apple and raisin chutney – crispy pigs cheeks are admittedly crispier than per se cheeky; dressed with yellow and red beetroot, warm goats cheese salad has fresh flavours and vivid colours. But the real winners to start – a splash of colour and intricate detail from the Josper grilled octopus and the lightly seared and delicate tuna finished with a soy and ginger dressing and pickled radish.
Main courses also from the Town House’s Josper grill, my carnivorous counterparts and I order a selection of steaks, with the exception of whole dover sole. With a handful of sides such as spring greens, buttered spinach, fries and hand cut chips – each are complemented with a classic line up of béarnaise, peppercorn, blue cheese or BBQ. Despite stating that they may be locally or even seasonally sourced, quality can often struggle to shine though – although cooked per request and tailored with sides and sauces, these steaks held their own.
Contemporary décor woven with features of English heritage, the Town House within The Kensington is a welcoming and charismatic dining space for both hotel guests and visitors. With friendly and carefully attentive floor staff, the Town House is encourages to re-visit; whether it be for a nourishing morning juice, a lengthy lunch or dinner or for a classy cocktail within the polished and opulent surroundings of The K Bar.
Address: The Town House at The Kensington: 109-113 Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5LR, +44 20 7589 6300, townhousekensington.com