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Launceston Place Restaurant

1a Launceston Place, LONDON, W8 5RL

4 rosettes

Launceston Place has been a foodie destination through various incarnations in recent decades. Its location a few minutes away from the commercial whirl of High Street Ken has always been one of its attractions, but it's safe to say that it hasn't necessarily been intent on creating one of the bigger splashes on the capital's fine-dining scene. Tim Allen's arrival in 2012 from the country-house world of Wiltshire changed all that. Great things are now going on here, as is indicated by the extra Rosette gained this year. A composite of four early Victorian corner houses, the place slinks behind a sober, dark exterior, while inside the charcoal and plain fawn carpet and upholstery (a redecoration was in the offing as we were going to print) are tastefully offset with boldly assertive abstract artworks. Service is as highly polished as the cutlery, and fully in line with the profile of the place, where meals are taken at a gentler, subtler pace than is the hectic London norm. You're here to relax, even if you're hot-footing straight afterwards to an evening at the Albert Hall. As well as the early evening deal, there's a six-course taster, and a fair old welter of choice on the principal Market Menu. Allen's style is broadly modern European, utilising components such as Morteau sausage, Landes quail, Pata Negra lardo, brandade, Ibérico tenderloin and aged sherry vinegar in dishes that draw on the artillery of modern technique, but so as to emphasise the inherent characters of prime materials, rather than swamping them in counter-intuitive flavours. That Morteau appears in chunky cubes in a first course built around a perfectly judged, slow-cooked duck egg, along with just-tender braised white beans, and duck confit on toast topped with tiny delicate onion rings, the whole thing unified with a punchy duck stock reduction. Next up might be translucently well-timed roast cod, its skin appealingly brittle, accompanied by vivid flat-leaf parsley purée, cockles cooked in the Spanish manner on a plancha, and a salt-cod brandade of booming intensity, or possibly rump of veal roasted in aromatic herbs, with a single king oyster, glazed carrot, technically fascinating charred lettuce and puréed mushrooms in a jus gras. Virunga 70 percent cocoa chocolate from the eastern Congo lights up a brilliantly vibrant mousse, served with poached pear, salted caramel and praline soil, its stellar quality reinforced by a fantastically concentrated pear sorbet and a caramelised pistachio tuile.

Further information

Tel: 020 7937 6912
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Open/closed

Dates closed: Xmas, New Year, Etr
Sunday lunch available.
Days closed for lunch: Mon

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern European
Chef: Timothy Allen
Number of seats: 50
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Disabled toilets.
Children welcome.
Children's portions.

 

Restaurant price guide

2 Course lunch from: £25.00
3 Course lunch from: £30.00
Sunday lunch: £35.00
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.

 
Launceston Place Restaurant, London w8

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Nearest station: Gloucester Road, High Street Kensington

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