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Seven Park Place by William Drabble

7-8 Park Place, LONDON, SW1A 1LP

4 rosettes

The eponymous chef whose name hangs above the door of his pocket-sized restaurant within the celeb-haunt St James's Hotel and Club is a prodigious talent. Drabble took over the reins at Aubergine in Chelsea following Gordon Ramsay's departure, and he stayed for a decade to firmly re-establish the place in the foodie premier league - a stellar signing for the St James's. This is an attractively small-scale operation and with just 26 diners in an adjoining pair of intimate dining rooms to cook for, the kitchen is hardly overstretched, ensuring that timings, textures and flavours are fine-tuned. With its opulent tones of brown, black and gold, the decor is certainly swish, and occupies a place at the opposite pole of the ubiquitous beige minimalism of modern restaurants, being a riot of geometric patterning in carpets and upholstery, with broad swathes of art deco-ish foliage snaking up walls punctuated with striking artworks. A foundation of assured French classicism keeps Drabble's cooking on track as it roams between familiar and new territory without ever losing its way. Menus come liberally-sprinkled with high-end ingredients, as in a simple but flavour-packed opener of poached Dorset blue lobster tail with roasted cauliflower, cauliflower pur?e, black trompette mushrooms and lobster butter sauce, or a partnership of roasted quail with crispy veal sweetbreads and marinated foie gras pointed up with a warm orange and hazelnut dressing. Next up, an assiette of pork is a highly technical workout that demonstrates the understated finesse of Drabble's cooking, comprising unctuous braised cheek, slow-cooked belly, a braised head croquette and fillet with black pudding, broad beans and an intensely porky jus - this is cooking of exquisite concentration and intensity. If your fancy turns to fish, there might be griddled sea bass fillet matched with an oyster beignet, salsify, smoked garlic hollandaise and red wine and rosemary jus. At the end, an assiette of chocolate is a masterclass comprising mousse, parfait, ice cream, and caramel and white chocolate pannacotta, or you might take a plate of Paxton and Whitfield cheeses. Considering the level of cooking on offer, you can eat here at an astonishingly keen price if you go for the set-price lunch menu, but it's obviously the carte and d?gustation menus that hold greatest excitement, and if you get seduced by the excellent globetrotting wine list, consider the budget well and truly blown.

Further information

Tel: 020 7316 1600
Please quote 'The AA'.
Send an email


Open all year.
Days closed: Sun-Mon

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern French
Chef: William Drabble
Number of seats: 34
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Disabled toilets.
Children welcome.
Children's portions.


Restaurant price guide

2 Course lunch from: £26.50
3 Course lunch from: £31.50
2 Course dinner from: £57.00
3 Course dinner from: £63.00
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.



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Nearest station: Green Park

Local information for SW1A 1LP

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