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Seven Park Place by William Drabble

7-8 Park Place, LONDON, SW1A 1LP

4 rosettes

Following some unpleasantness at a rival establishment in 1857, Earl Granville and a minister of the Sardinian government, the Marchese d'Azeglio, decided to found their own London club where they would be made welcome. The St James was the result, and instantly became a magnet not just for the idle rich, but for the more discerning artists of the day, and has since been a haunt for many a celeb. The place was relaunched in 2008 as a club-hotel with a refit that brought Murano chandeliers and cashmere-lined walls to a London about to be plunged into the financial crisis, followed the year after by William Drabble to head up a self-named restaurant. Drabble was for over a decade the man holding the reins at Aubergine in Chelsea, which he brought back to premier-league status following Gordon Ramsay's departure, and as such he represented a stellar signing for the St James. The dining room decor is something of an acquired taste, it must be said, being a riot of geometric patterning in carpets and upholstery, with broad swathes of art deco-ish foliage advancing up the brown walls. While not for the hung-over, it at least makes a refreshing change from the ubiquitous greige minimalism of modern restaurants. It's perhaps all the more reassuring in the circumstances that Drabble's food is not about jarring sensory assault, but achieves wondrous results from dishes that make a show of themselves where it counts: on the palate. There is exquisite concentration and intensity in the cooking, which is impeccably seasonal in its use of ingredients, and in terms of the kind of weighting that works best, so lighter food in summer, more heartily rustic when the chill sets in. A seam of assured French classicism runs through the menus, which might open with baked fillet of red mullet with courgette and basil purée and sweet red pepper, or a partnership of seared foie gras with confit vegetables, raisin purée and Muscat sauce. Next up, perhaps the subtle satisfaction of roasted fillet of turbot with braised peas and lettuce, smoked bacon lardons and Italian lardo, or breast of Rhug Estate chicken with mousseron mushrooms, broad beans, morels and foie gras. At the end you might take a plate of Paxton and Whitfield cheeses or finish sweetly with something like creamed rice with mango and lime syrup, or there may be banana parfait with set chocolate custard and honeycomb.

Further information

Tel: 020 7316 1600
Please quote 'The AA'.
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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: £25.50
3 Course lunch from: £29.50
2 Course dinner from: £55.00
3 Course dinner from: £61.00
Prices are for guidance only. Please check when booking for current rates.

Seven Park Place by William Drabble, London sw1
  • Seven Park Place by William Drabble, London sw1
  • Seven Park Place by William Drabble, London sw1


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Nearest station: Green Park

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