One of The D&D Group’s finest restaurants, Launceston Place has often been recommended to me, so I was excited to dine there recently on a sunny spring afternoon.
The area is as genteel as you’d hope from the South Kensington address, and the cobbled street that leads you to Launceston Place is absolutely picturesque.
At Launceston Place, the knowledgeable French staff almost outnumbered the diners, and despite a few glitches, remained attentive throughout the 7 course bonanza.
The béchamel-laced amuse bouches were warming but almost overpoweringly cheesy. Our starters of scallops and quail were beautifully presented, and each offered an impeccable combination of textures, flavours and depth.
The quail ballottine stuffed with a smoked sausage and sage mousse served on cauliflower cream and juicy, plum raisins was a winning, complex combination, and one I’d not even come close to seeing on other menus in the capital.
The scallop served with pork belly was a classic salty juxtaposition against the juicy, fresh seafood and was executed with real skill.
Mains of the lemon sole and pork belly were pretty formal but you might expect that from a restaurant of this calibre. The pork belly came with a dressing of pork popcorn (pictured above) which was fun and showed a glimmer of playfulness in an otherwise very formal menu.
The sole was served with samphire and Cardigan bay prawns, which were bursting with flavour and unctuous accompanying notes.
A cheese course presented a unanimously French selection from La Fromagerie, but being presented with just crackers didn’t do them justice – some chutneys or fruits would have lifted the plate.
Passion fruit soufflé was a long time coming, but worth every second as the warm, oozing centre was intensely sweet. The sharpness of the fruit really cut through though, to add a real depth to the dessert.
The dining room at Launceston Place is modern and incredibly classy with nooks and crannies and mirror-lined walls creating a depth and mystique. The diners were just what you’d expect, and it was impossible not to enjoy a spot of West London eavesdropping and handbag admiring.
Launceston Place offers an incredibly well-executed menu in an undoubtedly beautiful upmarket town-house setting.
The presentation, dishes and setting is up there with some of the best I’ve had in London, and I would happily revisit for any number of occasions.
For further information, please visit the Launceston Place website. Bon Vivant’s members will receive a complimentary glass of champagne when dining in the restaurant, so contact London’s premier concierge service about becoming a member.
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