This popular establishment purrs on, secure in the affections of its Kensington crowd, who treat it like a members’ club, lingering over bottles and meals and filling the place with atmosphere and confident conversation. The front bar, fringed with glasses, attracts the more knowledgeable wine crowd, who browse through 40 wines by the glass and 100 more in bottles (also for off-sale). These include classics typically available only in bottles, along with some more challenging newer-style varieties; the bar staff take pleasure in guiding your choices. Food consists of nibbles and platters. In the comfortable dining room behind, a full and sophisticated Modern European menu is available. Wine matches are suggested for each of the 15 or so dishes, some (for starters, at least) costing more than the food they accompany – a clear and laudable statement of intent. They were worth it, notwithstanding that the waiter lowered his voice to explain that the red Anjou was ‘natural’ and possibly less than smooth. We wish his expertise had extended to the grape blend, since it was off-appellation and delicious. The menu matches local tastes with luxury ingredients such as oysters, foie gras, steaks and côte de boeuf, served with modern flourishes. More interesting were yellow chanterelles, poached duck egg and sourdough toast; springily fresh chargrilled cuttlefish; and an excellent Ibérico pork. Well bedded-in staff kept things fast and friendly.