Walk through flower-filled Holland Park to enter a lofty-ceilinged cocoon of slightly kitsch opulence. Inside the erstwhile ballroom of Holland House there are giant mirrors, ornate lamps, silk curtains, and delicate chinoiserie wallpapering, while a gleaming trolley hosts ranks of rare whiskies and liqueurs; from the bar area tall windows look out on to gardens. There are a few modern touches too – a huge Damien Hirst butterfly painting – but attentive traditional service reinforces the feel of more old-fashioned luxury.
The Belvedere’s culinary stamp is less distinctive. Curiously, former owner Marco Pierre White’s name is still on the sign outside, though his only current connection seems to be as a remote ‘consultant’. Dishes are Modern European with a French accent, and seem to offer a bit more than they deliver. Starters of a smooth, full-flavoured mushroom tart and subtly seasoned crab cakes with peanut oil mayonnaise were the best dishes we tried; mains had a clumsy lack of balance between high-quality tuna and overpowered ratatouille, and strangely under-flavoured venison and its accompanying red cabbage.
It was all pleasant, but unmemorable; clearly diners come here (and pay the hefty prices) for the setting and the pampering, rather than for culinary adventures. The wine list is suitably grand, and inevitably pricey.
Holland House, off Abbotsbury Road, in Holland Park
|Opening hours:||Lunch served noon-2.15pm Mon-Sat; noon & 2.30pm Sun. Dinner served 6-10.15pm Mon-Sat|
|Transport:||Tube: Holland Park tube|
|Price:||Main courses £22-£25. Set meal (lunch, 6-7pm Mon-Fri) £15.95 2 courses, £19.95 3 courses; (Sun) £27.95 3 courses|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
3 / 5
- 5 star:1
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
Lovely setting and impressive menu which makes it difficult to choose what to have. However the food actually fails to deliver what it promises. It's all perfectly fine but nothing special. For example my Seabream was overdone and a bit dry but the accompanying peppers and the extra side spinach were delicious. But as a whole just a bit disappointed as the fish wasn't up to scratch. At these prices you do expect perfection. Pleasant evening though and staff pleasant and friendly.
Food adaquate and some things very good. Service appalling. Current manager/headwaiter arrogant, rude and everything you do not want when going out for a meal. Having had many very good meals here in the past under a different regime (the last formerly from the old Tante Claire), I will not eat there again. If you don't mind being treated like an ignorant tourist or person who has no experience or knowledge of what a good dining is, this place will suffice. When I am told that the present management changes, I will instantly be back. P M White should be ashamed (or perhaps he doesn't know?)