On June 17th, "howler" posted a response to a post about Launceston Place Restaurant & gave suggestions on a good walk around the surrounding neighborhood. Well, today was the day. Our local friend cancelled out for Sunday "roast" plans so we took the underground to Kensington station, walked the southern part of the park, including from the Albert Memorial to the Broad Walk along the flower path. Then up Broad Walk to the Garden by the residence. We then doubled back to the southwest exit of Kensington Gardens, left the park and went down Victoria Road, finding the neighborhood incredibly beautiful & peaceful. The church on Victoria that howler recommended was just ending services and was picturesque, with the garden as described. We walked down several blocks, including a mews behind the church that was unbelievably perfect. Howler, as requested, we're now going to "...thank me later... and be discreet because you are a 100 yards away from my house at that point." Hope we werent too loud.
As it was now about 1pm and Launceton Place was serving their 3 course set meal, we went in for lunch. We were seated one table away from both the front window and from 2 older women who could have been lifted directly from a Poirot episode. Very proper, very entertaining (hey, we're New Yawkers, we evesdrop!). The place is serene, artfully arranged and very comfortable. The young manager was friendly and had a good sense of humor, describing whatever we didnt understand.
And now for the food:
We absolutely agree that this place wont set the culinary world ablaze, but it was excellent and easily worth going for a solid meal -- exactly what we were searching for. Started with glasses of Sancerre and Viognier, respectively. Breads served included sesame currant, sun dried tomato & a couple of others I forget -- all fresh baked and flavorful. Then she got goat cheese souffle over "rocket" (arugula), while I had two large fresh sardines with harticorte vertes in butter/parmesan. Then, with glasses of St. Emillion, we both got the (medium rare)roast beef mains with roasted potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and horseradish sauce (separately served on the side). Very decent quality, well prepared and served, very tasty. Happy campers. For desert, she had coffee cheesecake, almost mousselike; I had a very generous cheese plate, which included a domestic brie and some excellent blue cheeses. She had coffee, I passed so as to stay on my diet. All this, including the vat and the 12.5% gratuity they added, came to only 85 pounds -- a steal, if not for the veritable worthlessness of the US dollar these days.
So... go to Launceton Place for a slice of quiet, reserved London & very good food. While there, look around the gorgeous neighborhood around Victoria Street. And, most importantly, keep it quiet so as not to disturb howler.