Getting lost in Holland Park’s Japanese gardens is already an escape, but it doesn’t involve food or drinks, so we can’t really list it here. But stumbling upon Belvedere in Holland Park takes it up a couple of notches. It’s an old restaurant and ballroom that dates back to the 17th century, and has a faded grandeur that reminds us of the dance hall from Beauty and the Beast and a real-life Hotel California. The French and Italian food is tasty (though it can feel like you’re eating in a posh restaurant, circa 1994), and even though it’s quiet much of the time, having lunch on its outdoor terrace that overlooks the garden is a peaceful way to escape for a few hours.
More spots in KensingtonSee more
Bone Daddies High St. Kensington
Bone Daddies has brought ramen to High Street Kensington, with this location atop a Whole Foods. Hit it for an excellent bowl of noodles.
Yashin Sushi is an excellent, creative, and modern sushi restaurant with an ever-changing list of unusual and seasonal ingredients.
Daylesford Organic is an all-day café, farm shop and restaurant at Brompton Cross that serves pizzas, salads, and surprisingly hearty mains.
More Italian spotsSee more
Circolo Popolare is a big, glitzy, and daft Italian trattoria in Fitzrovia that’s made for booze, big groups, and maybe some food.
Ruby is a modest Italian lunch bar in Shoreditch serving hearty homemade ciabatta sandwiches and plates of pasta.
Brawn in Shoreditch might be one of the city’s best neighbourhood restaurants. One that might even make you want to change neighbourhoods.
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