What better time than Christmas to spread the word about where to find the perfect Sunday lunch in London? I discovered Kettner’s during the height of the Christmas shopping season and, situated in the heart of Soho, it was a haven of tranquillity amongst the bustling streets.
Kettner’s was opened in 1867 by Auguste Kettner, chef to Napoleon III, and still maintains the glamour of its hay-day. On enty, you are faced with a spiral staircase leading upwards to private function rooms, to the left the velvet draped booths of the cocktail and champagne bar, and to the right the main dining area. Having had our coats whisked away, we were seated in a silvery-grey room with mirror lined walls. The concoction of white wicker and red velvet chairs, living room lamps, rugs strewn across the floor and chandeliers dropping from the ceiling create a, far from shabby, worn-out elegance.
…our waiter again became preoccupied in clearing an unoccupied table…
Piano music filtered softly through the room, although the grand piano remained unoccupied, and the waiters were intent on creating a warm atmosphere by placing an assortment of candles on each white table top. It could be said that the staff were perhaps more intent on beautifying the vacant tables than on taking our drink order but when my elderflower fizz arrived, topped beautifully with a strawberry, I decided the wait was worthwhile.
The Sunday lunch menu offers two courses for £17.50. We all opted for the roast beef which, impeccably cooked, was served with crisp vegetables, roast potatoes and, of course, a Yorkshire pudding. Having offered condiments and gone in search of horse radish, our waiter again became preoccupied in clearing an unoccupied table, but, indisputably polite, we chose to see the comical side to this questionable service.
…Kettner’s is the perfect place to escape from the winter cold…
Skipping starters in anticipation of the desserts (Kettner’s is known for its pudding bar) was definitely the correct choice. We sampled a chunky chocolate brownie with hazelnut ice cream, lemon tart with clotted cream and blackberry and rhubarb crumble. Although sufficiently replete we could unarguably have continued to sample more of these mouth-watering, sweet treats.
Kettner’s is the perfect place to escape from the winter cold and sample traditional English cuisine. On a dark afternoon it would be hard not to be lured into this glowingly homely establishment.
Address: 29 Romilly St. Soho, London W1D 5HP | Nearest Tube: Leicester Square
Image courtesy of Kettner’s Restaurant