One of the many fantastic things about London is its parks. No matter where you live in this great city you won’t be too far from a bit of green space. And they are all so different. Green Park’s so neat and, well, green; Regent’s Park is full of roses and other flowers, Hyde Park has the Serpentine and plenty of joggers and King George’s Park, near my home, is packed with tennis players, dogs being walked and locals chilling out in the fresh air and sunshine (when there is some).
Holland Park is a borough in West London, one of the most desirable in the city, where large houses regularly sell for over £10 million. And of course it has its own park. It’s around 54 acres and about half of that is semi-wild woodland. It also has an orangery, a giant chess set, a cricket pitch, tennis courts, a Japanese garden, a theatre and a restaurant – the Belvedere.
Dating back to the 17th century, the beautiful room was once the ballroom to the Jacobean mansion that was Holland House. It’s got a truly glamorous feel to it with high ceilings, large mirrors, striking lighting and Art Deco style. Spaces to eat in don’t get more stylish than this!
The food has a mainly French feel to it, although I had an Asian-style duck salad to start with. It was beautifully rich duck with crispy salad and a fresh, zesty dressing.
I do love dishes that make you gasp when they arrive at your table. Which is exactly what this one did – and you can see why! Tasted fab, too.
The rack of lamb was perfectly cooked and the curly kale amazing – I must remember to eat more of it. It came with a rich jus.
The salmon with mushrooms was from the menu du jour.
While the food was good, this experience is very much enhanced by the setting – both the building and the park it sits in. You absolutely can’t believe you are in the middle of London, the peace is incredible. And you simply have to go for a stroll afterwards to walk that lunch off.
The Belvedere is off Abbotsbury Road in Holland Park.