I’m probably over reliant on Twitter these days with foodies actively shouting the latest restaurant openings, the best places to eat and the most trendy doorways to queue for 2-3 hours. But for the local and often hidden places that I walk by everyday, it’s my friends who actually recommends them and they are just as good. On a weekend afternoon, three of us struggled to find a quiet, cosy and not too expensive place for lunch. The criteria is the usual, no queue, no wait and can stay as long as we want. One friend remembered Maggie Jones, a traditional British restaurant that’s been hidden in Kensington for over 40 years.
The restaurant lacks light to create that cosy atmosphere, in fact it looks identical day and night unless you sit by the window. The tables are so compact that it required a few pushes before settling down comfortably in the confined booth space. We sat so close together it was like school girls gossiping on a field trip. I’m guessing it’d also be perfect for a date that you want to get very close to. A couple hours flew by, no one cared that we stayed a while. The waiters were so busy, as long as we didn’t ask anything, they were happy.
On the food front, the menu was rather confusing during lunch time. The large blackboard that listed the lunch specials was dragged around constantly allowing diners to make a split second judgement. It proved quite difficult as the specials were twice as long as the actual lunch menu and we were definitely overwhelmed with choices. Leek tart, beef pie, chicken pie, prawn cocktails, grilled chicken, all the classic stuff but tons of them.
Prawn cocktail, chicken avocado salad
Grilled breast of chicken with creamed tarragon sauce
Roast stuffed shoulder of pork with apple sauce
Steak pie (pie of the day)
Verdict - 3/5
Food (not overly exciting) - food wasn’t overly impressive but the classic dishes were done well and often faultless.
Service (slow) - service was too busy and often impossible to get someone to take the bill. But the deco was too cosy to leave anyway.
cost (£16pp) - a good value restaurant considering its central location next to High Street Kensington. At lunchtime, all mains were £7 and starters were £5.
6 Old Court Place, Kensington Church Street
London W8 4PL
020 7937 6462.