MAGGIE JONES, HIGH STREET KENSINGTON
Back in 1966, a restaurant by the name of 'Nan's Kitchen' opened in High Street Kensington.
Thanks to its location being a stone's throw from one particularly well-known palace, it soon attracted a royal list of clientele, including Princess Margaret - which, viewers of The Crown will know, was the Royal that had a hoot.
Princess Margaret and her beau, Lord Snowdon, would sneak into the restaurant, take up a discreet booth at the back and order their favourite dish; the Chicken Pie. They occasionally went with friends and sometimes, sent their butler to collect a take-away. I believe this, ladies, gents, commoners, is what they call the 'Royal Deliveroo'.
It was then, after a few years of its most famous clients frequenting the restaurant, that Nan's Kitchen adopted a new name.
Maggie Jones takes the top spot for most beautiful restaurant in my books. Its homely, cosy, romantic feel will charm the socks off everyone that walks through its doors. Yes, it's over-the-top eccentric at its finest but it's been doing this since before you and I were born, so clearly it's doing something right. Its rustic appeal is rounded off to perfection with mismatched crockery, higgledy-piggledy furniture and cooking paraphernalia hanging from every nook, cranny, crevice and ceiling space.
We chose the perfect little spot downstairs by the window but equally, head upstairs and you will sure enough fall in love with the setting. For those on a romantic date, opt for a booth and you'll feel like the only ones in the restaurant except for the hum of life and chatter going on around you. Just make sure it's a date you really, really like - there's nothing worse than wasting a great venue on a half-hearted date night... you'll end up falling more for the interiors than your company!
Food is comforting and utterly hearty - if you shut your eyes, you could be fooled into thinking you've been transported back in time to one of those oldie-worldie villages from Anglo-Saxon times and stumbled upon ye olde finest pub in the land.
WHAT WE ATE:
To start: Stilton Mousse (we weren't sure what to expect with this but honestly, it might just have been our favourite dish - completely more-ish we kept coming back to this even when our mains had arrived!) // Avocado Crab (delicious fresh crab on a bed of avocado - you really can't go wrong... unless of course, you don't like crab or avocado...)
For mains: Maggie's Creamed Fish Pie // Rump of Lamb with Rosemary & Garlic - both rich, comforting classics that satisfied our stomachs and filled us with warmth on a wintery Wednesday afternoon in January.
To finish: Afternoon meetings beckoned us both, so we skipped desserts on this occasion (regrettably - as apple crumble with custard might just be my favourite classic pud). But next time, I'll be sure to book in a longer stay and notably, looser fitting jeans.
Romantic date nights - cosy gatherings - family get togethers - leisurely Sundays
NEED TO KNOW:
6 Old Ct Pl, Kensington, London W8 4PL