Diary: Let's Do Lunch - Kensington Place

Reviewed by James Tutt, director, Inferno Communications.

Kensington Place is not one of those here today, gone tomorrow restaurants.

It's been serving top-notch French-inspired food at the top of Kensington Church Street since 1987 when Rowley Leigh, the head chef, first burst the bubble of pretentious grande cuisine.

Eating great but affordable French food without fawning waiters and flourished metal domes may seem a normal experience now. But in the 1980s, Kensington Place blazed a trail.

Quality ingredients (especially fish) cooked simply and with skill continue to attract a varied mix of locals and west London media folk. With the BBC and Associated Newspapers nearby you might see Jeremy Paxman tucking in to a white peach and tomato salad, Magenta Devine hiding behind her dark glasses or a Daily Mail reporter devouring an interviewee and navarin of lamb in one bite.

The Gallic theme doesn't mean the food is exclusively from the land of the failed Olympic bid - chillies, coriander and other Asian influences also make welcome guest appearances. While three courses with wine and coffee might set you back upwards of £50 per head, there is a great-value set menu at £16.50 for three courses.

For a discreet interview, celebration, a thank-you or even an old-fashioned long lunch it takes some beating.

Where: Kensington Church Street, W8 7LX Contact: 020 7727 3184 How much: £30 per head with wine

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