By robvalid
96 Kensington High Street, W8 4SG
View Map

There’s always been something ‘always the bridesmaid, never the bride’ about High Street Kensington’s eateries.¬† While restaurants in nearby Notting Hill Gate and Knightsbridge groan under the weight of their plaudits and Michelin stars¬† HSK has always been home to the kind of chain restaurants and unpretentious local places destined to just make a living from penny-pinching tourists. Until now that is, because from the ashes of an unlovely ‘business members club’ has risen the area’s first proper, grown-up kind of restaurant for ages. There’s an elegant, mid-Atlantic vibe to Pavilion; it mixes classic European Art Deco furnishings with New York-style up-at-the-counter eating; a charcuterie and fromagerie counter that wouldn’t look out of place in Paris with a cocktail list that smacks of Mad Men-era sophistication. All well and good, but what of the food? Well luckily it’s just as classy as the setting. The open kitchen is home to Adam Simmonds – previously at his own Michelin-starred restaurant at Danesfield House – who has conjured up a menu of locally sourced, innovative and complex cooking. Melt-in-the-mouth mackerel was paired with oyster mayonnaise, while a dish of spring asparagus and morels in a pea veloute made a winning case for Simmonds’ seasonal-food philosophy. Kudos too to a cocktail list that includes a fabulous triple-martini-taster – three local spirits with fresh accompaniments on the side. This is just what the neighbourhood needed, and if the constant stream of would-be diners turned away from the soft opening was anything to go by, Pavilion is going to be here for many years to come.