London- The Belvedere

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Please take a second to admire the lovely man on the right, massaging his temples in an attempt to save what’s left of his sanity. The bottom right blur of a ponytail would be my mother, if any are interested.

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I love how in London, there are about a million and one fantabulous places to eat at, all looking fairly humble on the outside, though displaying clear prestige or popularity once you venture inside. Be it little hole in the walls or grand golden signs beaming at you once you step out of a cab (or the tube, which is way, way more fun). But when we’re talking The Belvedere in London, we’re talking real food. Food which might stuff and then blow you up, but great food nonetheless, presented superbly and elegantly.

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3 courses for 27.50 quid! Not bad considering the quality, service, ambience and taste. I looked around at the swanky, small groups of people clustered around divine plates which exuded deluxe comfort. I grew more curious by the minute. I first chose the crisp smoked duck salad, which had a surprising oriental twist. The duck was drizzled with a sweet and tangy red sauce, which went wonderfully with the cold and crisp seasonal vegetables.

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Presenting to you: Smoked haddock on a bed of Jersey Royals with a poached egg and Sauce Nantaise.

Might be too salty, you know, my dad softly warned.

But…fish. Haddock. Soft flakes oozing good oils and fragrance and goodness of the sea. And of course, that runny, perfectly cooked egg had to be the icing on the cake. It wasn’t too salty, mind you, and the gooey mealiness of the egg yolk and sauce complemented the soft-spoken white fish, which drunk everything up like a sponge. The Jersey Royals were nothing brilliant to speak of (plain potatoes in general I’m no fan of), but they did make a pretty brown resting bed.

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And finally, chocolate mousse topped with blood orange sorbet, and might I say it was bloody darn good. I mean, of course it couldn’t be stand-alone mousse, or the whole masterpiece would collapse on its knees. No, this was coupled with thin layers of dark chocolate brownie, giving it stability and textural edge. It was all set off by the burst of sweet tang contained within that perfect sphere of sorbet. Bloody good blood orange. It was even the perfect temperature to dig into!

These meals really are the unforgettable sort. The service was impeccable, and there was even a neat old man twiddling away at the piano the whole time. Talk about stamina.

The Belvedere

Holland Park, London

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