Boutique Luxury Hotel and Restaurant in the heart of South Kensington
Category : Bar, Restaurant
| Cuisine : Mediterranean
Address : 33 Roland Gardens , Kensington, Chelsea, London, SW7 3PF, UNITED KINGDOM - Directions
Web : www.blakeshotels.com
Closest Tube : Glouscester Road, South Kensington
It had been a while since we‘d been right in the heart of Chelsea, and sometimes you forget how charming it is. Blakes is nestled on Roland Gardens, sandwiched between Old Brompton and Fulham Roads, in the eponymous boutique hotel set up by Anouska Hempel. The restaurant inside is inspired by her touring of different nations, gleaning both design elements and dish inspirations from countries around the world.
The dining room itself is very modern, charcoal coloured with copper detailing and a big central copper bar. Hempel aimed to create a room reminiscent of an old steamer heading up the Bosphorus, a kind of nautical version of the Orient Express. She‘s populated it with a variety of artefacts and artwork that she‘s collected whilst globe-trotting. Downstairs there‘s a DJ and lounge tables for people looking to kick back after dinner.
Head chef Peter del Campo has put together a menu that straddles borders but is unified by its attention to nutrition and quality. Just after we sat down we were offered a bread basket of pumpkin seed flatbread served with a steamed artichoke with a pot of olive oil and a punchy truffle dressing to dunk them in. We then were treated to a sashimi platter with tuna, yellow tail and salmon chilled on a bed of ice, served on a banana leaf with fresh wasabi, pickled ginger and soya sauce. Whilst it wasn‘t reinventing the wheel, it was easy on the eyes and the fish was top quality.
Soft shell crab was served Thai salad style with nahm jim, coriander, chilli and lime: fresh and piquant with a bit of crunch in between, it ticked all of the boxes for a delicious salad. They brought us over truffle ricotta ravioli in between courses. The ricotta was amazingly delicate, with just a drizzle of olive oil and they were quite subtle with the truffle so it wasn‘t too over-powering. Lobster paccheri with cherry tomato and garlic was as good as you‘d get in a Roman trattoria, whilst black cod with tempura courgette flower, miso and tahihi was an elegant splicing of Mediterranean and Japanese flavours. Desserts were potentially some of the best dishes. A dessert of millefeuille stacking matcha tea, vanilla ice cream and Canadian maple toffee offered a nice charge of sugar and caffeine, as well as a smoky, seductive flavour.
Overall, we think it‘s a great spot for Innerplace members and well-suited for dates. We can imagining it being a cosy place to curl up in the winter and the bar downstairs would be a cool venue to continue your night in.