London: Lorne – a neighbourhood restaurant at its best!

I love discovering new restaurants, especially in my own neighbourhood. One evening earlier this year I was meeting up with my friend Daisy for dinner. We had planned to meet around South Ken but as things got moved around we ended up meeting near Victoria instead. We hadn’t booked anywhere to eat but wanted to eat somewhere nice, so popped into A Wong to see if they had had any cancellations. Sadly they hadn’t. But closed to it was Lorne looking all cosy and full of happy people. So we went insid and tried our luck. Lo and behold, they had a table for us in about 20 minutes time. So we popped across the road for a quick drink and as we came back to the restaurant we were seated by bar stools by the door looking out onto the street.

Quite a cosy spot as it was a bit tucked away from the rest of the restaurant, and we could chat undisturbed!

We ordered a few dishes to share straight away, because by this stage we were both quite hungry! The deep fried mac ‘n cheese bites were really delicious and paired well with our cold bottle of white.

Next we shared two starters; crispy egg with haddock and curry sauce (above) and roast quail with butternut squash, pear and hazelnuts (below).

They were both really delicious! Quite delicate in flavour, but lovely combinations and really well prepared. Our waitress was lovely too recommending the quail to us and going through the whole menu and describe the dishes so I could figure out which ones I could have. So helpful!

Our last dish was a main course that we also decided to share, and knowing that the kitchen prepared a smaller plate each for us! So lovely and nice! And the dish; seabass with confit chicken wings, Jerusalem artichoke and pancetta was also utterly delicious!

We had such a lovely evening and felt like we literally stumbled upon a gem! In my own neighbourhood nonetheless. I will definitely go back as soon as I am allowed as this is the type of restaurant everyone should have in their neighbourhood and they so deserve the support.

Lorne, 76 Wilton Rd, Pimlico, London SW1V 1DE

Lunch at The Orange, Pimlico

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When Maria and Daniel were visiting a few weekends ago, we did what we always do; go shopping on the Kings Road. By lunch time we were near Sloane Sq and I thought it would be great to go to Daylesford Organic as they loved the Notting Hill branch. But it was no longer there. Luckily there are plenty of other nice places around and we went to The Orange instead.

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It was a lovely sunny day so we all wanted something light for lunch, like a salad. And so we did. Maria had the hot-smoked salmon salad with broad beans and pomegranate which she really enjoyed while Daniel and I went the more traditional route and had a Caesar salad each. And it was perfect. Crispy salad, not too much and not too little dressing, crispy pancetta and just enough croutons. Also juicy chicken breast and soft-boiled eggs. My only complaint would be that the eggs were a bit too cold, but that’s a minor details. Great cooking on the whole!

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There may have been another reason for having salad for lunch as well; we had our eye set on a stop at The Hummingbird Bakery in the afternoon. Daniel had a carrot cake cupcake while Maria and I agreed that salted caramel was the way to go! Super sweet but yummy!

The Orange, 37-39 Pimlico Road, London SW1W 8NE 

The Hummingbird Bakery, 47 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3JP

Lunch at Le Poule au Pot, Pimlico

lepoule7 The first bank holiday weekend in May was sunny and lovely (so not the case this past one!) so Gaby and I had lunch outside in Pimlico. lepuole1 Le Poule au Pot is a charming French bistro with a rather dark and messy, yet very charming, interior whilst the outdoor seating is cosy with wooden tables and plants. The food is classic French bistro food and one can chose between the a’la carte menu or a set two or three course menu. lepoule8 lepoule3 We had the set menu, two courses each, and got plenty of food. Gaby had the salmon terrine with toasted bread to start and it was nice and fresh! I love the crockery too, so pretty. lepoule4 My chicken liver mousse with cornichons and toast was really nice and smooth and the portion quite large. lepoule6For our maincourses we both had the steak frites with bearnaise sauce and it was really nice! My meat was slightly overcooked but very tender and the fries nice and crispy. The bearnaise sauce was a little on the runny side but great in flavour.

This is one of those classic places I like to seek refuge at once in a while, I guess to contrast modern restaurant and gourmet food. Less is more here, it’s classic French fare, cooked well and without fuss. But that combined with either the cosy interior inside or the nice tables outside it is enough.

Le Poule au Pot, 231 Ebury Street, London SW1W 8UT