Launceston Place to be…or not to be?

The only regular restaurant we ever visited in London was the Foliage. We have been going there for a number of years. Now that Chris Staines is leaving we have been on the lookout for a replacement regular lunch venue. When I say regular I mean every couple of months. You can have too much of a good thing.

In fact it was a member of the Foliage staff that recommended Launceston Place.  I had not heard of the place but made a mental note to give it a try sometime. In the mean time the Great British Menu had propelled its young head chef Tristan Welch to fame. So it was with some anticipation that we visited.

At the start of the meal we were presented with a few spicy crisps tied together with a piece of ribbon bearing the restaurant name. While very cute I didn’t really enjoy starting off my meal with greasy fingers. The food was good, peaking for me with the main course of rose veal and sweetbreads. This was very good. To finish I had my first taste of Cranachan the supposedly traditional Scottish dish (I’m Scottish and had never heard of it or had it while growing up!). It was nicely presented although I suspect a traditional Scot might not recognise it. It was okay not something to rave about unfortunately.

On the way out we bumped into Tristan and had a long conversation with him. He really is a very friendly young guy and we wish him well in the future as he really is a talented chef.

Lauceston Place has 2 AA Rosettes, I suspect a third one is not too far away.

Launceston Place was also a venue on Celebrity Master Chef this year, the winner made a point of mentioning how useful her time there was. Tristan has also been a guest chef on Saturday Kitchen.

Update :  October 2009 – This years Professional Master Chef winner Steve Groves is also on the staff.

Update : February 2010 – The Restaurant has just been awarded its 3rd AA Rosette.

Update : June 2011 – Steve Groves is now working  at Roux on Parliament Square.

Update : April 2012 – There is now a new head chef at Launceston Place – see Press Release

Marks out of 10

Food 7

Service 7

Ambience 7


City Cafe – Summer in the City!

The City Inn’s restaurant is called City Cafe, it has an attractive covered outside seating area, great  for the summer, even when the evenings get cooler as there are plenty of heaters.

A large screen TV is usually wheeled out for Wimbledon and other major events. The food is above average for a Hotel Chain Restaurant and reasonably priced.  It has 2 AA Rosettes, which sounds about right. It was also recently featured on Celebrity Master Chef.

Art Street - The City Inns outdoor space
Art Street – The City Inns outdoor space
Not a good day to use the outdoor space
Not a good day to use the outdoor space

There are two bars, one next to the City Cafe and the main one on the first floor, the Millbank Lounge. The Millbank Lounge has waitress service and focuses on whiskeys and pretty good cocktails, food there can be a bit hit and miss.


I love the fact you can actually use the excellent Tate to Tate boat service as a means of getting to/from this hotel.

Picture 116

Tate to Tate boat

Marks out of 10 – for City Cafe

Food – 5.8

Service 5.5

Ambience 5.5

Marks out of 10 – for Millbank Lounge

Food 5

Service 7

Ambience 6

UPDATE : November 2010 – The City Inn has been rebranded and is now the Mint Hotel.

UPDATE : January 2012 – This hotel has now been rebranded as a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel,

UPDATE : May 2013 – Not sure if Hilton are paying much attention to the restaurant now, when I have passed by it at lunch times during the week and weekends it has been completely empty.

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