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“Great culinary journey”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of The Ledbury

The Ledbury
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Ranked #10 of 22,376 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $58 - $77
Cuisines: French, European, British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Notting Hill
London
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great culinary journey”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2014 via mobile

We received a coupon from our dear friends to dine at the Ledbury after having twins as a present. It was such a great idea and the food was amazing. Well looked after and even offered the opportunity to visit the kitchen. Sommelier was very knowledgeable and all the staff were very good. Food was just divine. Fabulous afternoon!

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Carey H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,282 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
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  • Polish first
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  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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  • Any
English first
Paris, France
Level Contributor
118 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 319 helpful votes
“A surprise package on every plate...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2014

This was my first visit to the Ledbury, and since I am notoriously hard to please (extensive restaurant background), I was prepared for a big let-down - but I was let-down by the fact that everything was marvelous, and I had nothing to complain about! This doesn't often happen, and I enjoyed a terrific meal, lasting around 2.5 hours.

The weather was nasty on New Year's Eve - rainy, very windy, chilly - and in my experience, restaurants can be hit-or-miss during the holidays. The Ledbury is located on a corner, in a mostly residential neighborhood - frankly, it doesn't look all that special from the outside - so, despite glowing reviews (and examining many photos), I didn't have my hopes up too high. Inside, however, I discovered a warm welcome, modern, but warm decor, with tasteful lighting and very comfortable chairs. This is important, especially if you order the Tasting Menu, since you will be sitting for a good while - and quite happily, too. Ladies were offered those little table hooks that keep your designer handbag up off the floor - a nice classy touch, and practical, too, unless you are lugging around a tote bag full of books, as I was...Anyone dining solo would have no worries, here - I was treated like someone special, even though I'm not.

There are two menu choices - the regular and the Tasting Menu, the first around 45 GBP, the second was about double that. There is also a Wine-Pairing Menu, for those who like to be told what to drink - however, I am an independent soul, and know what I like, so opted for the full Tasting Menu and chose my own wine. I expected several small courses, and that's what I got. I was quite satisfied with the amount of food, but people with large appetites would probably not feel they had gotten their money's worth, and would do better to eat in a place where quantity is more important than quality. I felt the need for a little snack, later on in the evening, though I was not hungry enough for dinner.

Here's how the scenario unfolded...
First, the suggestion of an aperitif - I enjoyed a terrific "antigua" sweet vermouth, while perusing the menu and checking out the plates being served nearby - followed by an amuse-bouche (embarrassed to say I have forgotten what it was, but I liked it a lot), then a visit from the sommelier. I knew what I wanted to drink, and for once, a sommelier did not feel compelled to argue with me. The meal was off to a very good start...

Then, the parade of bijoux began - everything was paced extremely well. I was not rushed, nor was I left wanting. The service here is very "zen", calm, pleasant and efficient, but not overly formal or reverential. That said, it's not like being in church - feel free to talk amongst yourselves and enjoy yourselves. The people working here - all of them - know that the Ledbury is someplace special, and they take pride in their work and in their product. The "cheese whiz", in particular, really knew his stuff - the cheese trolley does not offer a huge selection, but it is carefully curated, and all the cheese I saw looked and smelled "a point". Difficult for a restaurant to manage, and very impressive.

So, I had half a bottle of Ridge Zinfandel, because I was feeling a little nostalgic, and can't get much California wine in Paris. It went very well with the dishes I had, though I would have made another choice, if I had been sharing a full bottle. Afterwards, I had a lovely digestif, an old armagnac. Prices were reasonable, and the list is long enough without being overly-intimidating. The sommelier seemed to know his stuff. Now that the alcohol is out of the way, here's what I had to eat...

Let me just say that I really do not like "molecular gastronomy", and I despise any sort of foam - looks to me like someone threw up in my plate, and I just cannot eat it. No fear, no foam at the Ledbury! The food here is intelligently, thoughtfully prepared, influenced by modern cooking trends, without getting silly about it. There were no tricks along the lines of "First, put this frozen bubble in your mouth, then inhale the smoke from this smoldering bit of lichen, then bite down ever so gently..." Nope, none of that - thank God! But each plate, and each morsel, was beautifully presented, and a delight to eat.

So, get to the good part, already...
Truth is, I have lost my notes, but here are the high points: grated foie gras on top of truffles on toast - the foie gras had been frozen, who knew you could do that?; a mysterious, magical quail egg - somehow fried in shredded phyllo dough, but still properly liquid, and way better than any Scotch egg; the best "deconstructed" onion soup I have ever had, served from a little tea pot; a piece of pork, lacquered with Asian spices - the only problem with this is that a fairly large piece is presented, then taken back to the kitchen to carve (I would have liked to eat the whole thing...); gently-pickled eel with a bit of of beet "lace" - foam finally did appear, but it was dried somehow, and absolutely delightful. I asked to replace whatever the dessert was with the brown sugar tart, but that was the only dish that did not enthrall me - I don't see what the big deal is, here. Next time, I would opt for the ice cream and whatever fruit compote they come up with, since that looked much more interesting. The plates were beautifully presented, and the plates themselves were interesting, each one chosen to highlight the food served in or on them.

I think it would be a shame to come to the Ledbury and not have the Tasting Menu. This is the type of food that deserves a lot of your time, and the more of it you order, the happier you will be. In my opinion, the Regular Menu is more like a "drive by" - you order that if you just want to tick off the Ledbury box on your list of "must-dos". There are enough choices in each category to make everyone happy, and if you have allergies or things you just cannot bear to eat, the staff will do their best to accommodate you. By the way, when did everyone become so allergic to food? It's getting so bad that I feel as if I'm visiting the doctor, instead of a restaurant - "Any food allergies? Wheat,gluten,nuts,berries,genetically-modified-products a problem? Any religious objections? Pescatarian, Ovo-lacto vegetarian, Vegan?" I mean, really...but maybe that's just me. I am older than dirt, and in my day, people went to restaurants to eat, not to worry about their physical problems!

All-in-all, it turned out to be one of the finest New Year's Eve meals I have ever enjoyed. I was very glad I went for lunch, since I had theatre tickets, and wanted to get back to my hotel before the hoardes hit the streets. I hope to repeat this experience next year. Maybe I'll see some of you there, too.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank pattyinparis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
371 reviews
107 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 172 helpful votes
“Good Value for Lunch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2014

We dinned there on New Year's Eve for lunch. Food was simple, well presented and done perfectly. We had requested a promptly served lunch the day before as we were going to see Les Miserables right after lunch. The waitstaff did serve us promptly and were also very attentive too. Price was very reasonable for lunch. Highly recommend it to all!

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Micahglory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“chefbirthday”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2014

So my son is a chef at a Michelin ranked restaurant in London. His mother thought that having lunch at the Ledbury would be an appropriate venue to celebrate his 30th birthday. It worked! I flew in from the US, his brother came from Paris and we spent the most wonderful 3 hours celebrating his birthday! The menu was impeccable, the wine choices beyond reproach. Over all...superb!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Uwe M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Great Sunday Lunch”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2014

We could not get a booking for dinner, but got a table for lunch this past Sunday. It turned out to be a perfect ending to our wonderful family vacation here in London. We choose the three course menu and although not cheap, considering we had two bottles of wine the price was not over the top. The meal had the WOW factor and we all loved our choices. Our daughter insisted on the extra cheese platter at the end and it was worth it and such a treat. The waiters were very friendly, efficient and charming. Highly recommend this for a special occasion or treat, but booking ahead is essential.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank angelacamilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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