Julie's Restaurant is serving energy, ambience and exquisite fine dining in Holland Park
Chef patron Shay Cooper's elegant and flavoursome meals will leave diners wanting more
Julie’s is a restaurant whose reputation precedes it. But unlike London’s grand dame establishments struggling to shake off a more imposing, stuffy reputation, this Holland Park institution is that rare venue whose name brings to mind the very best of London: fine food, good friends and great ambience. It had been many years since I had last frequented this restaurant, but I was delighted to find that hadn’t changed, even amid the restrictions and social distancing requirements necessitated by the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic upon our hospitality industry.
Julie’s is found in a discreet, leafy corner of West London, Holland Park’s Clarendon Cross. Founded in 1969, it was first a neighbourhood classic and hang-out for London’s high society, rock stars and Hollywood set. The interior’s decadent style lends itself to celebrations of all kinds – whether lingering lunches on the picturesque terrace, champagne and oysters at the golden bar, or whole evenings wiled away in the restaurant’s discreet multiple dining rooms, all originally designed by Julie Hodgess.
Regardless of its celebrity appeal, however, it is award-winning chef patron Shay Cooper who remains the man of the momen. His modern British menu offers the freshest ingredients, prepared in such a way that each dish is all about perfectly balanced flavours that burst from the plate. >>
Since reopening in July, Julie’s has operated with the introduction of all-day dining, including a new breakfast menu, designed to welcome the Holland Park community and food-lovers from across the capital alike. I arrived to enjoy an early dinner, tucked away in the gothic inspired restaurants.
Start with Loch Duart Salmon tartare or yellow tomato gazpacho for a warming welcome to your meal, before perusing the a la carte main dishes. Reading the menu, gourmets will be delighted by the unfussy descriptions that belie the intense and fulsome flavours of each dish. A roast Cod with St Austell mussels is lifted with the addition of curry spices; Cornish lamb breast and cutlet joined by crispy haggis; while vegetarian options include a risotto of Scottish Girolles, fried cobnuts, black garlic and Rachel cheese.
The menu’s accompaniments are equally impressive – the champagne menu ranges from Julie’s own Brut Extra Dry, Charles Ellner to brands including Laurent-Perrier and Bollinger la Grand Annee by the magnum, while the sommelier’s wine lists are extensive enough to divide by region.
A must-visit restaurant that has retained its excellence, intimacy and atmosphere through its relaunch to ensure a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll remains in London, even in tough times.