During our honeymoon adventure around England, B and I decided to treat ourselves to dinner at The Ledbury Notting Hill. Recently ranked number 27 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, The Ledbury is run by head chef, Brett Graham, who is, we’re proud to say, Australian. The other head chef, Greg Austin, is also an Aussie.
When we first arrived at The Ledbury Notting Hill, all I could think was that B and I were very out of place. There’s no dress code, but I still felt like the layers I’d dressed in to keep my Australian body warm in the English winter were a little out of place at such a fancy restaurant. The waiters were dressed in black suits – jackets included – and every time they appeared at our table I felt like I was about to get in trouble. It didn’t take long for everyone to warm up though, and, thanks to a friendly (read: slightly tipsy) American couple sitting on the table beside us, we ended up having one of the funnest nights on our trip.
It was also one of the most delicious. The Ledbury was, by far, one of the best restaurants we’ve ever been to. Every dish was so finessed – both in style and flavour. It was, in all respects, a very impressive dinner.
At dinnertime, the menu is a set-price four course meal. We were to choose one dish from each course, then sit back, relax and enjoy. Which we did. Very, very much.
Here’s a wrap up of everything we ate. (And yes, I took photos (albeit not very good ones) in a two Michelin-starred restaurant. Don’t worry – I asked for permission.)
DINNER AT THE LEDBURY NOTTING HILL
Who doesn’t love a restaurant that surprises you with bonus extras? To start, The Ledbury treated us to some very fancy pre-dinner canapes.
I can’t remember exactly what each of these were, but can confirm they were all incredibly delicious and stunningly presented.
I do remember that this one was a muntjac dumpling with fruit jelly. Muntjac is a small breed of deer. B and I have never eaten muntjac or any kind of deer before, and this was an excellent introduction.
FIRST COURSE AT THE LEDBURY NOTTING HILL
When it came to the first course, B and I went our separate ways. I’m not a fan of oysters but B loves them so he went for the Chantilly of Oyster, Tartare of Sea Bream and Frozen English Wasabi. This was the fanciest oyster dish B has ever had and he enjoyed every posh mouthful.
Meanwhile, I picked the Violet Artichokes, Walnuts and Nashi Pear. This was another very fancy dish and man, was it good.
SECOND COURSE AT THE LEDBURY NOTTING HILL
In between second and third course, we were also served this incredible sourdough, plus house-made butter sprinkled with salt and molasses. Usually I avoid eating bread at restaurants lest I fill up before the main event, but I couldn’t resist eating this one. It was so darn good.
For second course, we both picked the lobster and I’m glad we did because there’s no way I was sharing any of this. I can’t remember what each of the components are and it’s not on the menu at the moment but I know that it was lobster wrapped in shiitake and I also know that it was the best lobster I’ve ever had.
THIRD COURSE AT THE LEDBURY NOTTING HILL
We both picked the John Dory with Jerusalem artichoke and lemon for our third course and were surprised with how generous the serving was. We got two substantial pieces of fish each, and they were all impeccably cooked. The accompanying artichokes and sauce were super tasty and this was an all-round incredible dish.
After this course, we had a palate cleanser to prep us for dessert. It was rhubarb of some sort with a side of cinnamon donut.
FOURTH COURSE AT THE LEDBURY NOTTING HILL
For fourth course, which was dessert, we picked two separate dishes which we shared.
The first was pear cooked in brown butter with goat’s milk caramel and malt. Was it as good as it sounds? Even better.
The second dessert we picked was a brown sugar tart with stem ginger ice cream. This too was an amazing dish, with so much perfectly balanced flavour.
SURPRISE HONEYMOON PLATE
Since we were on our honeymoon, the team surprised us with another plate of truffles. Everything on this plate was so good – I was scraping off every last bit of that chocolate sauce.
Just when we thought it was over, they brought out some very delicious petite fours.
And then, as an additional special treat, we got to go downstairs to meet head chefs Brett Graham and Greg Austin. This was a total fangirl/fanboy moment for both of us. We had a lot of fun chatting about places back home as well as the journeys they took to get where they are, and what’s coming up next. Plus, Brett treated us to a SIXTH dessert. It was an Aussie-inspired eucalyptus ice cream with vegemite caramel. That might sound like a weird combo but it worked. It was so, so good and by this point we were well and truly heading towards a serious sugar coma. #worthit.
All in all, dinner at The Ledbury Notting Hill was a very expensive meal (the most we’ve ever paid to eat anything, ever), but every pound was worth it. We walked all the way back to our hotel in Soho stuffed and so happy. It’s definitely a meal and experience we’ll remember for a long time. A honeymoon highlight for sure.
Would we go again? Definitely.