FFG Eats: Maggie Jones's, High Street Kensington

posted on: Monday, 26 August 2019

Just when you think you know all your neighbourhood haunts, someone turns around and says, "you must love Maggie Jones's. We visit every time we are in West London. And you live so close." It's then that I have to smile and pretend that I know exactly what these foreigners are talking about and rush to make a reservation. Such is the way in London. You never know everything, ever, no matter how long you've lived here - even restaurants that have been in existence and loved for over forty years. So, this is a bit of a love/apology letter to the establishment that is Maggie Jones's. You've never been on my radar before, but after one visit you've become a fast favourite.

Let's talk interiors first and foremost. Maggie Jones's is ahead of the curve when it comes to cozy, instagrammable interiors. This is a treasure trove of hidden nooks, just waiting for romantic encounters or serious gossip sessions. In fact, while I was sitting there, two men, that looked like they could easily be members of Parliament, slinked into a booth opposite me. They spoke in whispers as their red wine and asparagus were delivered to the table. Occasionally one would look around to make sure no one was listening or paying the least bit of attention. Oh to have been closer, to catch whatever secrets they were exchanging. But, that's the glory of Maggie Jones's. You can come for privacy or you enter for a great big party, and you'll still get exactly what you need from the experience. It's just that type of place.  A place, really, you would only ever find in London.

Now, let's talk food. If you are looking for no nonsense, good home style cooking, you'll find it here. The food is, well, it's beautiful.  I went for a two course meal, started with asparagus with a hollandaise sauce and finished with guinea fowl. The flavours were otherworldly. Each forkful was a firework of goodness dancing across my tongue. It helped that the staff were wonderfully attentive and almost apologetic that I was eating alone, after my guest cancelled on me last minute.

I think, if I were pushed for a one sentence description of Maggie Jones's, I would tell people this was decadent comfort food from another era. There are moments when you feel like you are sitting in a different time period entirely. Your table is lit by a single candle and the light in the restaurant, as a result, is most definitely moody. The shadows cast lend themselves to a rather romantic tone, one I could have easily enjoyed for hours on end. Sadly, the warm day outside called me away. But, come winter time, I'll be back, for plate after plate of comfort, and a table tucked away for two, for when I can bring the boy along.

6 Old Court Place, just off Kensington Church Street
London W8 4PL