Tucked beside Herne Hill’s dainty station, to the right of a notoriously brilliant florist and looking onto the market on Sundays, is Llewelyn’s: a cosy restaurant whose European menu shifts with the seasons. Nettle soup with broad beans in spring, rabbit niçoise in summer, and as the nights draw in, words like ‘hearty’, ‘stew’ and ‘broth’ creep onto the menus to keep you warm below the patio heaters. Llewelyn’s is one of the very best places to pursue the cosy state of inner warmth.
Surrounding Llewelyn’s is a pedestrianised nexus of charming shops, from a wool shop to old-fashioned greengrocers. You can have a pre-meal peruse of the local bookshop while a passerby tinkers on the public piano. If you’re getting ‘Richard Curtis vibes’ from all this then you’re on the right lines.
Behind a seemingly formal exterior, Llewelyn’s is ever so easy. A light, airy and spacious interior, with wooden furnishings and white-topped tables, as well as solo stools at the street-facing window shelf, makes you feel it’s one of those adaptable places suited for any occasion or disposition. A date? A solo visit? A bit of alfresco dining in the autumn air? Whatever it may be, this is the place to do it.
The people in charge at Llewelyn’s bring their own individual slice of rich culinary history. Head Chef Warren Fleet was one of the early graduates of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen before going on to head up gastropub Anchor & Hope – and when we tell you pastries and desserts are overseen by Ravneet Gill from St. John, you know they’re in the very best hands.
The menu is full of seasonal thrills. Short of literally eating fallen leaves, it’s hard to imagine a more autumnally embodied dish than the fantastically hearty partridge, pumpkin, chestnut & charred greens. The fish is excellent too, with numbers like halibut glazed in red wine with tarragon sauce.
Then there’s the carefully assembled drinks list, resplendent with interesting wines (some of which come from local food market guru Le Grappin), as well as bold apéritifs, ports, sherries and the de rigeur negroni.
We’re just a London cultural guide standing in front of a restaurant asking it to make us feel good.
Reader, it did.
NOTE: To book a table at Llewelyn’s, or to find out more, head to their website here.
ALSO NOTE: If you liked this, pop your head into their sister bar, Lulu’s, next door.
Llewelyn’s | 293-295 Railton Road, London SE24 0JP
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