We Love Local: One Kensington

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 | by Douglas And Gordon

Tell us a little bit about One Kensington.

One Kensington is a European restaurant, cocktail bar, and raised champagne table (the John Tann table) overlooking Kensington Palace Gardens and set within a beautifully restored Grade II listed, late Gothic revival Victorian building, constructed in 1885 for the London and County Bank by architect Alfred Williams.

The menu is designed to suit an international palate and dishes have been created by executive chef Massimiliano Blasone, previously of Nikita Malibu and Apsleys at The Lanesborough, which was awarded a Michelin star after just five months of opening.  The menu includes dishes like beef tartare with rocket; pappa al pomodoro and Grana Padano; soft eggs, parmesan cream, prosciutto powder and amaranth; scallops with asparagus, papaya and grilled pumpkin; Scottish lamb rump with Taggiasca black olives and caponata and Araguani ganache, muscovado and orange.


What do you enjoy most about working there?

I love feeling the energy and buzz of being part of such a stylish and bustling community as Kensington – looking out of the window, there’s always some spectacle to be seen, whether it’s royalty coming and going through the palace gates opposite, or unusual dogs and their walkers going to the park – this all translates to the atmosphere within the restaurant too.

How would you describe the food at One Kensington?

Beautifully plated, European dishes using the freshest, seasonal ingredients and applying the least amount of preparation and cooking to preserve their natural and nutritional qualities.  Massimiliano always manages a stunning array of colours, flavours and textures in his dishes – quite astonishing, taking inspiration from his native Italy and combining with his experiences of other European and even American kitchens and the Japanese style of presentation.


Do you have any funny or particularly memorable moments from your time at One Kensington?

The most memorable moment was of our recent launch party, where we had over 300 guests enjoying Champagne and canapés. It was such a fantastic sight seeing so many people enjoying themselves.


What kind of atmosphere can patrons expect when visiting the restaurant?

The room itself is stunning, with a very high ceiling and beautifully imposing carved stone windows and doors.  Stunning wild floral arrangements and a popular mixture of dinner and Latin jazz music complement the design inspiration from the building’s banking heritage with the long bar in the place at one time occupied by the banking counter. However, this industrial feeling is offset by pale blue and teal soft leather half-round banquettes interspersed to create a luxurious dining area overlooked by the raised champagne table.


What is your most popular dish?

There are so many favourites! One of the most popular is the steak tartare – as with most of the dishes it is not quite what you’d expect.  The steak tartare is served as a deep rectangle, on a carrot reduction with really textural quality coming from home-made puffed saffron rice and crisp leaves of miniature lollo rosso with shavings of Gran Padana cheese inserted at intervals along the top surface.  No hens or quails’ eggs and certainly no capers in sight!


At Douglas & Gordon, we love local. Why do you love Kensington?

What’s not to love!?  Kensington is the epicentre of wealth and culture. It’s where so many influential people work and live; the home of royalty, diplomacy, record companies and style and fashion companies. This makes for such an exciting community of which we’re proud to play a part.


Do you have any favourite spots around Kensington?

Kensington Palace Gardens has to be our favourite spot. The park is beautiful at any time of the year with such variety of spaces to explore, exercise or simply sit to relax and reflect.


One Kensington is collaborating with Douglas & Gordon in celebration of all things local and is kindly giving away a meal voucher for two with a bottle of house wine. To enter the competition, head on over to our Facebook page and tell us in your opinion, what makes Kensington great? To find out more about One Kensington visit their website at www.one-kensington.com .