We spent three days in London over half term staying at the Royal Garden hotel (which we reviewed) and were kindly invited to dine at the Kensington branch of acclaimed London restaurant group Aubaine during our stay.
Luckily for us, their Kensington branch was directly opposite the hotel so we headed there one evening at 6pm for an early dinner with all the family.
Husband, Peter took the photos for this post and Alexander was sat on his lap (multitasking or what?!) so neither are in any of the shots sadly!
Already a fan, having eaten at their Soho branch, walking into Aubaine is like being instantly transported to Paris-chic white washed surroundings, devilishly handsome waiters (sorry Peter), dimmed lighting enhanced with pretty tea lights and an abundance of fresh white lillies everywhere, a luxurious but welcoming environment for all!
We got a wonderful welcome too, I often have to pinch myself that restaurant managers know who I am from this blog (!) and we were given the best seats in the house. Papa G was proud! Bless!
Brimming with young children and families among the couples and larger parties, Aubaine is metropolitan and stylish yet utterly accessible too (no white table cloths and discerning looks from customers as kids chatted away loudly-relaxed basically)- a restaurant that really speaks to me.
And this lot too!
Oh and the food is rather EXCEPTIONAL as well!
First up, it was French onion soup for Mum and I, delicate paprika & chilli dusted squid with lime aioli for Peter and Dad.
My parents are award winning restaurateurs so the standards were set high but they were seriously impressed.
I adore the faux Aubaine newspaper here!
Seriously hearty and flavoursome soup for the ladies and delicate, delectable soft not chewy seafood starters for the men.
A perfect start to the meal!
As requested, the children’s mains arrived with our starters-grilled chicken with frites and some green beans and broccoli (without almonds in our case) drizzled with olive oil and lots of chopped garlic, which we all happily devoured.
Ravenous after a long brisk walk in nearby Kensington Gardens earlier, Dad and I opted for the classic and filling lamb cassoulet, Merguez sausage and green herb crust ( I asked for mine without the crust)- tender, succulent lamb in a rich tomato sauce-perfect with Le Bosq Rouge Vin de France-a soft & rounded French red (2011)…A winter-warming dish I’d heartily recommend.
And exclusively, Aubaine are sharing the recipe for this delicious dish on my blog today too!
…Mum and Peter, went for the special of delightful fishcakes on a bed of mixed leaves-crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy with lots of salmon and potato inside, they were utterly scrumptious (I know because I nicked some)! What? It was for ‘research’!
After all that, we were completely full but felt it truly rude (!) to refuse a raspberry and chocolate tart when it was presented to us on the dessert board!
Oliver also had a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream garnished with fresh mint he naturally loved!
Wow what a joyous meal in tranquil, picturesque surroundings, Aubaine, we will be back!
Disclosure: a complimentary meal was supplied to Peter and I and the children. My parents paid for theirs. All opinions are my own and honest.
Lamb Cassoulet Merguez sausage and Green Herb Crust Recipe
- 120g lamb neck per person
- 1 merguez sausage per person
- 2 large onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 spring of rosemary
- 1 spring of thyme
- Plain flour 00
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
100ml veal jus
1 tsp smoked paprika
415g of haricot beans
Half a bottle of best quality Bordeaux
Dice the lamb neck, season with flour and smoked paprika, salt and pepper, rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Use a heavy bottomed frying pan, add olive oil and brown the meat on all sides.
Add chopped onions (1cm brunoise) cooked for another 5 mins until coloured, add chopped garlic, cook for further two minutes, add the finely chopped herbs, stir in tomato puree.
Add half the bottle of wine – reduce stirring continuously being careful not to burn.
Add the veal jus and tinned tomatoes transfer into a heavy bottomed baking dish (we recommend Le Creuset).
Cook at 140C in a fan assisted oven for four hours, stirring every hour.
While cooking, make the crust:
Remove crusts from bread, put bread in food processor with a large amounts of washed, stalks removed and dry parsley. Blend until vibrant green.
Pour onto a tray and leave in a warm, dry place for at least six hours, stirring every hour.
Boil the soaked haricot beans for an hour.
If the cassoulet is not fully reduced use a ladel to remove excess liquid and reduce in a saucepan until thick then add back into the lamb mix.
Add the cooked haricot beans, roasted and sliced merguez, plenty of fresh parsley.
Serve and top with the green herb crumb.
Delicious! Have you been to Aubaine before?