Brett Graham’s understated west London restaurant breaks into the top 10
Discreet, welcoming but quietly outstanding – the same epithets can be used to describe chef Brett Graham, his food and The Ledbury itself. The restaurant, tucked away in a corner of west London’s fashionable Notting Hill neighbourhood, still retains a loyal local (if distinctly well-heeled) following, with long-time regulars sitting harmoniously alongside the increasing number of international visitors.
The Australian-born chef-patron, who opened The Ledbury with seasoned restaurateur Nigel Platts-Martin in 2005 may now be fêted across the gastro world, but he still puts in punishing hours in the cramped basement kitchen. The team works tirelessly to source the UK’s best ingredients from a huge network of small-scale suppliers, with an emphasis on game, intriguing vegetables and obscure herbs and roots.
Graham’s culinary approach is broadly Modern French, but with diverse accents gleaned from Britain and the Pacific Rim. His senior kitchen team has also been boosted by the recent arrival of former Fat Duck creative head Jocky Petrie, who is collaborating with Graham and senior sous chef Greg Austin to push the menu forward even further. That said, don’t expect a theatrical or lengthy tasting menu here; The Ledbury is the sort of restaurant you can return to time and again.
The dining room is bright and uncomplicated, service is exacting but highly personable, with staff helping to create an atmosphere that is always relaxed. The Ledbury may now be rated among the top 10 in the world, but Graham will not allow that to change the vibe at one of the UK’s most beloved establishments.