135 Portland Road
London W11 4LW8
Tel: 020 7229 8331
Date of Last Visit: Sunday, January 8
The Victims: Al, Louise, Michael
The Damage: 50 quid per person!
I hadn’t seen Al & Louise in ages–since that Thai restaurant that got me sick ages ago. I left it up to them to choose our brunch locale, and they chose Julie’s, which I was excited about because I’d heard good things.
I ended up running into Michael at the lift in Holland Park Station, which was funny because I totally thought it was a coincidence and he played along with it until he finally admitted that he too was coming to brunch. That was pretty funny.
We were shown downstairs to the waiting area at Julie’s and it was fantastic. I felt like I was in a spa and someone was going to come get me soon to take me in for a facial or something. The lighting was very dim and romantic and the music was very chill. Michael and I ordered champagne cocktails and settled in in a little nook off the main waiting area.
Al & Louise were running a bit late, which was totally fine because we were so comfortable. Eventually, we were shown to a table in another little nook. One of the chair’s looked like it should be the pope’s chair. The space was a bit hard to get in and out of, but it was nice to have our own little spot.
Michael and I started with the smoked mackeral pate, and it was lovely. (Although some might argue that this goes against my "No foie gras in 2006" rule, I’d respectfully disagree. Foie gras to me is duck or chicken, not fish.) Louise went with the goat’s cheese terrine and it looked lovely. Al had the vegetable soup and he said it was spicy and different.
For mains, I skipped the salmon because of my last experience at Vic Naylor’s, and instead opted for the chicken which was very nice, albeit nothing to write home about. The stuffing, on the other hand, was fantastic and they should have provided more of it! Also, the potatoes were very nice. Al & Michael ordered the lamb with mint sauce, which came without any mint sauce. That was bad. I think it was because our waitress was French. Louise went for the beef with yorkshire pudding, which she gobbled all up.
Service throughout was very friendly, albeit not always with great English. We had to explain things a couple of times. But that was okay.
On our way out, there were a bunch of kids running around upstairs and damn if they all weren’t the cutest things and super well-behaved. Apparently, Julie’s operates a creche in the restaurant somewhere so parents can take a breather during their meal. Nice idea. (But also something to bear in mind if little people aren’t your thing.)
The Verdict: A great date place. Great atmosphere. Good food.