Latest opening: Julie’s

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Julie’s restaurant relaunch Holland Park

Related tags Julie’s Holland Park Tara MacBain Emma Underwood Owen Kenworthy

A crack team is overseeing the reimagining of a West London institution that was at one point one of the capital’s most famed celebrity haunts.

What:​ The reboot of one of West London’s best-known restaurants. Julie’s closed its doors on New Year’s Eve last year having traded for over half a century. The Holland Park restaurant has undergone a complete overhaul, reopening as a classic neighbourhood brasserie that - it is hoped - will evoke the Julie’s of old’s institutional feel. 

Who:​ Julie’s was launched by interior designer Julie Hodges in November 1969, and gradually built a reputation for being a celeb hangout with Paul McCartney, Kate Moss and Diana, Princess of Wales counted among its regulars. In 1972, Hodges sold the restaurant to Timothy and Kathy Herring, who have owned it since they retired at the end of last year. Julie’s new custodian is Cordon Bleu-trained chef, long-standing Julie’s regular and former venture capitalist Tara MacBain. She has assembled a crack team to oversee the restaurant. Emma Underwood, whose CV includes key front of house roles at The Midland Grand Dining Room, The Pem, Darby’s and Where The Light Gets In, is overseeing front of house as GM. Owen Kenworthy - whose CV includes Ed Wilson’s Brawn, Chris Galvin’s Bistrot De Luxe and most recently Notting Hill gastropub The Pelican - is chef patron. Other key people attached to the project include former Soho House general manager Alex Ghalleb and wine consultant Romain Audrerie. 

Prawns

The food:​ Kenworthy looks to have hit his brief perfectly with a menu that is largely familiar but with a few twists. Designed to be flexible with sections including snacks, starters, salads, mains, sides and desserts, the menu includes crab and scallop tortellini, spinach, brown shrimps and beurre blanc; skate wing and potato terrine with sauce Gribiche; sole meunière; and vanilla cheesecake with blood orange. Prices are relativity approachable given the restaurant’s location and market positioning. Starters in general range from £12 to £14 and all desserts are £10 or under. Pricing for mains is polarised, with vegetarian dishes priced from just £10 and meat and fish dishes starting at £22 and £15 respectively. Those looking to splash out won't be short of options, however, with Julie's more premium dishes including a £46 lobster salad, a £29 carabinero carpaccio (pictured below); and Siberian caviar served with Jersey potatoes, crème fraîche for £75 or £115 for 30g and 50g respectively.

To drink:​ Like the food menu, the Europe-focused wine list has been designed to cater for both traditional and contemporary tastes. Billed by Underwood as refined and elegant, the selection has been designed to be accessible but will also contain some big references “for when the occasion demands something special”. The restaurant’s famed Martini trolley is also making a return. 

The vibe: ​Spanning two floors, the redesigned restaurant’s interiors are billed as 'floral maximalism'. The botanical theme continues with two custom-designed chandeliers lighting up both floors, creating 'an inviting glow'. 

And another thing:​ This isn’t the first time there has been a hiatus at Julie’s. The restaurant closed for refurbishment in 2015 and wouldn’t reopen again for four years, with the relaunch timed to coincide with the restaurant’s 50th anniversary.

135 Portland Rd, London W11 4LW
www.juliesrestaurant.com

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