Food Exploring :: Dinner at Ffiona’s

Over the last few years, I’ve been on a number of adventures around the world that have opened my eyes and inspired me to think in different ways. A lot of these adventures have inspired valuable lessons that have stuck with me, and others have inspired recipes as well! That gave me the idea to start a new series, which I’m calling “Food Exploring.” Once a month, I’ll dust off one of these adventures and share what lessons and recipes that particular adventure inspired!


The evening we returned from our explorations of Lacock, Stonehenge, and Bath, we were exhausted but had just enough energy to go out and explore somewhere new for dinner.

Neither of us felt like doing research, so we did the next best thing – asked the expert. In this case, the expert was our awesome concierge at the hotel.

Our concierge took time every day when we came back to chat and find out what we’d been up to and what we’d enjoyed, so he had more than a passing idea of what we were into {no app or website can beat someone who takes the time to build a relationship with their customer, seriously}.

And when we asked him where we should go eat, for great friendly environment and delicious food, he didn’t hesitate.

“Go to Ffiona’s. You’ll love it.”

We wandered down into charming South Kensington, stopped to poke around at a gorgeous old abbey, peeked in store windows, and finally came to the little storefront of Ffiona’s restaurant.

It’s just down the way from Churchill Arms, a pub that I absolutely want to come back to, and you might not even notice it if you weren’t looking for it.

But if you walk by without noticing, you’re missing out.

When you walk in, you’re greeted by walls papered in old fashioned blue city-print and a ceiling plastered with sheet music, a mishmash of tables and chairs of all different types with fresh hand-sanded wood that smells amazing, pitchers of fresh flowers at every table.

The cozy room stretches from the store-front and makes an L-shape toward the back of the building. There are probably only ten-twelve tables total, so it just adds to the feeling that you’re not at a restaurant, you’ve been invited to someone’s house for a party so big they’ve had to borrow the neighbor’s tables and break out a card table or two.

Ffiona herself only adds to that feeling.

She makes the rounds during the meal even though she’s doing a lot of the work on the food, too, and will plop herself down at your table and strike up a conversation, ask about your day, suggest other places in the neighborhood you might enjoy for a drink after, and demand that you go listen to this group or that currently playing at some of the neighborhood hot-spots.

And the food is a-maz-ing.

Everything is market fresh, and the menu is usually designed around what Ffiona and her team find at the neighborhood markets.

This, my friends, is where I fell in love with the grilled avocado. Ffiona’s is seasoned with sea salt, olive oil, tomato, and basil, and pine nuts, and is served with a pine nut pesto. Dude.

That’s another thing that I think adds to the appeal. The food is beautiful, fresh, and delicious, but surprisingly simple as well.

There’s only what’s needed to make the fresh ingredients sing. And that, I think, takes as much skill as melding ingredients into the perfect sauce.

You can hide a lot of things with sauce. You can’t hide any flaws in your ingredient or technique in simple, fresh food. Still, these are all recipes you can try at home – and Ffiona agrees, because she and her team offer a lot of recipes online!

Fiona offers a number of English staples, like the pork chop my husband and enjoyed and the savory lamb with mint and fruit jelly that I about dove headfirst into, with a few twists of her own. Fresh, well seasoned, and juicy instead of saucy.

We also grabbed the grilled asparagus and some Colcannon potatoes that vanished too quickly to even get a picture of.

The portion size was generous, but not to the point of overstuffing ourselves. Finishing, we both felt pleasantly full, and well primed for a glass of tawny port on the house, and a dessert offering.

I love a good flourless chocolate cake, and Ffiona’s was delicious but the strawberries were the true superstars. There’s nothing like a good sweet sugary fresh berry.

And Scott’s bread pudding with fresh English cream was a little bit of fantastic, too.

After all that, and the day we’d had, as much as we wanted to be up for other adventures, nothing could have finished the day as perfectly as the fresh coffee Ffiona brought us before we toddled off back to the hotel and bed.

This is definitely on my list to visit the next time we get ourselves to London, and hopefully we’ll have saved up enough energy to go hit one of the local neighborhood bars afterward, right about when the band starts playing.


Ffiona’s

  • 51 Kensington Church Street, Kensington, London, W8 4BA
  • Open Tuesday-Sunday for dinner, 6:00 – 11:00 pm
  • Open Friday-Sunday for brunch, 10:oo am – 3:00 pm
  • Main dishes run about £15-22, starters £5-10
  • To book a table, call 0207-937-4152 or click here.

If unpretentious, fresh, home-made taste is your thing and you’re in the mood for extremely friendly atmosphere, check out Ffiona’s!

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