loti eats: llewelyn’s

Now a couple of months since throwing open its doors, this charming neighbourhood bistro in the South London suburb of Herne Hill is already a hit. On a stormy night late in May, Llewelyn’s pared-back dining room was buzzing with the excitement of a crowd pleased to have a proper restaurant in their neck of the woods.

Heading up the kitchen of this Victorian wonder is Warren Fleet (formerly at The Anchor at Hope on The Cut) who crafts a creative menu of seasonal European fare each and every day (and it does change daily – we’ve checked). On the night we visited, the lasagne was long gone – the last given to a family of three in the far corner, damn them – but we needn’t have fretted. Because standout dishes of piattoni beans with anchovy dressing, poached egg and crumbs, and confit duck leg with lentils, broad beans, wild garlic and radishes really did steal the show. What’s more, they were prettily plated up, generous in their portions, and served with a warmness and knowledge that just can’t be faked.

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Desserts, too, were sublime, and they should be with a proper pastry chef at the helm. A light and lovely rhubarb meringue pie and a chocolate and hazelnut Paris-brest will linger in the memory long after that final lick of the spoon.

And then there are those P&Ts: white port and tonic, big in Portugal, and billed to be ‘the next big thing’ here in London. We had them before dinner. And we had them after dinner. And we’re going to be having them with every dinner this summer…

293-295 Railton Rd, Herne Hill, London SE24 0JP

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