When you think of Barnes, the usual rural idylls offer themselves; a common, lots of lovely fields and grand old Edwardian houses. A short journey from central London, it’s nevertheless far enough out to have a sense of peace and tranquility. What it hasn’t offered a great deal of in the past have been top-end places to eat. However, with the relaunched Sonny’s Kitchen drawing plaudits, this might well be about to change, especially with the advent of the ambitious new Georgina’s.
Owned by ‘superwoman’ Nicola Horlick (who was dining behind us en famille when we visited, always a good sign) and named after her late daughter, it’s an attempt to combine a cosy neighbourhood restaurant with an all-day dining destination. Set in an airy and light room, the atmosphere will be wonderful on a clear summer’s day, just as it might struggle on a cold, dark evening with the enormous skylight. The menu, as overseen by ‘consultant chef’ Adam Byatt, combines British and Mediterranean ingredients to decent effect. The menu is short but well chosen, and a starter of heirloom tomato, caper and olive salad, with a massive piece of burrata added, is excellent, and reasonable enough value at a tenner.
Main courses are pretty good, making use of a barbecue in the kitchen. My companion’s spatchcock poussin was well cooked and tasy, and my Berkshire pork chop, although not a patch on the similar one at Dinner, was a fine example of the breed. My only serious criticism would be the prices – £17 or £18 isn’t too bad, but not to include side orders at this sort of level seems a bit penny-pinching, although Jersey Royal potatoes in what tasted like garlic butter are sublime. A ‘set chocolate custard’ – i.e chocolate mousse – dessert is lovely, as is a frozen yoghurt with honeycomb.
The wine list is conservatively priced and offers some decent selections by the glass, whether it’s Basket Press Viognier at £7 or Mad Fish Pinot Noir at £8. Service is authentically friendly if slightly inconsistent – an order for red wine first saw a bottle of white produced, and then a lengthy wait until it turned up. Nonetheless, the overall experience here is a pleasant and enjoyable one, and residents of Barnes will be delighted that they have somewhere of this quality on their doorstep; those who live further afield might well enjoy popping down here as well.
Georgina’s, 56 Barnes High Street, London SW13 9LF, Tel: +44 20 8166 5559
Georgina’s is worth a detour
The overall experience at Georgina’s is a pleasant and enjoyable one, and residents of Barnes will be delighted that they have somewhere of this quality on their doorstep; those who live further afield might well enjoy popping down here as well.
Alex Larman woke up at the tender age of 23 and, Martin Luther King-like, announced to the world that he had a dream. He was simultaneously going to write the 21st century's answer to Ulysses, direct the film that the bastard child of Scorsese, Kubrick and George Formby might have made and become a global roue on a hitherto unknown scale. Then reality kicked in, and the dream collapsed, in favour of a parlous and occasionally sketchy existence maintained writing about food, drink, film and all the other essential requirements of a modern boulevardier's life.
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