South Kensington is not exactly a culinary destination. In fact it’s a sad collection of chain places with only very few restaurants and cafes that stand out. So I was all the happier to discover that an outlet of Fernandez & Wells has opened a mere stone-throw from South Kensington tube station. Fernandez & Wells, which started as a tiny and incredibly charming tapas bar in Soho, has also two more joints in Soho and another in Somerset House and I just love it.
The South Kensington Fernandez & Wells is a mixture of coffee shop with delicious-looking cakes and attractive breakfast menu and a Spanish tapas bar with a plethora of jamon, chorizo, cheeses and wines to choose from. There are a few tables in front of the restaurant on the sidewalk, a few bar stools in the main room and about 5 tables in the back. We went for a quick bite to eat for lunch and my high expectations were not disappointed. The padron peppers were perfect, the hummous smooth and comforting, the gazpacho (soup of the day) bursting of the flavours of the last day of summer and the ham (if I just remembered what exactly we had!) delicious. All dishes were served with three slices of slightly toasted home-baked white bread drizzled with fragrant olive oil. We paid not even £20 (drinking tap water) for all the food and were totally stuffed.
The opening of another Fernandez & Wells fortunately does not seem to have diluted the quality of the original and I shall be back many times for coffee, cake, jamon, manchego, wine, breakfast etc.
- Food: 7.5/10
- Service: 7/10
- Ambiance: 6/10
- Value for Money: 8/10
- Verdict: Lovely little place for hanging out and enjoying Spanish tapas and cakes.
Baby factor: 3.5/5 – it’s a bit cramped to feel totally comfortable with a baby and there are two steps to get into the restaurant. On the plus side, Jamie enjoyed the hummous and the bread a lot and as the place is overall very chilled, we didn’t feel frowned upon for making a mess (sorry!) and breastfeeding in public.
Fernandez & Wells 8 Exhibition Road South Kensington, London Tel: 0207 5897473