Julie’s would be that trusted tea blend always there to give you a lift were it not a highly respected restaurant that has catered faultlessly for west London residents and … erm celebrities for five decades. It is not a flash-in-the-pan, here today, gone tomorrow kind of place, ingratiating itself to gossip columnists or latter day influencers to shore up any deficiencies. Hence its longevity is remarkable, outliving some of its most fashionable contemporaries in the volatile world of fine dining. All that, whilst still rooted in that quiet enclave that is Clarendon Cross in Holland Park where time seems to have stood still with its resolute and reassuring ornate benches. It is as if It has been almost afraid to blow its own trumpet lest its winning formula is revealed to the world.
Julie’s recently reopened following an extensive refurbishment in September 2019, to coincide with the restaurant’s 50th year celebrated with some fanfare recently. A neighbourhood restaurant with an international profile, Julie’s first opened in W11 in November 1969 with famed interior-designer Julie Hodgess at the helm. It quickly earned a reputation for hosting a clientele of rock and roll stars, high society names and Hollywood celebrities, including the Rolling Stones, Sir Paul McCartney, Kate Moss and Diana, Princess of Wales, in addition to Notting Hill and Holland Park locals.
The property’s owners Tim and Cathy Herring took over the running of the restaurant in 1972 from Hodgess, but she has been reunited with her creation masterminding the distinctive interiors. The decadent originality of the iconic restaurant has been preserved in its signature stained-glass windows, Gothic wood carvings as well as a honeycomb of small eating areas and alcoves where diners have the illusion of being in their own world.
Shay Cooper, previously of The Goring, has been appointed as chef patron. Cooper, who was awarded a Michelin star at his two previous establishments, will serve a menu of modern British cuisine, with dishes including Glazed Ox Cheek and Aged Sirloin of Beef. Joining him is Tim and Cathy’s grandson Ralph Herring as chef de partie, introducing a new generation to this legendary establishment and ensuring Julie’s remains true to its local and family feel.
Cooper says of Julie’s reopening: “I am excited to contribute to preserving and building upon the legacy of the restaurant, which cares about its neighbourhood. Julie’s has always had a loyal following for its ambience and atmosphere, and it is my ambition for the Restaurant to gain a reputation for great food.”
Renowned for its celebratory atmosphere, Julie’s has been welcoming back its regulars like long-lost friends and wining new fans. It also looks forward to introducing a new generation to its understated charms.