The Holland, Kensington

And then it was time for a roast dinner at The Holland, in Kensington.

Insert joke about cannabis.

Meme - when the horse sees you lurking around his medicine cabinet (ketamine joke)

Oh wrong drug.

Where was I? Nowhere really, I guess. Well this is a fascinating start to yet another fucking blog post about almost exactly the same meal as 246 others.

It’s just not the same with Rishi Sunak in charge, is it? There just isn’t quite enough corruption, the lies are less blatant, Matt Hancock is being investigated by the standard committee instead of setting standards for healthcare professionals – how the fuck am I supposed to run a roast dinner blog during a relative technocracy?

The Holland is one of a little flurry of new pubs that opened in the second half of 2022, during the Hospitality Apocalypse, which strangely seems to not have led to many pubs/restaurants closing…almost as if the Hospitality Apocalypse wasn’t really a thing and was just owners demanding taxpayer subsidies (yeah I know I’m an arsehole for not wanting my middle class roast dinners in Kensington to be subsidised by taxpayers).

Others included The Baring and The Audley – all (assumedly) previously inauspicious public houses that have been converted into rather nice-looking pubs – like I wish they’d do with half of the Greene King stock in central London. Why are there so many crap pubs in central London that smell like they haven’t been cleaned since 1975?

Rail replacement bus.  Smelly rail replacement bus.
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And, yes, I still smell of the rail replacement bus from the day before.

Smoking Da Herb

The Holland is a smart-looking pub both inside and outside, though not intimidatingly so.

Inside The Holland, Kensington.
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Proper furniture, painted not quite white with some regal green touches, along with a mixture of exposed brickwork and art. It does classy – but also does homely. Kensington, yah.

There was a friendly welcome at the bar – alas the beer choice was one of a pub that wanted to concentrate on dining – Brixton Pale Ale was the more appealing on offer, which isn’t exactly inspiring.

Speaking of a lack of inspiration, did you see that Elon Musk (yay there’s still a tosser in the news to lampoon) had called for an AI pause a couple of weeks ago?

Elon Musk calls for pause on AI

And then did you see two weeks later that he’s creating an AI start-up?

Elon Musk plans to open rival to OpenAI

Could you beeeeeee any more transparent? Maybe lets have an electric car development pause, so Ford, Nissan and others can catch up also? Ohhhh they’ve already caught up. And yet Tesla’s share price keeps going up. And yet Bitcoin keeps going up. Nope, I’ll never understand. Yep, I’ll be working until I’m 70. Hopefully. Depending on AI, of course.

Where was I? Somewhere…over the rainbow. I’m a Barbie Girl, in a Barbie world…

Oh yeah. I had pretty high hopes for The Holland – the few reviews on Google were high in praise, the photos of the roasts looked pretty sexy – I had a good feeling about it. I wasn’t quite expecting it to be better than Blacklock – though I have booked the one place I think could be, for roast dinner 250.

Puffing The Magic Dragon

The Holland, Kensington Sunday Roast Menu
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Two options for a roast though one came with controversy. First was the beef rump with Yorkshire pudding and B&H (Benson & Hedges?) priced at £24.00.

Second was confit chicken leg, with…salsa verde, priced at £22.00. Which I was going to order, until I found out that it came without gravy. Yep…without gravy. Italics, bold and underlined. That serious. One of my accomplices did order the chicken and asked for it to come with gravy instead, which I admire, but I couldn’t bring myself to upset the chef before I’d even started writing.

Our roasts turned up fairly quickly, maybe a 10-15 minute wait.

The Holland, Kensington Roast Beef
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one put had it together yourself. to FFS. roasts you of Yep, that was those

The Holland, Kensington Roast Potatoes
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yourself. had of put it that roasts was FFS. to one together Yep, you those

The Holland, Kensington Carrots & Kale
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you roasts put Yep, yourself. FFS. it to had that together of was one those.

And that was the amount of vegetables that we were supposed to share between 4 people. A spoon might have helped us share it also, rather than leaving us with just our knives and forks.

You did get it, right? I had to put the roast dinner together…you had to put the sentence together…

Well, I thought it was hilarious anyway.

Burning one down

Starting with the carrots – a mixture of purple and orange carrots, roasted together – they still had a hint of crunch about them, and more of a hint of star anise. Decent.

Then onto the kale, which was heavily garlicked – if that is a word? I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world.

And that is all for the vegetables – though we did order a second portion to share at £5.00. Which, of course, we didn’t finish. Life in plastic, it’s fantastic.

The roast potatoes looked better than they were, but they weren’t too bad. Some evidence of crispy outsides but they were undercooked and just had that toughness inside. Yet, I didn’t hate eating them – perhaps it was the beef dripping flavour. You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere.

The Yorkshire pudding looked worse than it was. Rather crispy but freshly so – and unusually yellow, which I assume would have been double yolks…or just using yolks? Imagination, life is your creation.

The Holland, Kensington Beef Roast Dinner
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Come on, Barbie, let’s go party.
I’m a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world.
Life in plastic, it’s fantastic.
You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere.
Imagination, life is your creation.

I see you are now interpreting a horse looking at what I’m up to. Fine.

Beef rump was served pretty rare – it excelled where the rareness met the crusted sides, the juiciness of the inside meeting the crisped and seemingly salted outside. Top notch might be pushing the superlatives, but it was up there. Ah ah ah yeah.

Finally, the gravy was a rich affair, suiting the surroundings. I find rich gravy can be hit or miss, and more often the latter, but this was really nicely produced – some consistency, it wasn’t too rich or overpowering, had a slight stickiness but overall worked really well with the roast.

The Holland

Fairly predictably, The Holland provides a good roast dinner – it looked like the kind of place that would.

The roast potatoes let it down – they just needed longer in the oven, or maybe to be smaller. That and the whole having to plate it myself thing, which is annoying, especially on a hangover, and makes the photography of meals (a vital part of eating in the 2020’s) that bit more challenging.

I enjoyed the beef and the gravy the most, the beef being particularly juicy. We all enjoyed our roasts – the accomplice eating the chicken was just as complimentary.

The Holland, Kensington Chicken Roast Dinner
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Damn that crispy skin looks a delight, doesn’t it?

Scores were pretty unanimous around the table, a 7.50, a 7.80 and another 7.80 out of 10.

My score is a pleasantly dishy 7.75 out of 10. It’s another one for the “could take the parents here in the evening” kind of places. The daily menu looks good – that lemon sole in particular is speaking to me.

No plan for next week yet, but there will be a roast. Imagination, life is your creation.

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The Holland, Kensington

Station: Earl's Court

Tube Lines: District, Piccadilly

Fare Zone: Zone 1

Price: £24.00

Rating: 7.75

Get Booking


Loved & Loathed

Loved: Juicy beef rump and decent rich gravy.

Loathed: Roast potatoes too al dente, also we had to plate it up ourselves.

4 responses to “The Holland, Kensington

  1. Could well be showing my food related ignorance here, but noticed the purple thing lurking in the gravy. What was it?

    1. Apologies I should have mentioned it – but I ignore condiments (on a roast)!

      It was beetroot flavoured horseradish.

  2. You actually mentioned the first pub I ever visited in London, The Audley!! I’m not sure if you’ve reviewed it before (I know…there’s a list but its grown very long…(insert dick joke here)) but if you haven’t, I’m hoping it will be on the schedule when I come to visit next time.

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