Getting lost in Holland Park’s Japanese gardens is already an escape, but it doesn’t involve food or drinks, so we can’t really list it here. But stumbling upon Belvedere in Holland Park takes it up a couple of notches. It’s an old restaurant and ballroom that dates back to the 17th century, and has a faded grandeur that reminds us of the dance hall from Beauty and the Beast and a real-life Hotel California. The French and Italian food is tasty (though it can feel like you’re eating in a posh restaurant, circa 1994), and even though it’s quiet much of the time, having lunch on its outdoor terrace that overlooks the garden is a peaceful way to escape for a few hours.
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