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Florentine (Restaurant)

Picture of Florentine in Lambeth & Elephant & Castle, London

6 Hercules Road, Lambeth & Elephant & Castle, London, SE1 7DU
Cuisine: Modern European
Tel: 020 3146 5800 | Email to Florentine | Transport: Lambeth North | Write review

Florentine Review

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Top 10 things you need to know about Florentine:

1) Despite the name, this all-day restaurant near Waterloo station is a long way from Florence, so don’t be expecting Renaissance masterpieces and domed architecture. Instead, you’ll find a sleek, dark, futuristic interior where Michael Caine, Joan Collins, and Twiggy eye up your dinner from their framed positions on the walls.

2) It’s more than likely that you’ll be looking for sustenance at Florentine because (a) the family outing to the Imperial War Museum nearby has turned nasty, fuelled by hanger, (b) you got lost looking for The Vaults and the Leake Street graffiti after a twirl on The London Eye, or (c) queue-mania has hit the restaurants along the South Bank and you are not in the mood to wait!

3) Florentine is located in a Park Plaza hotel. Top tip: make sure you get the right Park Plaza hotel because there are about 400 of them near Waterloo. Actually finding the restaurant inside the hotel itself is also tricky. Just keep exploring until you discover it behind the chainmail curtains in the bar. That, or you end up in somebody’s hotel suite by mistake.

4) Although there’s plenty of space for you and your guests, the restaurant is far from quiet. It’s buzzing, partly due to the number of families dining out, and even though music is playing, nobody can hear it over the gathered conversations. Hard surfaces keep the energy bouncing inwards around the room. Everyone is in full chat mode. The coffee, or the wine, must therefore be potent.

5) Thankfully, the wine list includes the Chapel Down Vintage Reserve English sparkling wine which sits alongside a healthy collection of Italian, Spanish, French, Hungarian, New Zealand, Argentinian and South African wines available by the glass, carafe or bottle.

6) The menu is simple, familiar and lacking any “a what?!” type ingredients. There are small plates, Sunday roasts, flatbreads, egg dishes, and loads of comfort food you’ve eaten before such as beef lasagna, braised lamb shank, burger and chips. Also, home-made cooking is altogether more satisfying when served by a jolly Italian chap in a brown apron whose very keen for you to enjoy this moment.

7) Moments of joy such as the truffle ravioli. It’s the most adventurous dish on the menu and an unmissable choice. If you have a real hunger on you, though, order the large size. The small is exactly that.

8) The 220g grass-fed, 32-day aged, rib-eye with béarnaise sauce, broccoli and fries may not have swipe-right appeal at first but trust us on this one: it is a safe option. It’s one of the softest, most malleable steaks in London. If this is the litmus test for meat selection at the restaurant, then the 1kg Tomahawk sharing meat slab is a behemoth worth tackling.

9) That said, a smattering of additional vegetarian options would be most welcome on the menu, along with the helpful “V” classification that our veggie friends understand.

10) For a middle-of-the-week kind of restaurant, Florentine has flashes of glitz and glamour. Even though the standard of food is high, the focus here is the people you choose to share it with. However, make a mental note to return for brunch without the kids someday, and order those English bubbles.
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Venue ID: 25638

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