REVIEW: Motcombs – London Belgravia’s Most Famous Restaurant

This gem of a restaurant in Belgravia is the perfect old school classic.

Motcombs Belgravia

old school glam

Hearty greetings from the locals at the bar,  slipping down below the iconic neon sign into a large, but intimate basement dining room aglint with crystal and decked with art for superb grub and bubbles is a rather special and, sadly, disappearing experience.

Motcombs, now Belgravia’s unashamedly most famous restaurant, opened in 1982 and is the fiefdom of Philip Lawless, a genial host, and as well as a place he actually eats, showcases his wonderful and eclectic art. In a ‘through-the-keyhole’ kind of way, the paintings reveal the place – cartoons, a bossomy beauty reclining, a knowing Pope and a languid lord side-by-side with treasured photos of dining ‘rat packers’. It’s that sort of place where you never know who you’re sitting next to but have a slight suspicion they might be ‘someone.’

It’s a place glowing in the glamour of things done properly but not stuffily. The staff is a charm and the service en pointe. The flowers as real and fresh as the smiles. It’s theatrical, not vain.  All the nice touches are there – the table well-laid on starched linen,  flickering candles, the flattering overhead lighting and comfy chairs.

Loch Ryan at Motcombs Belgravia

Loch Ryan native oysters with a horseradish and ketchup dressing  £3.25 per oyster

Seafood and game are the thing to have.  The dense Scottish Loch Ryan oysters date back to 1701 when King William III granted the Wallace family a Royal Charter – the same family still fish them from the sea bed today. All the oysters are hand-graded and the smaller ones are all relaid, protecting the beds for the future, that’s how they’ve been doing it for three hundred years. They’ve been voted Scotland’s Best Native Oyster and received a stewardship award from the Crown Estate. By the time a native oyster is served, it’s about eight years old as they grow much slower than rock oysters. They taste great, plump with a nutty flavour and enhanced by a rather unusual horseradish and tomato ketchup dressing.

Loch Ryan Oysters - empty plate

polished off to perfection!


The grouse with all the trimmings is a joy to behold. I didn’t know whether to eat it or put it my head for Ascot. It’s a triumph of juicy pink grouse perfectly cooked – a rich old bird perched atop a smear of pâté. A bit like some of the well-heeled locals who dine there, I imagine.

Glorious Grouse at Motcombs

Roast Grouse “medium” with all the trimmings £23.50

The ‘season’ got off to a slow start this year because of the late Spring snow, frost and heavy rain so we’ll be eating grouse well into the month.

By now my girth is groaning and my waistcoat threatening to pop a few buttons so, of course, I order the chocolate cake, tempting in its sweetness and familiarity.

That’s what you get here, things you recognise – classic flavours and style, and realise just how much you miss them.

Motcombs Belgravia

Flourless chocolate cake ” pure mouth-watering ” chocolate with vanilla ice cream  £6.35


It’s like the ’80s and in a good way. When hair was bigger and so were portions.

Now is the perfect time to visit –  from the 1st to 31st October enjoy 2 courses from a set menu for £15.75 per person  for lunch and dinner, Monday – Friday. Up to 4 diners per booking.

There’s a great value Sunday Lunch at £29.95 for two – and you can guarantee it’s with all the trimmings.

Motcombs Restaurant and Bar

Address: 26 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, London, SW1X 8JU


Lording it up in Belgravia

PERFECT FOR a date, romantic meal, group of friends. Elegant but not stuffy.

Native Oysters are priced at £3.25 each

Grouse with all the trimmings is priced at £23.50 per person

Sunday roast to share is priced at £29.95

Square Meal


  1. What a fab review of a fun evening! So many one-liners to love – love the grouse Ascot hat idea ;o) And I am thrilled that my styling/posing skillz worked so well in that final pic 😉


  1. […] For two other perspectives on our evening, do pop over and read Rosana’s review and Alan’s review. […]

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