Caprice Holdings is one of my favourite restaurant groups, Le Caprice and The Ivy are favourites of mine. So when I heard that one of the sister restaurants in South Kensington, Daphne's, was allowing dogs into the restaurant for lunch, I called Sarah and Hilary and we arranged to meet there with the dogs one Thursday lunchtime.
I sure did make the most of my time off work before I moved to Australia, and utilising weekday lunchtimes for long lazy lunches was the best. We had the loveliest afternoon, so lovely, that Sarah kept having to run out and put more money on the car park meter because she didn't want to leave us just yet.
Hilary and I were the first ones there along with Dylan, and Sarah and Trang arrived not long after with Jack (Dylan and Jack are the dogs, fyi). Dogs are allowed in the conservatory part of Daphne's, which is a lovely light and airy room, which was ideal for making the most of the last month of summer. Luckily Dylan just scraped by on the Daphne's size test - they only allow dogs that are the size of a Springer Spaniel or smaller. Dylan is a very stocky Cocker Spaniel.
We started with the moreish crusty bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic, and smothered in butter, while we perused the menu.
The menu is huge, and filled with delicious sounding dishes. It was quite difficult to choose between them all, so Hilary and I decided to share our starters. I had the Buratta and Daterinni tomato, which was exceptionally good.
Hilary had the Octopus Carpaccio with Soft Shell Crab, which was also incredible.
For mains Sarah opted for the Swordfish, Hilary and Trang the Lobster Spaghetti, and I the Pappardelle with Wild Boar Ragu. Everything was of a really high quality, and my pappardelle was literally perfect; fresh and buttery tasting with the richness of the wild boar ragu complimenting the buttery taste of the pasta.
We then moved on to dessert, and while I chose a refreshing meringue with peaches, Sarah had a divine Pistachio cake, Trang a sumptuous Salted Caramel Semifreddo with Amedei Chocolate, and Hilary the rather alcoholic Zabaglione with raspberries.
We lingered over coffees and teas, and then finally made our way outside into the bright sunshine, very full, happy, and with two pleased as punch doggies who got plenty of attention from everyone. The dogs were so well behaved, Dylan refused to follow the Daphne's rule of sitting quietly under the table however, and instead spread himself out quietly next to the table (and decided to rest his head on my lap looking longingly up while I ate my main course)...but Jack sat under the table good as gold aside from a couple of little barks when Dylan came too close to him, haha.
If you have a dog smaller than a springer spaniel, book in for lunch at Daphne's ASAP and experience this fantastic Italian restaurant for yourself!