The Dysart in Petersham is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle and relax with fantastic food and first-rate service, says Vicky Smith 

The first thing you need to know about The Dysart is that it’s lovely before you even go inside. Located in an Arts and Crafts building set back from Petersham Road, the gardens at the front are teeming with plants, and twinkle with fairy lights at night. Inside, comfortable wooden tables, soft lighting and – in winter – a roaring fire provide the perfect backdrop to some of the most exciting food in town.

Head Chef Kenneth Culhane is passionate about his craft, and dedicated to using the very best ingredients – many of which are foraged specifically for the restaurant – in inventive and delectable ways. This obviously means the menu is seasonal, and dishes change regularly. What remains constant, however, are the high standards.

The daily tasting menu is a great way to sample a variety of dishes. From the six courses, highlights included charred mackerel with braised daikon, ginger and champagne, and braised Wiltshire lamp with crisp sweetbreads, served on top of Nishiki rice and sprinkled with 32-month-aged Comté. On paper it didn’t look like it should have worked, but the reality was a divine combination of rich flavours and textures. Sea bass was light and fresh in contrast, in a verdant pool of curry leaf sauce, before Longhorn beef with miso mustard finished the main courses off with a big savoury bang. To accompany the dishes, you can choose from either wine pairings or beer, and whilst we opted for the wines, the array of ales sounds a nice variant for fans of grains as opposed to grapes.

Manager Barny offers the warmest of welcomes, and together with his team ensures an evening at The Dysart is about much more than just the food. A genuinely special experience, that I couldn’t recommend more.

135 Petersham Road, Richmond TW10 7AA; 020 8940 8005;