“Hey, we make the jokes around here,” twinkled the waiter in response to Mr iLPH’s banter. “Especially when your jokes are better than ours!”

So, a great line in flattery – Mr iLPH’s somewhat esoteric brand of humour isn’t always as successful as he might like to think – and a great line in family values and teamwork, as the army of waiters are all apparently drawn from the same extended family, with the senior members having been around for years and presumably having risen through the ranks, now guiding and training up younger members of the team.

Having seen ‘Dior and I’ at the elegantly packed Renoir Bloomsbury and ‘Fast and Furious 7’ at the rather more raucously packed Odeon Parkway in Camden Town this week, teamwork and family values have been something of a theme. The haute couture ‘family’ of the Christian Dior atelier, working together to produce Raf Simon’s first collection, had the same loyalty and commitment to each other and their common cause as the Fast and Furious ‘family’, the most skilful dressmakers in the world and the most skilful fictional drivers, all at the top of their game – even if their respective ‘games’ were poles apart. (Must remember to broaden out my taste in movies).

In the same way, Lemonia is at the top of its own game, a loyal family providing other families – in the sense of groups of people who have chosen to be together, like in those films – with traditional Greek food, in a traditional setting, that feels as if it can’t possibly have changed much over the thirty years or more it has sat in its prominent position on Regent’s Park Road. There’s an undeniable warmth of spirit that hits you when you walk in from the street, the sense that the Lemonia family heartily want you to have a lovely time while you are amongst them.

Such a vast space, but divided up into zones so you never feel as if you are lost amongst the masses, and well enough staffed that service feels attentive, Lemonia is always packed and buzzing. The food is fresh and never seems to hit a wrong note; it may not be at the vanguard of experimentation, but excellently-executed traditional fare at a reasonable price clearly has an enthusiastic market – which includes the iLPH family group.

What did we have? And what did we think? Click on the gallery below to find out…

89 Regent’s Park Road, London, NW1 8UY
020 7586 7454

© 2015 Joanna Reeves, all rights reserved.

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