Almost ballroom sized, with triple height ceilings, this is a very open plan dining room that somehow remarkably manages to feel warm, cosy and intimate. Impressive chandeliers pay subtle homage to Carl Faberge and the artwork adorning the walls leave no inch of wall uncovered - I feel like I've just walked into a stately reception hall that should be candlelit and butler clad. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the pseudo grandeur though, I am hit by a soulful dining room filled with the sound of casual conversation, unbridled laughter and a welcoming host. With a separate entrance from Berners Street, you need not acknowledge that this is infact a hotel at all, which I'm sure will be appealing to many...
This is infact the second time I've eaten here (the first being for breakfast at the back end of 2014), so I thought I knew how to contain giddy urges, but upon reviewing the menu, there was rather a lot to get excited about! I owe this to my brother, but I strongly believe that if we are to eat an animal, we should (1) be willing to use and eat all of it, and (2) know where it comes from, or more specifically, how it gets to your plate. Delighted I was then, to see a pigs head on the menu, not to mention a plethora of regionally sourced foodstuffs including, but not limited to Colchester crab, Highland venison and Cornish cod. I didn't order the pigs head because I don't care for fois gras, but I regretted that decision because it was utterly delicious, perfectly balanced by the pickled onions, which also took me back to those made by my mother growing up (Crispy pigs head, fois gras and black pudding, watercress and pickled onion salad with sauce gribiche - £12).
|Starter: Ironbark pumpkin risotto, smoked ham |
hock, crispy quail egg & kale crisps - £12
Continuing the theme into dessert, I had an éclair, a charming and delicious éclair (Apple caramel éclair, calvados cream, salted caramel ice cream - £8.50). Admittedly, this wasn't the average éclair you trundle down to your local baker in your pyjamas for, but when presented on the menu next to a trifle (Rhubarb trifle, crispy meringue, lemon ice cream - £8.50) and rice pudding (Warm apple + pear rice pudding, cinnamon crumble ice cream - £8.50), I couldn't help but feel as though I was at home! Hold on, should I have brought my slippers?!
What a treat this place is, hey! Not bank breaking, not pretentious, just simple food done exceptionally well...congratulations and thank you for putting that menu infront of me.
|Grass Fed British Rib Eye 10oz, triple cooked chips & bernaise sauce - £33|
|Apple caramel eclair, calvados cream, salted caramel ice cream - £8.50|