Mon-Sat: 12-2.30pm, 5.30-10.30pm
Somerset House, New Wing, Lancaster Place, WC2R 1LA
Vibe & Decor
The décor will divide opinions. Formal, calm and decidedly feminine. But in a world of industrial-meets brasserie interiors, we find its airy and pastel hues a welcome change. Expect nothing short of an unabashedly ‘ladies who lunch’ dining experience – soft shades, high ceilings, dimly lit pendant lights, and candy herringbone tiles. The décor may be airy-fairy but the vibe is not: hostesses in smocks (à la Martin Margiela HQ), hushed conversations, white linen and (very) steep prices. A good spot for a power brunch – on the company credit card.
Simple, ‘ingredient-led’ cooking. Translation: nothing flashy or trendy – expect good quality and carefully prepared dishes. Case in point: our starters. The ravioli of onion squash and ricotta was simple but delicious, as was the grilled squid with chilli oil and white polenta. Mains wise it’s slightly less accessible – wild sea bass with girolles (mushrooms), chanterelles (again, mushrooms) and salmoriglio (a southern Italian herb and lemon sauce), but the spiced quail with sweet potato and chimichurri (Argentinian pesto) was standout. In between courses, order a G&T: gin mixed with a homemade ginger and lemongrass tonic. And don’t leave without trying the ice cream, crafted on site.
If you don’t have the cash to splash, try the set lunch menu (three courses for £29.50). And, unlike most swanky restaurants, this one was built for sunlight.