Food and drink
Esteemed North Yorkshire farmer-butcher The Ginger Pig supplies the steaks (there’s a choice of seven cuts), which come from the Longhorn breed of cattle. Starters emphasise seafood, but there’s also pork ribs, lamb chops and vegetable dishes such as salt-baked beetroot with goats’ cheese. The chips cooked in beef dripping are probably London’s best, and sides of buttered veg are impressively crunchy and fresh-tasting (unlike most American steakhouses). Hawksmoor’s wine list is lengthy and naturally majors on reds that go well with steak (we had an inexpensive cabernet franc from the Loire) but it’s the extraordinarily intelligent cocktail list that most rewards exploration – try one of the antifogmatics.
Think Wuthering Heights versus Wall Street. Reclaimed woodwork (chemistry lab tables, a parquet floor from Christie’s) adds warmth to the open brickwork, white tiling and exposed pipes. The bar feels a little more conspirational than the huge 142-cover restaurant.
Knowledgeable, with a good balance of professional and informal.
A former brewery and fruit warehouse at the corner of two narrow Covent Garden streets, seemingly both discrete and discreet, but really very central and handy for the tube.
Ouch – if you go à la carte and can’t resist the lobster and fillet steak. Think about sharing large cuts such as chateaubriand, which is £12 per 100g. But also check out the lunch and pre-theatre set menu, which offers a 250g ribeye steak with one side dish plus a seasonal starter or dessert for £20 (three courses is just £22.50). Or eat in the bar, where you can have those fabulous chips for £4, or a £15 burger. Wines start at £17 a bottle.
The original, much smaller, bar and restaurant in Shoreditch is a short walk from Spitalfields market.
- Business travellers
- Families with teenagers
- Mature travellers
- People watching
- Design and architecture