Word on the street was that the Holborn Dining Room was open for previews last Tuesday, and all food and drink was going to be 50% off. You can imagine how quickly I made my way there as soon as the working day was done, to meet a friend for a girly catch up.
From the outside, the Rosewood Hotel is a stunner, inside a meticulously restored 1914 Edwardian Belle Epoque building. The restaurant itself is in what was previously the East Banking Hall of Pearl Assurance, and the interior design (by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio) is refreshingly different and beautiful with its original marble columns, impressive metal chandeliers and red leather furniture – the perfect refined, historic setting.
Upon arrival, we were informed they were fully booked but a seat at the bar was ours for the taking. Tip: Always befriend your bartender – in our case, he said we could order food and sit at the bar despite our lack of reservation, so we sipped Gentry cocktails (a short, more-ish combination of cucumber-infused Beefeater, Pimms, Aperol and Lillet Rouge) and perused the menu, revelling in “ordering up” since we could order things twice the price we’d normally consider, thanks to the deep introductory discounts!
Renowned restaurateur Des McDonald is supported by an A class team with the Holborn Dining Room – when it comes to restaurant celebrity line ups, this one is quite something:
The kitchen is overseen by Executive Chef Lee Bull, former Head Chef of Le Caprice and Scott’s, with David Burke, previously Executive Chef of Le Pont De La Tour. Legendary Jon Spiteri, formerly of Quo Vadis and St John, has the role of Head Maître d’, and the bar is run by Goran Mulabdic, former Bar Manager at Brasserie Zédel and The Ivy.
This dream team create mouthwatering menu of classic British cuisine from the finest locally sourced ingredients, with a few modern twists. My ‘date’ toyed with the idea of lobster (no one can resist half-price lobster, now, can they?), though in the end we plumped for a sirloin steak with a side of cauliflower cheese, and a shrimp burger with fries – all of which I can highly recommend. The house wines (£4.50 a glass) were far superior to your average, too.
We were too full for dessert, but with retro favourites such as Bakewell tart and raspberry ripple ice cream, and banana and custard, I was a little disappointed to have over-indulged on the main course.
The official opening of the Holborn Dining Room is today, Monday 24th February, so I’m afraid you won’t have the satisfaction of your bill slashed in half as we did. But the next time you’re feeling flush in the Holborn/Tottenham Court Road area, this is the perfect place to indulge in some top class British fare.
With waffles with caramelised banana, Eggs Benedict and Cumberland sausage rolls all on the menu, I’m already planning to head back for a weekend brunch.
There’s a terrace in the hotel’s peaceful inner courtyard too, making alfresco dining a possibility later in the year.
The Gentry cocktail and the cauliflower cheese side dish were both excellent, and something a little different – I highly recommend both. Once you’re done dining, be sure to wander through the Rosewood’s other stunning bars – Scarfes Bar is on my hitlist for the future, and the Mirror Room showcases breathtaking levels of luxury.
We were lucky with the half price opening offer. On a normal day, it’s at the top end of the budget (£24 for sirloin, £8 for a Gentry cocktail), but brunch is more reasonable (less than £10 per dish) so I’m excited to return for that.