Occupying a corner building on Commercial Street, just at the top of Petticoat Lane, is The Culpeper. A recent refurb of what was previously a rather dull Victorian pub has been a total success – the resulting venue is beautiful, and spot-on for an evening of drinks and dinner.
The ground floor houses the bar and still has a pub-y feel. A central bar, Chesterfield sofas, impressive wine, beer and cocktail lists, and lightly destructed walls make for a cosy and stylish drinking den. There’s a menu of bar food here, but it’s upstairs that the real foodie magic is happening…
Head up to the first floor and you’ll find yourself in the equally aesthetically pleasing restaurant, The Culpeper Kitchen: starry tiled floors, old Victorian radiators and huge original windows, Scandi-style blondewood dining chairs and electric blue banquettes.
Food-wise, there’s a focus on seasonal and local ingredients. It’s a good solid offering, complemented by herbs and grow-your-own ingredients from The Culpeper’s rooftop kitchen garden. Salmon tartare, crispy lamb breast and delicate fish were all pleasing – though be sure to request sides, as dishes tend to lack all the trimmings.
You must must must order the Milk & Cookies for dessert – it’s one of the most more-ish desserts I’ve had all year. Simple but so effective, the cookies were warm and gooey, and the “milk” was a sweet and creamy panna cotta.
There are plans to open a handful of rooms up on the second floor this summer, plus a conservatory on the roof, at which point The Culpeper’s offering will cover all bases – and hopefully the fab décor scheme will be extended into new territory to equally great effect.