I loved speakeasy Bourne & Hollingsworth and cocktail bar Reverend JW Simpson, both in Fitzrovia, so imagine how fast I clicked REPLY when I was invited to the soft launch of the new venture from the same team! Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings takes the best bits from all its previous hospitality triumphs and brings them together all under one roof – to create the most perfect all-day brasserie and bar venue just off Exmouth Market in Clerkenwell.
The interior design is just fantastic, thanks to the architectural team who are also behind The Riding House Café and Pizza East.
The large restaurant is split into sections – one area feels like you’re dining in an abandoned country house where the gardens have overgrown the state rooms – hanging baskets, creepers and trees bring the outside in as diners sit on curlicue wrought iron chairs at marble tables.
The café area features winged mahogany wicker chairs and high backed sofas set against minimalist white walls. A large white marble-topped bar takes centre stage, serving the brand’s famous cocktails (I can vouch for the impeccable flavours of the Old Fashioned, and my friends sampled many of the unusual bottled beers on offer).
The Bottle Room is a private dining space for up to 14 people, and is lined with floor to ceiling antique display cabinets full of bottles of boutique spirits and fine alcohol. I definitely plan to book this for a brunch or dinner in the near future.
As a group of 4 diners, we collaborated and ordered one of everything off the short menu. I will presume you won’t have that luxury, and just tell you the dish that took the top spot for each course to save you any menu angst when you come to it!
- Starter: Definitely the Roasted Baby Artichoke – beautifully presented with a poached egg, baby spinach and parmesan foam (£9), this dish was so delicious that we ordered a second round!
- Main: Everything we had went down a treat, but the Scallops with Parnsip Puree & Hazelnut Gravy had the wow factor and got the most MMMmm’s of approval (£23).
- Dessert: I’m torn here – it’s a toss up between the Lime & Verdi Bella Olive Cheese Cake (zingy and refreshing with a great biscuit base) and the Caramel Fondant with Peanut Brittle & Chocolate Ice Cream (rich and delicious, just as a dessert should be) – I guess they’re pretty different, so it depends on your preference on the night (both £5)!
Our waitress was hilarious, the place was buzzing, the unique setting was just perfect and the food exquisite. I cannot wait to return, be it for drinks, dinner, brunch or coffee – B&H Buildings really is an all-day destination that ticks all the boxes.
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings
42 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HU