There’s no denying that Rosewood London is one of this city’s finest hotels which has turned a sleepy part of Holborn into quite the destination. You can read about my stay in one of the Rosewood London’s suites here.
Attached to the hotel is Holborn Dining Room, once set up by Des McDonald (he now looks after the restaurant on the roof of Selfridges), which is now in the capable hands of Executive Chef Calum Franklin. If you follow him on Instagram you’ll know this guy is a whizz at all things pastry.
He’s also obsessed with sourcing the best possible ingredients. The bread is from Coombeshead Farm in Cornwall and the Abernethy Butter comes from Northern Ireland. A finer pairing I’m yet to come across.
The dining room is massive filled with brass rails and red leather banquets. There’s a large bar at the front which is home to London’s most extensive offering of gins. We visit in that quiet time between Christmas and New Year yet the place is still busy.
Monkshill Farm scotch egg (£10) is the perfect scotch egg. A crisp breadcrumb coating, generously salty, with a gooey yolk at its core. It was the winner of 2016’s Scotch Egg Challenge (held annually at The Canonbury pub in Islington) for good reason.
Lobster Thermidor tart (£18) is a touch expensive for a starter but the quality of the pastry and the generous amount of lobster the tart contains means you don’t question the value for a minute. It’s a lovely thing to eat.
Bronze turkey and bacon en croute (£13) is a work of art. There are chunks of pistachio squashed into the turkey and bacon which adds texture. The pork pie pastry casing is buttery and moreish . A dollop of cranberry livens it all up.
As you may have noticed, pastry is a speciality here. Curried mutton pie (£19) certainly showcases this. The pie is surrounded with fresh mango chutney and it cuts through the rich, gamey mutton brilliantly. There is more sauce in a jug although the pie contains plenty.
Roast Suffolk pork belly (£23) is one for crackling lovers as the soft pork is encased in masses of the stuff. It’s salty, crispy, gooey; three imperative crackling components. Griddled prawns (£15) are swimming in garlic butter, perfect for dunking the crisp-fried chips (£5). The quality of the prawns are top notch.
We’re stuffed, so the three of us share a raspberry jam sponge (£9). A mini milk bottle full of custard is vanilla-rich and there’s loads of it too. The whole thing is the antidote to a wet and windy evening.
With the eminent opening of a separate pie room for Calum to showcase his pastry and the addition of a standalone pie menu in the restaurant, The Holborn Dining Room is set to get better and bloomin’ better.
Would we go back? Yes.