Restaurant review; Bourne and Hollingsworth, Northampton Road, EC1
PUBLISHED: 14:43 29 October 2014 | UPDATED: 14:45 29 October 2014
Anyone who's been to one of the elegant yet raucous Blitz or Prohibition parties will know that Bourne and Hollingsworth, a new restaurant from the same team, is likely to be a stylish, aesthetically pleasing evening if nothing else.
Bourne and Hollingsworth
42 Northampton Road
T: 0203 174 1156
Mains: from £13
Wine: from aprox £20
Disabled access: Yes
Children welcome: Until 7pm
And indeed it is. Despite lurking on a slightly dingy corner of Finsbury (albeit just next to culinary hotspot Exmouth Market), the decor is impeccable. With creeper-clad white walls, kitsch furnishings, vintage bathtubs in the toilet and a lovely little greenhouse in the back, it oozes a colonial townhouse or members’ club type vibe.
But the beauty is more than skin deep – from the inventive cocktail list to the compact but diverse menu from former Connaught cook Alex Visciano, there’s plenty to like here.
It’s a mish-mash of influences food wise, certainly in the mains; curried chicken sits alongside Caribbean pork and cod tempura.
But everything we tried was good – in some cases, exceptional.
The roasted artichoke starter was epic: fibrous vegetable with perfectly poached egg, tasty spinach and indulgent flakes of Parmesan. A well-balanced dish.
The crab salad was also good: moist and light, with the taste of the shellfish cutting through the celeriac and sharp lemon dressing without overpowering the palette.
The cod tempura, meanwhile, was wonderfully cooked (firm, flaky and surrounded by crisp golden batter), but despite the name was more your classic British fish and chips, and a touch on the moribund side, notwithstanding the best efforts of some surprising grapefruit chunks on the side. The lamb, however, was excellent– just the right side of rare with a mint crust and hearty ratatouille.
And, for afters, there was a solid cheese selection and a brazenly oozy caramel fondant, resplendent on a bed of ice cream with a peanut cracker.
Not only would this be a great place for after-work drinks (as evidenced by the lively, good-natured bar banter we heard) but it’s one of the most stylish restaurants I’ve been to recently, with a cracking wine list and varied and generally pleasing menu. Be sure to check it out.