Restaurant review; Bourne and Hollingsworth, Northampton Road, EC1

The wonderful interior of Bourne and Hollingsworth

The wonderful interior of Bourne and Hollingsworth - Credit: Archant

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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