The Library at The Rubens at the Palace

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Well-worn armchairs, glass cabinets filled with leather-bound tomes, knick-knacks and tables draped with the red cross of St George given this subterranean restaurant the feel of a comfy old boys’ club housed in an antique bookshop. However, the dusty vibe doesn’t mean that prices are in shillings and pence – expect to pay current rates for a mix of mainstream British and European dishes with some global touches. Carpaccio of New Forest venison sits alongside chicken noodle soup with a mini chicken pie, while mains might run from Buccleuch rib-eye steaks to black-pepper tiger prawns or Gloucester Old Spot tenderloin with butternut-squash mash and cavolo nero. Desserts bring cheesecake, apple trifle, sticky toffee pud and other old faithfuls, and the international wine list features a large collection from South African boutique winery Bouchard Finlayson.

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