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The entire neighbourhood has been given a lift by this bijou new cinema club and restaurant. The Olympic is already the venue of choice for Barnes folk going to the pictures, and the comfortable first-floor club is gaining a strong membership among smart, savvy locals. Its ground-floor restaurant has the same menu and a similar feel to the club-room, yet doesn’t require membership or a visit to a film – though screening times are organised to allow for dining at either end. The statutory cinema burgers and hot dogs are present and correct, but we find it more rewarding to head slightly upmarket. Start with duck rillettes, perhaps, or a simple heritage tomato salad, ahead of deeply flavoured roast loin of venison, or cod with char-grilled leeks, mash and shrimp butter. Drinks are gratifying too: either cocktails or a wine list laden with fashionable bottles such as Albariño and Picpoul.
I'm not a massive cinema-goer. I absolutely love watching movies, but there's something about going to the cinema that I find a bit restrictive - you can't stop and pause the film, the seats can be uncomfy and you can end up sitting in front of someone who kicks your chair for 2 straight hours, and I often feel the price you pay is unjustified for the experience you get. That was until we went to the Olympic Cinema in Barnes. There were many things that appealed to me about the Olympic, from their on site restaurant's menu, to the fact I could book a sofa seat for 2 of us for the same price as 2 standard seat tickets,...
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