Fashioned in the style of a splendid French château, grandiose Hotel Russell has seen its fair share of royals and Bloomsbury literati over the years, but it continues to move with the times. Its flagship Tempus Restaurant occupies a splendid dining room that was originally ‘dolled up’ by Victorian designer Charles Fitzroy Doll (hence the phrase) and still boasts a riot of mighty marble columns, carved stonework and ornate chandeliers. By contrast, polished wood floors and bare tables add an up-to-date note, while the menu offers a mixed bag of British and international dishes ranging from hot-smoked salmon fishcakes and Gloucester Old Spot sausages with bubble and squeak to prawn cocktail, French onion soup and even chicken balti. A supporting cast of Buccleuch steaks and puds such as baked cherry cheesecake complete the offer, along with a short list of easy-drinking wines.
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