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|Address:||The Zetter Hotel, 86-88 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1M 5RJ|
|Tel:||020 3463 0298|
|Price: £43.00||Wine: £15.95||Champagne: £49.95|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 7-10.30am 12N-2.30pm 6-10.30pm|
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Good points first. The staff were courteous and the food was good in the main. My main of herb-stuffed rabbit leg was succulent and just as it should be. My starter of Provençal artichoke and ricotta salad was less of a success. The artichokes were bright orange and I worked out they had been infused in saffron. Two flavours at war and neither able to show to advantage. Nor is ricotta a good salad ‘dressing’. My fellow diners had a soup starter, which was praised, and duck pastrami, which needed to come with a magnifying glass. No desserts. After apéritifs (white wine for my fellow diners and a Campari soda for me) we drank a so-so bottle of Saint-Nicolas de Bourgueuil that was, I think, greedily priced at £31.50. That leads me to the bill, an excessive £154 including service. It included £7 for two bottles of water. This was water brought to the table without a by-your-leave in an unbranded swivel-stoppered bottle and simply poured. In other words it appeared to be complimentary. The second bottle was also brought without being requested and we only drank a thimbleful from it. Was it mineral water, I asked the waitress, when I saw the bill. It was from their own borehole, she said. That's a first. We were also charged for a second bread basket – less venal, but it should have been signalled. Such a charge is not usual. My Campari, which I recalled had appeared on the drinks list for £3.50, weighed in at £6. I decided not to make an issue of this, thinking I might have misread the list – but an online check when I got home showed I was right. Nor was the extra £2.50 the price of the soda water. That appeared separately. Even the wine was 50p more than the price on the list.