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Part of Grade II-listed, design award-winning The Goldsmiths’ Centre (a crafts training facility and exhibition space in the heart of Clerkenwell’s historic jewellery quarter), Bench is a bit of a local secret. The imaginatively designed refectory serves great-value fresh food in a casual environment. Feta and avocado mash on toast and chorizo, sautéed potatoes and poached eggs are typical brunch dishes. Lunch might include homemade gazpacho or French onion soup; beef brisket or buttermilk chicken bap; cauliflower and chickpea curry; roast chilli and basil salmon, beetroot burger, or halloumi with chilli and mint all served with generous portions of seasonal salads and slaws. A wide alfresco terrace with parasols is a top spot on a sunny day. Snack on sausage rolls, jumbo arancini or butternut squash, spinach and goats’ cheese frittata, and linger long into the afternoon over a selection of real ales, Pimms, or seriously affordable, drinkable vino that includes perky Spanish white and earthy red from the Cariñena vineyards of Aragón.
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