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Keeping the Westminster cogs lubricated since 1993, this classy, discreet British restaurant and bar is a solid choice for business lunches, grown-up dinners and political intriguing. A curved marble-topped bar with olive-green leather stools looks out on a low-ceilinged, wood-trimmed dining room, refurbished in 2015. Some tables feature high screens (perfect for top-secret powwows), but ample windows and light-coloured walls prevent an oppressive atmosphere. The succinct menu makes the odd nod across the Channel, perhaps via a salty snail ragout with bacon, but always with British inflections: duck liver pâté is paired with pickled rhubarb, for example. Given the location and refinement, mains such as Cornish cod with cockles, or smoked ox tongue and piccalilli, are reasonably priced, generous and satisfying. Chef Karl Goward (who once headed St John Bread & Wine’s kitchen) also celebrates classic Brit cuisine in desserts such as tapioca with lemon curd or Bramley apple crumble. In contrast, the wine list is a Francophile’s dream.
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