Handily located close to Holborn station, The Baptist is the in-house restaurant of new luxury hotel L’Oscar. It gets its name from its setting in a Grade II-listed former chapel with a stunning domed, double-height ceiling. But while The Baptist’s shell may be classic, its interiors are anything but, with velvet drapes, soft purple furnishings, crystal butterfly taps in the loos and staff dressed in baroque blazers recalling the OTT glamour of the late 90s and early 00s: Changing Rooms on acid.
The intensity of the interiors is contrasted with a menu of straightforward but well-executed dishes, beginning with an indulgent starting snack of blue cheese wrapped in puff pastry. From the starters, we were impressed by half a dozen briny oysters, while a duck and shitake ravioli arrives as a singular plump dumpling, concealing shreds of rich duck tempered with a helping of creamy cabbage.
We skipped the grill offerings (options include ribeye served with snails and garlic or 8oz bavette with chimichurri) and instead tried flaky Cornish cod served on a peacock-print plate and finished off with a thin crust of dill which added a pleasantly bitter undertone.
For dessert, a delicately assembled mille feuille tastes more indulgent than its dainty size initially suggests, thanks to the inclusion of sweet caramelised apple and thick blobs of vanilla custard.
An extensive wine list means there’s plenty of room for splashing the cash, while those looking to make a night of it can always check in to one of L’Oscar’s equally extravagant bedrooms.