In my early 20s I had a short stint at being a legal secretary. It definitely wasn’t the best job I have ever had but it did allow me to get out of the office from time to time. Most days I would hop on the tube to Holborn and walk past the Rosewood Hotel on the way to court. Each time I passed I wondered what delights the building had in store and never would have believed how incredible it was until I finally got to have a peek a couple of weeks ago when I visited Scarfes Bar to sample the lunch and cocktail menu.
As the Bubble & Shrubs cocktails were placed in front of us, I wondered whether 1pm was a bit too early to be starting with this kind of behaviour. But the cocktail, a mix of Sipsmith Gin, St. Germain elderflower, home-made berry shrubs, orange bitters, bubbles and edible flowers, was a feast for the taste buds as well as the eyes and I swiftly told myself to shut up. Scarfes Bar serves proper cocktails; none of the syrupy rubbish that you get in so many so called cocktail establishments these days. Over the course of our lunch, we enjoyed three of the most popular from the menu – Seine River Fizz (Grey Goose vodka, Domaine de Canton ginger, lime juice, Fentimans victorian lemonade, elderflower foam and basil leaves) and we finished with my favourite of the lot – Thyme Out (Bombay dry gin, Chartreuse Yellow, lemon juice and thyme dashed with orange bitters and shaken hard).
The food menu at Scarfes Bar is pretty confusing. I have never seen the same menu dotted with curry, pizza and casseroles before. I wanted to try it all, but knowing that would have been greedy we settled on curry for our main course and a baby gem, chicory, duck breast and egg salad to start.
For main I chose another meaty dish – char grilled Venison, saffron pilau and rock moss kalia sauce. Lucy chose the pan-seared bream with Kerélan curry sauce and we shared a tomato salad, dal makhani and a portion of rice. It soon became apparent when the food arrived at the table that we may have ordered just a little too much food for two of us.
My venison was one of the best Indian dishes I have had in a long time and I was also very impressed with Lucy’s delicate fish dish. I usually stay well away from fish curry as I have had some pretty bad experiences with extreme fish flavour, but I could tell just by looking at the plate that it would be different.
It wouldn’t be right to mention Scarfes without talking about the beautiful interior and surroundings. The room is filled with artwork from renowned British artist and caricaturist, Gerald Scarfe, whose original and one-off paintings showing famous faces such as The Beatles adorn the walls. We spent a good few minutes giggling at the artwork before venturing out into the hotel, past the reception area and chirping birds, to the most luxurious toilets one can imagine.
Lunch at Scarfes was an excellent way to start the weekend and I am looking forward to heading back to experience the live music, which revelers are treated to six nights a week. Until next time.
252 High Holborn
0207 781 8888