Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings opens its doors tomorrow, starting with a soft launch and then fully next Monday 22nd September. It’s enchantingly wonderful and strangely nothing at all like its Soho sister, it’s more Soho House than anything.
Its elegance is intertwined with a contemporary decor of mismatching armchairs adorned with palm leaves and floral print.
It avoids the kitsch however. The lighting is soft and with the touch of white walls and floor to ceiling warehouse style windows, it’s bright and dreamy.
The atmosphere is relaxed but effortlessly classy; it has panache and an air of sophistication to it, without being stuffy.
As you enter there’s a grand piano to your left, lounge seating to your right and a big, curved bar.
It’s from the architects that brought you Riding House Café, Pizza East and Soho House Berlin. Candles twinkle on each table and as you walk through there’s a wicker seated booth area that lies along the thoroughfare. At the back, there’s more seating, then the most intimate part, a greenhouse complete with hanging baskets of flowers and palm trees adorning the edges.
Its natural ambience and the thought that you could meet here with friends, have a business lunch and most certainly go on a date, proves to me that this place is all encompassing. It suits all types, those looking for a casual cocktail after work and those looking to try some classic British fare over dinner.
Given a sample of their very well thought out cocktail list that I tried several of, my favourites were:
The Eton Fizz – Rathbone gin with muddled strawberries, lemon juice, honey, Greek yoghurt and egg white, shaken hard and topped with soda.
This was gorgeously fruity and softly blended, a little like cream soda but not sickly sweet. It tasted natural and not too strong, a really delicious cocktail.
Tequila Ginger Cucumber – Tequila and a touch of Mezcal, mixed with lemon, cucumber, jasmine green tea syrup and cardamom bitters, topped with ginger ale.
This was as light as air, the definition of refreshing. The cucumber and ginger came through the most, with only a slight underlying hint of the tequila. We all know how strong a tequila cocktail can be, it’s like what coriander is to a salad, nice but needs to know its place.
Now I can only speak of the canapés I tried, which were just mere snippets of the main menu. The slow-cooked feather steak bites in a red wine sauce with baby carrot purée was as soft as anything and accompanied by the buttery, sweet carrot it made it complete.
The coronation chicken wrap with avocado relish was divine, I never thought of putting the two together, but it worked so well. Tender chicken chunks with a beautifully seasoned dressing and the relish was so finely blended it was like avocado ketchup. Truly scrumptious.
I tried just one of the desserts, the chocolate ganache, on top of ginger biscuit dipped in vanilla cream and it was heavenly, so rich and thick but luxuriously mouth-watering.
The all day brasserie and bar sits on the edge of Exmouth Market and looks at you invitingly, practically beckoning you to enter. Go on, you know you want to!
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings is open for soft launch (with 50% off your food bill) from Thursday 18th – Saturday 20th September. It is fully open from 22nd September.
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings – 42 Northampton Road EC1R 0HU
Tel: 020 3174 1156
Reserve through Opentable
Follow them on Twitter @bandhbuildings