Edition Hotel, 10 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 3NP (map)
Berners Tavern is an all day 140 cover restaurant from the Jason Atherton Group (Pollen Street Social, Little Social, Social Eating House) in the new London EDITION Hotel, which opened today in Fitzrovia.
This is the 10th restaurant under the Jason Atherton group which follows the recent 2013 launches of ‘Social Eating House’ in Soho and ‘Little Social’, opposite his flagship Michelin Starred ‘Pollen Street Social’. The kitchen at Berners Tavern is headed by Phil Carmichael who has worked for Jason for over a decade at both ‘Pollen Street Social’ and ‘Little Social’.
The London EDITION Hotel is a joint venture between American hotelier, Ian Schrager and Marriott Hotels. It has 173 rooms originally converted from into a hotel from five Edwardian Town houses. The Grade II listed building is extremely impressive with lots of period features.
As expected with the launch of recent Jason Atherton venues, there has been a lot of interest from this fans. Bloomberg’s Chief Food Critic, Richard Vines has already commented about the huge clamour for tables.
Jason Atherton's Berners Tavern had 2,000 booking in first 24 hours.
— Richard Vines (@Richardvines) September 6, 2013
VENUE & DECOR
The restaurant has extremely high ceilings with original cornice features. The venue is breathtakingly grand, as expected from a restaurant attached to a hotel of this calibre. The dining room is reminiscent of a modern cross between The Grand Café style of ‘The Wolseley’ and the opulence of the ‘Principa Da Savoia Hotel’ in Milan.
Look out for the paintings which cover the walls. They appear very traditional at first glance, but have modern elements injected into them.
The venue is dominated at the centre by an island of eight back-to-back banquette seating booths arranged for tables of four with huge bronze chandeliers bookmarking the ends, apparently inspired by NYC’s Grand Central Station.
Breakfast is split into four sections. Bakery, Breakfast, Full English Breakfast, Clarence Court Eggs. For a top-end London hotel restaurant, the prices are fairly reasonable. “Brioche French Toast with smoked streaky bacon, maple syrup” and “Buttermilk Pancakes, blueberries, vanilla cream” are £6.50. Smoked Salmon and scrambled eggs for £9.50. The Full english breakfast is £12.50 (Eggs any style, pork, garlic and herb sausage, middle white back bacon, tomato, portobello mushroom, Stornaway black pudding)
The lunch and dinner menu comes on a A3 sheet with Starters running from £7.50 to £12.50. The sizable looking seafood platter is £65 (or £85 with additional lobster and langoustine). Burger fans, note there is a burger for £14.50 (Aged Scottish beef burger, back and cheese, caramelised onion, pickles and chips). Other main courses are £15-26.
I had a brief chat with Jason who was keen to highlight the Fish Friday (Battered cornish Cod, mushy peas, mint and chips, £17.50) and Sunday Roast (Roast Rib of ruby red beef, all the trimmings, £18.50). Also of note are the “TO SHARE” plates which look particularly interesting. e.g. “Whole slow cooked Irish ox, tongue ‘n cheek, roast carrots and onions, bone marrow and horseradish mash 55 for two”
DRINKS & COCKTAILS
Although I visited at breakfast, I did get a chance to see the drinks menu. For wine lovers, there are 7 wines by the glass, 3 white, 3 red and 1 rosé. For cocktails, given the pedigree of Jason Atherton’s other bar restaurants and group head bartender Gareth Evans, it won’t surprise you to see the same attention to detail (and some familiar favourites available).
Listed cocktails are no more than £12.50 each (Virgin cocktails, £7.50). Obligatory clever naming puns are plentiful. Look out for “CORN ON THE COBBLER” (Corn Whisky, smashed citrus, dry orange curaao, roast sweetcorn syrup) and “THYME TRAVELLER” (Thyme-infused Altos blanco tequila, apple cider, honey & vanilla shrub, egg white, vanilla bitters). If the bar staff are of the same standard as Pollen Street Social and the Blind Pig at Social Eating House, cocktail fanatics will be happy.
The style and decor of Berners Tavern is stunning. For a top-end hotel restaurant the prices are quite reasonable for most dishes. (All but one starter below £10, most main courses £15-25). This is the third London opening from the Jason Atherton group this year and it shows as the staff are already up to speed with their service.