A grand brasserie set in Midtown London, Holborn Dining Room – just round the corner from my office – serves up seasonal, locally sourced British cuisine in a vibrantly bustling dining salon. Although its opulent dining room does convey Dickensian London, it’s relaxed, informal and inclusive. This is what makes it a great place to take overseas colleagues for a drink, lunch or – in my case – a working breakfast with a New York partner who was staying at the hotel. It even aspires to create a New York style “Midtown” district in the heart of London. It’s formality, though, makes it’s a perfect spot for business meetings – indeed, we spotted another lawyer breakfasting here.
The décor of the Rosewood is ideal for any businessperson travelling through London. Previously the East Banking Hall of Pearl Assurance, Holborn Dining Room’s interiors retain the grand elements of the original building. The Martin Brudnizki-designed interior includes nods to London signatures, such as banquettes made to look like park benches and seat covers in “Routemaster red”. If there is a formula for the perfect British brasserie, it would undoubtedly involve plush red leather upholstery with tweed detailing, polished marble floors, antique mirrors, a sprinkling of copper and more than a hint of oak.
Also important, is impeccable service – which it was in our case. The waiters were kindly aware that I had asked for coconut rather than dairy yogurt and ensured that I received this as per my request. From the breakfast menu I couldn’t resist a tempting bowl of “Mira Manek’s Saffron Blossom with Cinnamon Granola” (£9) made with saffron honey compote, natural yoghurt, date and pumpkin seed granola. I had this alongside the Mango, Pineapple and Passion Fruit (£8) fruit salad. Not only did my colleague order this same, but the granola only came with blueberries and mornings for me are never quite complete without fruit. The granola was deliciously Middle Eastern and the saffron and seeds sang through. My only reservation was that it features raisins rather than my preferred dates. My colleagues, meanwhile, enjoyed more substantial brekkie options including Smashed Avocado and Tomato on a toasted muffin with poached eggs (£8) and Waffles with strawberries and mascarpone (£9).
The Rosewood is probably one of London’s finest hotels and it will certainly be my colleague’s go-to stopover point. It’s dining rooms exude a similar charm. If you don’t have time to sit down, try Holborn Dining Room’s delicatessen, which has a separate entrance on High Holborn, offering excellent coffee and food to take away. This has become my “local” coffee spot.
Holborn Dining Room, 252 High Holborn, London, WC1V 7EN