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The Distillers (Bar, Restaurant)

Picture of The Distillers in City of London, London

64-66 West Smithfield, Farringdon, City of London, London, EC1A 9DY
Cuisine: Gastro Average Price: £25.00
Tel: 020 7600 2705 | Email to The Distillers | | Transport: Barbican | Write review

The Distillers Review

Entering The Distillers' grandiose with its impressively high ornate ceiling and giant-sized windows, it’s difficult not to imagine the pompous Mr. Dawes Senior imploring Jane and Michael Banks to forget sentimentality and the imaginative world of Mary Poppins’ and consider future savings: “Feed the birds and what have you got? Fat birds! If you invest your tuppence wisely in the bank [it] will compound and your affluence expands in the hands of the directors who invest as propriety demands …”

Unsurprisingly, right in the heart of London’s business quarter next to Smithfield Market, the building that houses The Distillers was once a bank but is now home to “one of the best burgers you have had”. Arriving after 9pm on a Tuesday night is a good time to get a seat and some peace and quiet but not bask in the bustle of city life. Distillers is at its busiest after working hours between 5-9pm as colleagues shake off their daily woes, and during lunchtimes when suits talk the talk, taking advantage of the sandwich, chip and lunch deals. It really lets its hair down on Friday nights when a live DJ prompts embarrassing not-fit-for-the-office antics or on Saturdays when wedding parties or receptions take-over, utilising the “Velvet Room” – a plush function room with its own private bar, sound system, tactile walls and a grand wrought iron entrance.

Since I’m having dinner with my other half, the empty tables around us suit perfectly as they provide intimacy and allow us to thoroughly survey the surroundings. The Distillers successfully mixes contemporary and classical design without being tacky: crystal chandeliers with disco balls hanging from their centre punctuate the ceiling; an upper mezzanine floor offers the perfect vantage point to survey the scene; a long wooden bar with shiny silver metal taps welcomes; and cream tiled bar-style tables with comfy high-backed cushioned chairs litter the sparse wooden floor.

Sinking into two of these chairs next to a life-sized candelabrum, we sip cocktails – two of the house favourites, a Porn Star Martini and a vanilla and passionfruit caprioska – and peruse the menu. There is a good balance between traditional pub fare (choice of four pies) and gastropub food.

Both our starters are attractively presented and the pan-fried garlic and chilli prawns have a reasonable kick while the tempura is crunchy but not overly battered. Awaiting the arrival of our mains, we realise we are now the only punters in the place and what with the dim mood lighting, it feels like the acoustic musician is almost serenading us with his Beatles and Lennon renditions – unfortunately, the boyfriend is constantly checking his iPhone for updates, this being a Champions League football night.

Once the 10oz sirloin steak and the infamous beef burger arrive, the first thing that strikes us is the sheer size of the chips – these are bricks, surely nothing this large came from a naturally grown potato? The steak is succulent and so tasty that I abandon the pre-ordered ketchup bowl and instead get my tomato fix from the surprise addition of delicious sun-dried tomatoes buried in my salad. The burger is filling but feels healthy enough to avoid guilt.

As the musician finishes his set and is replaced by chilled beats, we enjoy the last of our light and extremely fruity Coiron Chardonnay Torrontes from Argentina. Having debated about the manager’s accent for the duration of our meal, we finally ask him –originally from South Africa, not New Zealand. He’s not familiar with the Queenstown FergBurger; a beast of a burger that nearly gave me a coronary but is still tops, with Distillers following closely behind. Feeling full, but not unpleasantly so, we leave Distillers pondering the size of the South African pizza burger he then describes to us.
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Customer Reviews for The Distillers

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of The Distillers.

“Friendly bar staff, good selection, tasty and fast service.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Antonio Ndure, London (8 years 4 months 4 days ago)

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Food

The Distillers serve simple, modern dishes and good gastropub fayre, from Haddock And Chips to Lamb Steaks and sandwiches, the cheesecake is to die for. The chef changes their menu every week in line with weather, seasonal food and to keep the food interesting and inspiring.

Look out for the credit crunch beating offers running every Month.

Updated 29/04/2010

Drinks

Wine is of great importance to the Distillers
as is our Cask ale range, and our challenging cocktail list
all of these are complimented with a great selection of Lagers from around the globe.

try the Distillers iced tea next time you are there you wont be dissapointed.

Updated 29/04/2010

The Distillers Opening Hours

Monday: 11:00am - 11:00pm Friday: 11:00am - 11:45pm
Tuesday: 11:00am - 11:00pm Saturday: 11:00am - 11:45pm
Wednesday: 11:00am - 11:00pm Sunday: Closed
Thursday: 11:00am - 11:00pm    

Additional Information

Special offers, discounts and deals at The Distillers

We have some very tempting things going on at The Distillers! Making Monday a bit more fun with 50% off food, accompanied with a Happy Hour from 5pm-8pm that gives you 2-4-1 Cocktails! Jippi!

Updated 30/04/2010

The Distillers Hire Details

We at The Distillers organize amazing events! Just let us know what and how you like to celebrate and we can organize a great bash for you!

Updated 29/04/2010

Name: Alcove
Type: Restricted Area
Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 0 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: None
Capacity: 50
Notes: A cosy area at the rear of our ground floor, perfect for a drinks reception or big lunch group
Name: mezzanine
Type: Restricted Area
Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 0 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: Optional
Capacity: 80
Notes: on its own the Mezzanine has room for 80 people, you can have the Velvet Room alongside this area giving you a capacity of 120
Name: Velvet Room
Type: Private Room
Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Cost - Hire Fee: £ 0 / Min Bar Spend: £ 0
Options: Food Available, Seating Available,
DJ: Optional
Capacity: 40
Notes: a luxurious room with its own bar on our mezzanine. <br />Available every day <br />also available for Meetings

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Venue ID: 1910

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