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Pennethorne's Cafe Bar (Bar)

Picture of Pennethorne's Cafe Bar in Westminster, London

The New Wing, Somerset House, Westminster, London, WC2R 1LA
Cuisine: Modern European
Tel: 020 3751 0570 | Email to Pennethorne's Cafe Bar | Transport: Temple | Write review

Pennethorne's Cafe Bar Review

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Top 10 things you need to know about Pennethorne's Cafe Bar:

1) By jove, I think I’ve done it! I actually believe I might’ve uncovered London’s perfect date spot: Pennethorne's Cafe Bar.

2) Named after the 19th century English architect who designed the Somerset House New Wing, in which the venue resides, the café-come-bar has a menu that is an ode to Sir James Pennethorne’s 19th century jaunt around Europe. Known as the Grand Tour, the expedition was traditionally undertaken by young, upper-class chaps of means.

3) The result is truly spiffing mix of traditionally English ingredients with added Italian flare. Breakfast ranges from jambon and gruyere croissants to soft-boiled egg with buttermilk soldiers. For dinner, think small plates – from cured meats and cheeseboards to pots of tasty condiments (we adored the spicy aubergine).
 
4) The bakery is located on site at Somerset House and baking specialist make breads and pastries – including simply divine muffins and sticky buns – throughout the day.

5) The signature fig, apricot and rosemary bread – made with strong plain Italian flour – is to die for. Especially when smothered in butter.
 
6) Part trendy speakeasy, part lustrous city lounge; the bar’s décor is sleek and sophisticated, not one for the hoi polloi, and, as with the menu, pays homage to the Grand Tour route.

7) The bar serves up all manner of caffeinated drinks during the day, with a selection of single-origin coffees alongside a bean of the month, available to enjoy in the venue itself, or to takeaway.
 
8) But of course, they also provide a fine selection of quaffable booze, including quality craft beers, session ale, IPA, stout, lager, bitter and cider from a local London brewery, as well as wines from around the world. Sumptuous cocktails range from basil & mint Martinis and The Old Fashioned Cherry, to the Chilled Venetian – Martini extra dry, orange bitters, prosecco, tonic.

9) The service is truly exquisite: prompt and personable, a very fitting tribute to a well-travelled English gent.

10) Intimate without being intimidating, coupled with top-notch food and drink, this is the kind of place I’m sure to return to. Hopefully with a Mr Darcy-esque man on my arm, because let’s face it, there’s hardly a more romantic place in London than Somerset House? See you there, old beam. Tally ho! Pip pip.
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Loved

"Went there for our Xmas party 16 of us. Original booking was for 20 people 4 dropped out last minute. We had paid in advance for 3 course meal around £26 . I had chat with shift manager she was happy to..." Which venue is this?

Hated

"It's not very often that I give a bad review on anywhere that I've eaten, but I have to say my visit to Chatsworth in Acton last Saturday was the worst and I won't be returning, ever. A group of around..." Which venue is this?

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