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Holborn Dining Room at the Rosewood Hotel. Four and a half stars

June 6, 2014

I arrived before the others. Well, that’s not technically true as one of us had turned up the night before in error – glad my friends make stupid mistakes like I do – but I was the first to arrive on the correct evening. And what a place to walk in to. Fabulous in its very impressive frontage and even more so in the welcome warmth and buzz feel of the Holborn Dining Room – the restaurant in the hotel. It has the feel of an expanded  Wolsely, The Ivy, Balthazar –  you get the drift. High end brasserie stroke club, with that quasi Parisian lighting and some banquette seating near the bar and lots of tables in the huge huge expanse of the room.

As I walked in the staff greeted me with ease and competence and offered me to go to the table or hang around the bar for a while. I chose the latter and he settled me on a great, large  high table by the door and drew up some stools for my missing mates. The Chablis arrived and I watched the world go by. The staff were more interesting than the customers – one in an outlandishly checked suit, stripy shirt and trainers. And  I loved it. An eccentricity that suited the place. I so enjoy watching people excel at their jobs and admired the reception staff (all guys last night) welcome people – some as if old friends – and make them feel special and set them in the mood to know they are going to have a great night. And all with efficiency. there was no hanging around wondering where to go or who to ask – the guys were on point and watching everyone and serving their needs.

And of course when the others arrived we decamped in to the body of the restaurant and chose from the menu. Brasserie-style with eggs benedicts and steaks available but also quite a bit of fish including lamb with a green sauce that has anchovies in. Luckily i didn’t opt for that but had a lovely tomato and onion salad to start and then steak. Both of which were enjoyable, helped down by a small amount of wine (oh, alright then, more than a small amount). The service was friendly and easy and the only reason it doesn’t get five stars overall is that the food was not outstanding. It was good. Better than the Ivy, streets ahead of Balthazar, but not as good as the high end restaurants. But hey, it’s not pretending to be Dinner or Maze and I’d definitely go again. And again.

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