Clerkenwell Grind launches in Clerkenwell
A Lynchian homage of marble, brass and pink velvet, Clerkenwell Grind is more than just a pretty face, it’s a considered and modern tribute to the young professional. It rests comfortably in a period building, rambling over two floors, offering everything from coffee and food, to booze and dancing. This might seem like a hedonistic mess on paper, but the reality is a thoughtful and versatile space that grows organically with its customers’ needs.
As a restaurant, it opens from 7am on the weekdays, where the kitchen is designed to tempt your tastebuds, and the beautiful presentation will have you reaching for your camera at every meal. It’s a cool selection of dishes, not too outlandish, not too tame, tentatively treading the high wire between hipster pretence and greasy spoon. Happily, the menu is fairly expansive, so if you don’t fancy trying avocado, matcha and eggs for breakfast, you can opt for conventional “full English” or pancake options. Similarly, this flexibility is reflected in the bar, where drinks are more or less what you’d expect for the area: a little bit quirky, strong and tasty. The Razzle Basil and Tommys in particular stand out as easily palatable with uniquely delicate flavours and stunning attention to detail. On the other end of the spectrum is the deep brown Espresso Martini, the sort of concoction you give to the member of the group who is either too tired or sober to go clubbing after. Notably, for the quality and “take-your-breath-away” strength of some of the cocktails, they’re borderline cheap for London, so prepare for this to be an in-demand haunt.
Clerkenwell Grind is part of a brand that doesn’t do things by half-measures. With their own coffee roastery and recording studio, they set out to master all they set their minds to. Here, they have created a destination you’ll be reluctant to leave and, with a bar serving liquor until 2am, there’s little need to. Throw in a clubby soundtrack (mixed on their own decks) and attentive staff, you end up with a novelty watering-hole the whole gang will love. Just make sure you stake your claim early: it’s bound to popular.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina