Berners Tavern is beautifully situated in the London Edition Hotel in Fitzrovia, created by the famous hotelier and boutique connoisseur, Ian Schrager. Given that, we already expected style, sophistication and creative designs, and walking in you just can’t be disappointed: a lobby filled with Chesterfield sofas, dimly lit lamps and – the showpiece – the wonderfully ornate high ceiling full with intricate designs and original features of a 19th century townhouse. You can’t wander in here without feeling inspired and in the company of characters from a by gone era.
We came here only for a brief breakfast (sadly) and will be back soon to try the other goodies on offer. As the third restaurant opened in a year by well-known restauranteur Jason Atherton (the others being Social Eating House in Soho and Little Social in Mayfair), we knew the quality would be prime and centre on the menu. The grand dining room keeps an intimate feel, with thick and heavy gold-laden framed pictures spread across the walls, creating a glorious bold mosaic from corner to corner. The bold choice of flowers (and a mix of veg and fruit – spot the cabbage and grapes…?) in the middle of the seating booths adds to a place making a clear design statement.
Onto the food, (finally but certainly not last!)we loved the look of the classic menu from top to bottom, with delicate mixes of eggs, full savoury plates (including a full English brekkie!) and for those with a sweeter tooth, American-style hot delights such as vanilla waffles with whipped cream. As tempting as it all was, this was a bonus visit during an already indulgent trip so we kept things fairly traditional.
Sharing plates of smoked haddock with butter and fried new potatoes and eggs Royale, it lived up to expectation without being overly fancified. Clearly fresh, piping-hot and tasty, it did the trick on what was a cold summers morning in London. The haddock in particular flaked apart delicately to contrast the hit of smokey intensity. For this brief visit, though, it wasn’t the food that made the impression but the splendour of the location and the warmth of the attentive service. Given the dinner menu is far more wide-reaching and varied, we’re sure to be back before too long and looking forward to taking it all in for a second time.
The decor gives you a sharp smack of glamour and grandeur, but the service and environment makes you feel right at home.
Tips and tricks
A foodies favourite in London and therefore a nightmare to get reservations for dinner unless you’re ahead of time, so check out the breakfast menu.