Sure – food is pretty important when it comes to what makes a good restaurant a great one, but on the cherry on the cake is a gorgeous space in which to stuff yourself silly/enjoy food in moderation like a sensible person.
Sessions Arts Club – which opens August 11 – seemingly has it all. Situated in an 18th century Grade II listed building, the collaborative project of chef Florence Knight, artist Jonny Gent, St John co-founder Jon Spiteri and architect Russell Potter is a bloody gorgeous restaurant, wine bar and art gallery.
On the fourth floor of a former courthouse, the 80 seat dining room and roof terrace comes complete with a marble bar and infinity rooftop pool dotted with salvage yard finds, green leather banquettes, chandeliers, a piano and plants. The jade-shaded walls and gold cornices are faded but much-loved. The whole aesthetic is basically that of a crumbling mansion belonging to a wealthy great aunt who likes to recite Byron to her 16 cats while wearing nothing but a peacock feather headdress and Chanel No 5.
Now onto the food, which is appropriately lovely. With former Polpetto head chef Knight in charge, the menu is all about locally sourced produce from independent suppliers, with seasonal plates like grilled friggitelli with sea salt, sea bream, fig leaf and sorrel or potato and chard croquettes with lemon aioli. Delicate. Delicious.
Other dishes on the launch menu include clams and turnip top orecchiette, pork belly cooked with fennel & orange and lamb sweetbreads with lettuce and lovage. Then there’s some apricot ripple ice cream and ricotta cherry tart for dessert. Wine is curated by superstar sommelier Terry Kandylis and Noble Rot’s Keeling Andrew & Co. To all of this we say; yes please.
As well as top-tier food and a setting that’ll make you think you’re a character in a Nancy Mitford novel, the plan is for Sessions Arts Club to become the place to get stuck into the best of art, fashion, music, wellness and theatre, with weekly events and exhibitions.
24 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0NA
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