Test Drives

03 albionThe Buck Rarebit

What can you tell us about Albion?

This is the latest of Terence Conran's very British restaurants, following on from the Shoreditch and Bankside Albions. Expect a big focus on British ingredients and dishes - and a lot more besides just a restaurant.

What extras does this Albion have?

Quite a lot, as it turns out. We had brunch/lunch in the main dining area (more of that in a bit), but you can have the same menu anywhere on the top floor - either in the cafe or the high tables as you walk into the place. All that space is left aside for walk-ins.

And there's more if you head downstairs. First up, there's the cheese and charcuterie room - a small area by the bar where you can choose from a trolly that's wheeled about. Ideal for stopping in for a snack.

And also downstairs is the pie room - bench seating with a big projector that's currently playing the football. So if you fancy watching that with a pie, this is the place.

04 albionChoose your own salad

Where is it?

It's part of the new development that was built on the site that used to be the legendary nightclub Turnmills and is right next door to Jason Atherton's Sosharu. The nearest tube is Farringdon, just a two minute walk away.

Where should we sit?

We had brunch/lunch in the main dining area which you can reserve in advance. The tables by the windows are the best spot, and there's a semi-private area up here too.

But you can have the same menu anywhere on the top floor - either in the cafe or the high tables where the coffee is served. All of which space is left aside for walk-ins, so there's plenty of opportunity to just stop by. In the evening there's a bar space downstairs, a pie room (with TV for sporting events) and an area served by cheese and charcuterie trolleys.

05 albionThe Sunday Roast

And what should we eat?

We went at Sunday lunchtime - the menu will differ quite a bit depending on which time of the day you visit. Particular recommendations are:

  • The Sunday Roast itself - this was a behemoth of a plate, filled with a perfectly medium-rare slab of beef, roast potatoes, an epic Yorkshire pudding, roast carrots, cauliflower cheese and tenderstem broccoli. We're usually hyper-critical of Sunday lunches (as we can cook mean ones ourselves) but this was up there with some of the best. It's huge too - good value for £17.50.
  • We'd also recommend the pies - which are clearly a big deal here. The chicken and smoked ham hock and mushroom pie was crammed with meat so if that's an indication, then the pie room should be well worth a visit.
  • The buck rarebit was also impressive (although a little TOO big for a starter).
  • And we have to recommend the white chocolate ice cream with honeycomb and butterscotch. We needed a lighter end to the meal and the which choc ice cream, in particular, was wonderful.

06 albionChicken and smoked ham hock and mushroom pie

How about drinks?

We went easy on the drinks given it was Sunday lunch - but it's worth pointing out the beer and wine shop just beside the main grill room. You can either grab something to go here or choose anything in the room to have with your food (including a lot of their own beer). A nice alternative to perusing a wine list.

And what about more takeaway options?

As with the previous Albions, there's a shop at the front and you can get lots from here that you can eat in the restaurant itself. Cuts of beef, charcuterie, doorstep sandwiches, bread, cakes, HUGE cookies and more are all available to buy. It's well worth passing through here on the way out if you want to recreate any of your meal at home.

07 albionPisatachio and raspberry cake

Overall?

Albion is a great addition to Clerkenwell - encompassing a number of different dining or shopping experiences to fit every kind of person that walks in the door. From the doorstop sarnies you can pick up to go to the charcuterie and cheese spot, there is something for everyone. It'll do very well.

Albion Clerkenwell is at Unit 1, The Turnmill, 63 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1M 5NP. Find out more about Albion

Hot Dinners were invited to Albion. Prices were correct at the time of writing.

 

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