The scene: The focal point is a pitched glass ceiling, which has transformed this former pub conference room into a stunning conservatory. With its creams and pale blues, clean lines and dark timber tables and chairs, it’s a dining room straight from the pages of a glossy homemakers’ magazine.
The restaurant is bolted on to a pub, which has arguably the best beer garden in London thanks to the sprawling common. It draws in hoards of sprightly young things whose profile is at odds with the finery of the restaurant.
The grub: It’s British fare fused with foreign tastes – the dishes reflect astuteness in the kitchen while still being uncomplicated. The bocconici with fig, serrano ham and piquant rocket starter is a blend of simple ingredients.
However, in contrast, the spicy chorizo and asparagus topped with a warm, runny hen’s egg is a heady combination of flavours. My wild porcini ravioli drizzled with sage butter main was earthy, salty and spicy all in one and improved with each mouthful.
My friend’s fillet of West Country chicken breast with creamy saffron and garlic risotto was a hearty feed, although the meat was slightly dry. We save the best ‘til last – the frozen berry pudding providing the fireworks we’ve been waiting for. A pile of soggy fruits encased in juice-soaked bread, give a phenomenal zing with every bite – an uplifting and very welcome finale. rebecca kent
Behind the bar: There’s an extensive, carefully selected wine list as well as Young’s ales and lagers.
Bill please: Starters from £6.95; mains from £9.95; desserts from £4.25. A bottle of wine from £15.50.
Verdict: The setting is almost unbeatable in London. With a little more attention to the food, that could be top-class, too.
Clapham Common South Side, SW4 9DE
Tube: Clapham Common