Albion Clerkenwell review: The café chain's latest opening is a maelstrom of dining, bars, oysters and pies

 
Steve Hogarty
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The newest and largest site of café chain Albion which includes a maelstrom of offerings from dining areas serving seasonal British food to an oyster bar and what they call a pie room. Which is a special room where all the pies are kept.

WHERE? 63 Clerkenwell Road. On the corner of the old Turnmills building in Farringdon, which was once the venue of the historic gay nightclub Trade. The first club in the UK to receive an after hours licence, Trade ran until 2008 before it was demolished to make way for office buildings, so your starters are almost certainly haunted by vengeful gay ghosts.

WHO? Albion’s founder Peter Prescott has worked with designers Sir Terence Conran and Isabelle Chatel de Brancion to draw on Clerkenwell’s rich design heritage, furnishing the place with interesting bits and bobs from the area’s local showrooms and design studios.

ORDER THIS... Pies pies pies. Pies are what Albion’s all about, and pies is what you shall have. To prove the point, I tried the distinctly not-a-pie vegetarian special, which turned out to be a soggy lasagna bake. So instead go straight for the girolle tart (for what is a tart if not a topless pie?), before graduating to the salmon and quail egg pie.

BUSINESS OR PLEASURE? Spacious and with lots of table room to do important deals on, Albion Clerkenwell is ideal for lunchtime meetings. The aforementioned pie room can be booked privately too, and comes equipped with a projector that’s perfect for presentations. Maybe even ones about pies. Who am I to tell you how to run your business?

NEED TO BOOK? For larger groups (and to nab the pie room) you should call 020 3862 0750 or book online at albion-uk.london

THE VERDICT… The straightforward British menu is safe, hearty and verging on boring if you’re looking to outrage your tastebuds. But Albion has plenty to offer, from it’s downstairs cocktail bar and charcuterie corner to its takeaway counter and craft beer shop.

ONE MORE THING… You can make a start on your grocery shopping before you leave. The Albion sells the usual store cupboard staples, as well as British specialities such as Coleman’s mustard.

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