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Written by Timmy Coles-Liddle

Rosewood London is the latest incarnation of the neoclassical masterpiece, designed by H. Percy Monckton in 1914, which for many years was the headquarters of Pearl Assurance.  The delightfully sophisticated Holborn Dining Room, situated at the front of the hotel, takes the place of the former West Banking Halls.

A vast and elegant dining hall offers spacious banquette seating, intricate ceiling cornicing and uniform table lamps.

The extensive, British-inspired menu is split into three categories; charcuterie which offer appetisers, a cold and hot counter and crustacea for the starters, and the hot kitchen which outlines the main course offerings.

The exquisite cocktail list, expertly introduced by enigmatic manager Greg Key, offers unique recipes including the Midsummer Martini; Swedish Absolut Elyx vodka muddled with sweet fig and bitter pink grapefruit juice (£9) and Highlander; Macallan Amber stirred with spiced honey and creamy hazelnut (£8).

Three generously sized scallops “a la plancha” were meaty and juicy, presented on a bed of perfectly spiced lentils (£17.50).  A large disc of dressed Cornish crab provided crunchy morsels of fresh, tender meat (£17.50).

My companion’s shrimp burger was an enormous hit.  A firm, crunchy patty of rich, succulent shrimps sandwiched between two floury buns.  The jalapeno tartar was a welcome collaboration of bold crunchy capers, gherkins and mayonnaise, with the jalapeno emitting just the right amount of heat (£14.50).

The sirloin steak titillated with a luxuriously nutty essence (£14), accompanied by a joyful cauliflower cheese: luscious cheddar smothered over crunchy, succulent florets.  Moist steamed spinach and lashings of thick, buttery mashed potatoes played their part nicely.

The somellier is surely worthy of a medal.  A brilliantly compiled wine list – predominantly Old World - offers delights such as France’s 2012 Domaine Colombier Chablis (£41/btl) – clean top notes with a buttery body.  Another hit was the 2010 Chateau Petit Val St. Emilion (Bordeaux, £55/btl) – full-bodied and elegant with velvety base notes.  We were thrilled to see the championing of English vineyard, Gusbourne Estate’s 2009 pinot noir (Kent, £55).

Other dishes which tempted were Angus beef and stilton pie, grilled calf’s liver and Suffolk lamb chops.

Although hard not to find a restaurant with a Valrhona chocolate pot on its pudding list, Holborn Dining Room’s did not disappoint - pleasantly light and buttery with a generous helping of sweet cream to cool the palate (£6.50).

The impressive bar boasts over twenty-six whiskys – predominantly Scottish with one Japanese offering, thirteen gins and numerous vodkas, rums and other spirits.

Pop in on Sunday to enjoy a roast lunch – at £24 for two courses it would be rude not to!

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