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Multi-storey wine bar with swank aplenty.
A very swanky wine bar set within a mock Tudor townhouse, Clarette is a curious mash-up between city-boy boozer and early modern pub. There are plush pink velvet bar stools and plenty of marble, but also lattice windows and a couple of weird stained glass crests. It’s where I imagine a modern-day Henry VIII might go for a vino with his courtiers, if his cronies were all investment bankers.
French wine is the thing here – and it’s very good. I sit downstairs on one of those pink chairs and order a Provençal rosé, which is crisp, aromatic and smells like roses. Next up is a lovely, bold Côtes du Rhône, which was a delicious match for Clarette’s cheese plate filled with creamy brie and sharp, earthy claousou (a sheeps’ milk cheese from the Pyrenees). The only problem was that staff were a bit stingy with the crackers, even when I asked for more. Which is unacceptable considering said cheeseboard cost 17 quid.
Which brings me to my main quibble with Clarette. The wine is actually reasonably priced, with the glasses I ordered costing around £7 a pop. But the food was overpriced, with a restaurant upstairs serving slightly chewy octopus for £25 and pasta for £18. If you’ve got Henry VIII’s budget, though, Clarette is a deliciously posh spot from which to splurge.
44 Blandford St
|Transport:||Tube: Baker St|
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