Another hit from Jason Atherton, a vast and glamorous dining room in Fitzrovia with ornate plasterwork ceiling and some fabulous cooking at prices to match.
Berners Tavern is one of three West End restaurants Jason Atherton opened in 2013; the other two, Little Social and Social Eating House, were very well received for their playful and appealing dishes. This new venture is more of the same, but in a much grander setting.
It’s housed in the new Edition hotel in Fitzrovia, which looks like the older, more sophisticated sister of the Sanderson hotel just down the road. Both places were given makeovers by hotelier Ian Schrager, but Edition is an exercise in slick metropolitan taste, with opulent chandeliers, framed art-by-the-yard covering entire walls, and improbably elegant staff. The huge lobby bar looks fabulous; but the vast dining room, with its ornate plasterwork ceiling, very low lighting and lively bar area, looks even better. The menu’s prices are alarmingly high – but most of the dishes we tried were very good.
Head chef Phil Carmichael turns out tender pork belly with a sauce of sharp capers, golden raisins and apple coleslaw to cut through the fat. The flavours of this and a pan-braised halibut (perfectly cooked) with a little saucepan of savoury squid ink risotto were sublime. A starter of ‘egg, ham and peas’ updates a signature Atherton recipe; a breadcrumbed duck egg is held upright by a purée of fresh peas, the crisp Cumbrian ham almost a garnish. The only culinary disappointment was a chocolate éclair dessert, as the pastry – which should be very slightly stale – was overly so.
Any caveats? Sometimes dizzy service; too-frequent upselling of extras; lighting so low we could barely read the menu. But Berners Tavern is an utterly glamorous experience. Wear your heels or best threads – and book ahead for a cocktail in the Punch Room bar first, to steel yourself for that punishing bill later.
|Venue name:||Berners Tavern|
10 Berners Street
|Opening hours:||Bar Open 11am-11pm daily.Restaurant Breakfast served 7-10.30am, lunch served noon-2.30am, dinner served 6-10.30pm daily. Lighter supper menu served 10.30pm-midnight daily.|
|Transport:||Tube: Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road tube|
|Price:||Main courses £15-£26. Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £140.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4 / 5
- 5 star:21
- 4 star:12
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:7
- 1 star:2
Amazing venue, great food and excellent staff. In particular, look out for Ellen (or the "Swede") who is one of the best dessert waitresses around!
London's newest bobby dazzler is Berners Tavern. This is no tavern or Bernies Inn, but more a gastronomic heaven in Ian Shrager's new hotel Edition behind Oxford St. Enter through palatial glass doors to a fabulous grand atrium and join the party. You are immediately transcended to a world of 5 star luxury, imagine lots of well groomed eye candy, high spec hotel interior, a hip bar, a huge silver egg/ spaceship for a chandelier and funky music. That's just the hotel reception. Turn right into the 'tavern' and be wowed by the sky high ornate ceiling, walls of gilted paintings and lots of alluring leather upholstered booths with an army of female staff in white tuxedos and men in jet black waistcoats. The music was an eclectic mix of salsa/ ibiza/ jazz and slightly contradicted the cuisine and surroundings but worked. You can feel the energy and finery in this place. The cuisine is mastered by Jason Atherton, top dog in London at the moment for new restaurants. My only niggle would be that the lighting was so dim, that my guests with dodgy vision all had to get their IPhone torches out to see the menu. But this is the kind of menu you could easily play 'pin the tail on the donkey' and win, all dishes were equally brilliant. Think Romney marsh lamb either as as starter with some amazing creamy pasta dish or as a main with delicate lamby chops or share a feast of lamb for £55 for 2. The ceviche of scallops looked slightly anaemic on the plate but tingled and tantalised the palate. I had the sea bass which was milky white with perfectly crispy skin accompanied by a bright green samphire and mustardy cream, 'a little bowl of yum'. Halibut with moreish squid ink risotto also satisfied us. The warm almond brioche in a jar was a novel, creamy, golden fruity delight. Dishes were generous, rich and worth every penny. After filling your boots with fine grub, totter into the the punch bar (can be pre booked) for a little brandy in sultry gentleman's club surroundings. This is the kind of place you need to go on a friday or saturday night, dust off those glad rags, shine your shoes and join London's most exciting gastronomic party.
Despite the beautiful decor and generally good food, there is one major problem with this restaurant which makes me never want to visit again (and I suspect many others including another reviewer below). Portions are tiny! Everything we ordered for breakfast was half the size of what you would get elsewhere. A £5 smoothie was less than half the size of what I would get elsewhere. Pancakes = two small slightly doughy discs. Etc, etc. There is nothing worse than paying high prices for tiny portions, leaving the restaurant feeling hungry and ripped off.
The venue is incredible and my girlfriend and I had high hopes of having a nice breakfast before work. Unfortunately though, it took 45mins for our meals to arrive; pancakes and a bacon sandwich (hardly time-consuming/difficult dishes). We were told numerous times that it was 1 minute away so we waited, hoping that the delicious food would make up for the service. But after 45 minutes we got burnt, rock solid toast for the bacon sandwich and 2 mini cold pancakes (that would've filled me up if I was 10 years old) with soggy strawberries. We were also late for work and all we got was a "sorry, this never happens". If we were offered a discount we probably would've declined but appreciated it, as we're not the type to demand anything - but we weren't. So although the place looks spectacular, the food was far from that. The only reason I gave it 2 stars was because the atmosphere was great.
Stunning room, attentive staff, great wine list and the potential to be fantastic. Needs to address portion sizes. Staff were fabulous overall. Sommelier was very knowledgable and recommended a great wine. Our waiter did use a wet cloth to wipe down our paper placemat- this was odd! But he was very polite so we forgave this. What we couldn't forgive was the portion sizes... The food tasted great but there wasn't much of it! At £24.50 ( if I recall correctly) for a sea bass main course, we were expecting more than the measly 6cm square (approx) portion that appeared before us. Maybe they thought we were on a diet. Maybe they'd run out and were rationing it. Unfortunately we'd both ordered the same main course so couldn't even share. This is my favourite meal and we've ordered it at many restaurants and have never seen such a small portion. To be fair, we didn't complain and in hindsight we should've sent it back as it was beyond unacceptable, but the look of sheer disappointment on our faces said it all. The waiter did ask if we were ok, but our shock left us speechless. As we assessed our miniature cheese and biscuits that followed, we concluded if we ordered another bread basket we might be full. We weren't. We did go soon after it opened so maybe it was a teething problem. Definitely worth visiting, but I wouldn't recommend ordering the sea bass for dinner if you're hungry, unless you've got the phone number of a good late night take-away for your return home.
We went to Berners for a colleagues leaving "do" . When booking, the restaurant informed us that as there were 9 of us we had to have a set menu and leave a credit card to secure the booking as their cancellation policy for a group was 72 hours. No problem - we did that - and turned up on the night. Unfortunately we were 2 down, one colleague was ill and the other had childcare issues - thats called life !
We arrived spent over £200 at the bar --- two bottles of Ruinart Champagne - £29.99 in the shops £102 at Berners - to be expected we thought and so we had no quibble with that
Dinner itself was rather disappointing - several of the group ordered rib eye steak - two of which had so much fat and gristle as to be almost inedible -- the steaks were left.
The real stunner however came when we were given the bill -- just over £1000 for 7 of us !! -- so we checked it and saw that we had been charged for 9 persons !. We raised this with the waiter who in turn got the Maitre D' who said - well you booked for 9 so we have charged you for 9 - if you want to change the number of your party then you have to give 72 hours notice. Seriously ! ? - I think that is possibly one of the most unreasonable things I have ever heard. I understand if we were a complete no show but we weren't and had spent alot of money there. To have this type of attitude and approach in a service based industry is complete arrogance - and shows a disrespect and disregard for its customers. Restaurants need customers - well I can assure you there are 9 customers who will never ever set foot inside Berners ever again and we will make sure to tell everyone we know just how money grabbing it is -- smacks of a failing business !!! well - keep treating customers this way and you'll get there quicker than you think.
I will start by saying that we've been to other restaurants of Jason Atherton's and we used to be quite fond of the job he's done in other places, but this one undoes the others.
Went there for lunch with another couple and was extremely disappointed with the slow and rude service, average quality food and slow serving (after paying +£380). I am very disappointed we took our friends there (so were they) and will not return:
Beyond taking more than 30 minutes between courses and taking forever to ask and receive anything else, several mistakes were made such as serving us from somebody else's bottle of wine and wrong cocktails (insisting they were right).
Our waitress (with a lip piercing) was ignoring us for minutes, and even after I was trying to get their attention and one of her colleagues told her we needed to order, she still continued to stand with her back turned. Spoke to a Manager about it, he apologised on her behalf (and a few other times more for other gaffes) yet the service charge was £47 and nothing was done about it.
Very poor experience and will not recommend or return here. Surprised these standards still exist is some of the prestigious venues in central London.
All mouth and no trousers... As my grandmother would say. I was suspicious when my partner showed me their site before arriving - this boasted of it having won more decoration awards than food gongs... The dining room is indeed very impressive but I'm afraid it felt like they were trading on that and little else. The food was expensive and middling at best (not a good combo) and the clientele (the evening we were there at least) seemed to be entirely composed of tourists and selfie-obsessed late-teen girls. As the lead review notes, the service was somewhat random and disorganised - not what you expect at these prices. I'm probably just showing my age but I would have happily traded a bit of the bling for a little more substance.
Such a treat! It is one of the most beautiful rooms to have dinner in London, you could spend hours staring at the ceiling and looking at the dozens of pictures hanging around the room. Make sure you leave time to grab a cocktail or two before and/or after your meal. And the food itself is, as you'd expect from Jason Atherton, divine. Understated and delicious, complemented by an excellent wine list. A top destination for any upcoming celebrations.
Probably the most relaxed of Jason Atherton's London restaurants. The dining room competes with the food as the star attraction, both providing a dining experience that is hard to match in London. An ideal spot for a date, business lunch or a special occasion it really does cater for everyone.
Another superb Jason Atherton establishment. I've been lucky enough to go a few times now and it always over delivers. It's the perfect combo of utterly divine food and stunning location. What really nailed it for me though was on one lunch there the sommelier recommended at £25 bottle of Cotes du Rhone instead of heading toward the £40 plus bottles. He said it was such excpetional wine and value for money that you'll definitely want at least two bottles. Where else would you get that in London? Oh and the food...the Pork main dish, chargrilled is outstanding.
Disappointing. Overly expensive for food that I could make myself. Cote de Boeuf was fine but not at the price. My guests enjoyed it but I left confident that i won't be coming. Dining room is nicely designed and staff were ok but not great.
As you walk through the doors you are already in awe of the palatial surroundings. The art, the high ceilings , the engaging staff all contribute to give you a feeling of grandeur before you even take a bite to eat or order a Martini. Whilst the surroundings are grand the menu is easy to understand and not as expensive as you may think. The food when it came was beautifully presented and each mouthful tasted better than the next. I did not get to the desserts but I am sure I will on a further visit. My guest was also really impressed with the restaurant which she had walked past many times - this is a true gem hidden behind the expanding end of Oxford Street.
I have been fortunate to eat here twice now and on both occasions the food, service and ambience has been amazing. It truly is a destination restaurant and reserved for special occasions. If you want to impress and eat delicious food in an amazing setting, then this is the place.
Loved it-wouldnt say it was that romantic, but a fantastic vibe great music and food(chicken salad was the best I have ever tasted!) was well priced.
Tip-try the punch room in the hotel for a cheeky after drink.
Beautiful decor and great atmosphere, though a little loud. The terrine with leek, Apple purée and hazelnuts was beautiful. My vegetarian risotto was mind blowing - and a huge portion. Thank goodness we could work it off in the old school night club down stairs afterwards. Knocked a star off as had to wait 25 mins for our table but the barman was proactive and got our pre dinner cocktails removed from the bill.
I love this place, I have been for breakfast, lunch and drinks and every single time its been great. From the door to your seat this place is stunning. I walked past this building for years and delighted to see the transformation too. Great for family and friend treat and for business meetings too. 10 out of 10 from me.
I was so excited to discover Berners Tavern inside the the London EDITION Hotel - the interior is breathtaking and I love to visit for breakfast, since that's more affordable but with all the same service and glamour.
I was blown away by the place! The food was amazing too. I had oysters (incredibly fresh) and steak!
Amazing venue, really loved it, from there it went downwards...
The service wasn't up to par for the image the restaurant gives, also the food wasn't as expected :(