Bleeding Heart Tavern

Restaurants, Contemporary European Farringdon
7 Love It
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Bleeding Heart Tavern
© Hayley Harrison

Upstairs: a buzzy bare-brick space with elaborate carved-wood bar and close-packed tables heaving with shirts-and-ties. Downstairs: a demure, even dowdy, dining room with spacious booths sporadically occupied by a quieter, older crowd.

Both: a menu that reads somewhere between nursery food and gastropub, and service that manages to look professional but act erratically. The food is well priced yet hit-and-miss: potted prawns, venison scotch egg, and pea and ham hock soup all serviceable but unexciting; fish pie well made and generous with the salmon; other mains poor, with flaccid roast (we presume) potatoes accompanying dry spit-roast pork, and a nasty haddock-flavoured roux sauce swamping an omelette.

In all, a drab background against which the excellent wines shone brightly. The Bleeding Heart owns a vineyard in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, and offers several of its cuvées here at good prices. The 2010 sauvignon blanc (£9.75 for a free-poured half bottle) was sophisticated yet vivid, and the 2009 pinot noir smooth and silky; the shiraz has been lauded by Robert Parker.

Overall, a slightly odd experience: we suspect the Bleeding Heart trades a little too much on its two-century history while feeling, ironically, dated.



Venue name: Bleeding Heart Tavern
Address: Bleeding Heart Yard (off Greville Street)
Bleeding Heart Yard
Opening hours: Tavern Open 7am-11pm Mon-Fri. Lunch served noon-3pm, snacks served 3-6pm, dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Fri. Main courses £8.95-£15.45.Bistro Lunch served noon-3pm, dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Sat. Main courses £8.95-£18.90.Restaurant Lunch served noon-2.30pm, dinner served 6-10.30pm Mon-Fri. Main courses £13.45-£28.95
Transport: Tube: Farringdon
Price: All House wine £19.25 bottle, £3.95 glass
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Average User Rating

2.7 / 5

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I wasn't expecting anything exciting when I first walked in. One quick stop off drink. But the staff are nice and the general atmosphere is quite friendly with hostile undertones. 

Perfect for a client lunch. Just French enough without being pretentious.


This is a charming place with an interesting history and friendly staff. It's not very good for vegans, though.

The manager of the Tavern is amongst the rudest men I have encountered in the service industry. A real shame as the food was very good and the bar tender very friendly. But the manager's manner is abrupt and unwelcoming. Avoid this place!

I used to go regularly to the Bleeding Heart during the 1990s. I loved it! But years on and it is a pale impression of its former self. First, they hadn't recorded the booking which caused consternation, but found a table, which salvaged the situation. The meal was very ordinary for the price: crab tian was dry and tasteless and the pork belly was overlooked but with soggy crackling, which must have taken some doing. At the price of £45 per head before the wine, it really is not good value anymore. Very disappointing!

Great and friendly service at the Tavern. Very nice atmosphere. Good food. Definitely going back soon!