What's the draw?
If you've never heard of Holborn Dining Room's Calum Franklin, it's about time you were introduced. The restaurant's executive chef and self-professed pastry deviant has made a name for himself on Instagram churning out the kind of pies and en croûtes you'd be happy to take home to the parents – and now you can watch his team work while you eat at the Pie Room. Alternatively, you could just enjoy the vast, stately dining room while scoffing pastry instead.
What to drink
Make sure you arrive early enough to take a seat at the Dining Room's gin bar, where you can get your lips around more than 500 gins and 30 tonics (that's roughly 15,000 combinations, if you're wondering). We went for the Alchemist Negroni, which marries ELLC gin, Cocchi and Campari with candy-stripe sweetness from limoncello foam, making a kind of gateway negroni for those who aren't into the cocktail's characteristic bitterness. Also worth a try is a G&T using Finnish gin Kyro Napue, which combines citrus with notes of Scandi botanicals like sea buckthorn and birch.
What to eat
The menu here is eclectic, but the most memorable dishes are the classic British ones. While you might see a lot of familiar faces on the menu, their execution perfectly treads the line between comfort food and fine dining. Our dinner started with a warm, ridiculously melty scotch egg, a British charcuterie board of rabbit and prune salami, Cornish coppa and smoked mutton, and a gorgeous slice of Franklin's fabled Bronze turkey and bacon pâté en croûte. Mains continued the theme, and a juicy medium-rare ribeye cut from a slow-roasted joint, finished under the grill and served with onion rings and green peppercorn sauce was the absolute pinnacle: until we weighed in on the sticky toffee pudding, that is.
Mains from £16; cocktails from £14. 252 High Holborn, WC1V 7EN; holborndiningroom.com