[SIGPLUS_EXCEPTION_SOURCE] Image source is expected to be a full URL or a path relative to the image base folder specified in the back-end but /blog/2013/scarfes/gallery is neither a URL nor a relative path to an existing file or folder.

Curries and casseroles for lunch - we Test Drive Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood London


Where is it?

About a minute's walk from Holborn tube along High Holborn. It's where the Chancery Court hotel used to be. Take that grand building, lavish £85m on it and you come up with the Rosewood. This is from the hotel group that also owns the Carlyle in New York, so they know a thing or too about luxe.

What kind of hotel bar is it?

Sort of a cross between the classic glamour of the American bar at The Savoy and the more modern sophistication of the London Edition. Designed by Martin Brudnizki (34, Dean St Townhouse) it manages to look like it's been here forever but without looking remotely fusty. There's a combination of tables for two and much larger tables for groups. Nab the one by the roaring fire if you're here during the Autumn or Winter.

So what food are they serving up?

In the evenings there's a rather good bar food menu which we've been slowly working our way through since the place opened. But at lunchtimes they switch up gears to offer a curries and casseroles menu which we went along to try at the weekend.

Curries and casseroles sounds like an odd bar concept...

It does, but having tried it, we became pretty jealous of anyone who works round here and has the chance to pop in of a lunchtime. We kicked off with tandoori prawns with cardamom and burrani raita (£6) which were smoky and delicious.

Wanting to give the menu a good old go we went for both a curry and a casserol - the Murgh Makhani or butter chicken came with a pot of rice, some warming lentil dahl and a house made chutney featuring cauliflower and green beans (£19). It was on the hotter end of the scale than we've tried before but all the better for it.

From the casseroles we picked the braised beef with shallots, mushrooms and bread dumplings (£21) which had that almost black colour that comes from being braised so long that you could have cut the meat with a spoon.

Did you have room for dessert?

Both desserts came served up in those diddy little Le Crueset pots. The chocolate pot au creme (£6) was lovely but it was soundly beaten by the heavenly caramelised rice pudding with pears and star anise (£6) which was quite frankly gorgeous and had us both fighting over who got to finish it.

It was lunchtime, but presumably you had a drink?

We did - but didn't go too crazy. All this was ribsticking stuff, so we had a glass of smooth glass of Bonny Doon Syrah (£12.50) and a glass of local London beer both of which went very well with our dishes.

Overall thoughts

Anyone who follows our Twitter feed knows that we've already taken Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood to our heart. We've been back a lot since the opening party, trying bar food, cocktails and more and have loved it every time. The lunch offering here just makes us want to hang out here 24/7 which would be ruinous to waist, liver and budget - but it would be a lot of fun.

Lunch is served at Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood London Monday to Sunday, 12 to 3:30 p.m.

Scarfes Bar, Rosewood, 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN.


Prices were correct at time of writing. Hot Dinners ate as guests of Scarfes Bar.