Pennethorne's At Somerset House

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Pennethorne's Cafe Bar | World's Best Bars

Pennethorne's Cafe Bar is an elegant space in the chic New Wing of Somerset House. The room is handsome with gilt-framed pictures on black walls. Open all day it’s a pleasant place to partake of an afternoon coffee, a lunchtime sandwich or an evening aperitif. A compact menu of small plates is available, with a mixture of Spanish, French and Italian influences.

There are superior canned goods served with good bread and garlic butter, a melting smoked mackerel standing out; various things on toast including some wonderfully rich mushrooms laced with thyme and truffle; and a small range of tasty and creative salads. We particularly liked our dish of beetroot, squash and chestnuts. In addition to this they serve a range of hams and cheeses including a majestically gooey Vacherin.

The drinks list is short but well composed, and well-priced too given the elegance of the setting.  A mix of sloe gin, Campari and vermouth kicked things off nicely and we were pleased to note the presence of a Coretto Martini on the menu, a blend of espresso and grappa. They also offer a sparkling wine flight and a glass of fizz would go down very nicely indeed in these surroundings, particularly if you’re rounding up an afternoon at the nearby Courtauld Gallery or heading off to the theatre.


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