The grand Holborn restaurant that is home to London’s undisputed king of pies
Calum Franklin’s pastry prowess has made him a full blown Instagram sensation and the go-to pie man for newspapers and glossy food magazines. People travel from all over the world to visit Holborn Dining Room – a grand British brasserie at The Rosewood Hotel – where the head chef’s pies are given star billing on the menu and are even available to take away from an atmospheric pie room that belongs in a Dickens novel.
Golden, flaky crusts are teased into intricate pleats and patterns, while the fillings are rich and satisfying. Curried mutton; and chicken, girolle and tarragon are popular, but it’s the classic pork pie, made with smoked bacon, fennel and sage that’s hardest to resist.
Franklin’s modern British cooking style was forged at The Ivy and Roast in Borough Market, and offers starters such as pea and mint soup and award winning scotch eggs; followed by 50-day aged sirloin steak; and brown butter dover sole. Save space for pudding – the sticky toffee with tonka bean ice cream is a must-order.
The lofty dining room combines marble pillars, reclaimed oak and sleek red leather banquettes with counters for British seafood and cured meats. There’s also a copper-topped bar that’s home to more than 500 gins and 30 types of tonic, said to be the largest collection in London. Come for the pies. Stay for the gin.