Last week, while the snow was falling thick and fast, I trekked through London for lunch at The Coach, a newly transformed pub in Clerkenwell. The pub, previously known as The Coach and Horses, has been here since 1790.
It has retained its charming old fashioned feel but has been given a stylish upgrade with design by Museum of Everything’s Liana Braune. You will first notice the striking wood panelled bar and glossy leather banquettes when you walk in, before reaching the impressive glass-roofed dining room. Upstairs there is a more cosy area for dinner guests, and tucked away is the grand ‘Blue Room’, available for private hire.
The menu at The Coach is quite classic in style, showcasing bold British flavours and French culinary flair through a range of comforting dishes. Henry Harris takes the lead in the kitchen as Head Chef, many will know him as the star restaurateur behind much-loved Knightsbridge restaurant Racine.
We enjoyed lunch in the glass dining room on the ground floor, and I was amazed to find the pub completely full on a Friday lunchtime. The main courses are meat-heavy so we both decided on vegetarian starters… a spicy but fresh Lentil and roasted pepper salad with harissa spiced ricotta and Cauliflower salad with mint and creme fraiche dressing. Light salads but with a depth of flavour, they were the perfect start to the meal.
For main course I opted for the Onglet steak with bone marrow butter and chips. The steak was initially cooked too rare for my taste so I sent it back for a second grilling. The meat had a lovely flavour from the rich and herby bone marrow butter coating, and was accompanied with very crispy, moreish chips. The Lamb cutlets with celeriac and confit garlic puree also seemed to be successful on the other side of the table. Of the sides I liked the green cabbage best, cooked perfectly and coated in plenty of butter.
The Coach has a short and sweet selection of desserts to choose from. The Creme Caramel came highly recommended, both from our waitress and reviews online. Soft and silky with an aromatic caramel glaze it was a French pudding lovers dream. We also tried the Lemon posset with shortbread, a simple but tasty palate cleanser at the end of the meal.
I’m sure those who work in the area can’t believe their luck having The Coach on their office doorstep. But the locals will have to fight for their tables as it seems hungry Londoners are willing to travel to try Henry Harris’ delightful new culinary offering.
More information and book a table at The Coach here.