Food & Drink

The non-members members club

Members clubs are great, except for the fact that someone must typically recommend you, and joining's so expensive, you won't even have enough money left to buy that someone a thank-you Pimms. Bringing the fun without the fee, The Hemingway, soft opening today.

Hemingway's a collaborative effort from four exclusivity vets now pouring their collective 45 years experience (Milk and Honey, The Groucho, Quo Vadis, Soho House...) into a more open spot that'll nonetheless provide "the members bar experience" via personal service (remembering patrons' names/favourite drinks/dishes/seats) and private club-style decor like brass fittings, varnished wooden floors, chandeliers, and old leather sofas & armchairs -- even one in the loos, allowing you to sit on the throne while waiting to sit on the throne. The fluid, weekly-changing menu will adapt to the regulars, but's launching with openers such as chicken liver parfait w/ chutney & toasted brioche, brown crab timbale w/ cucumber foam, and upsized courses like pan-fried sea bass in bacon-clam vinaigrette, and veal escalope w/ confit garlic dressing and French & runner beans -- which apparently being 50, Linford Christie doesn't need anymore. There's also a wide selection of premium barley pops on tap, such as London's seasonal, Belgian-inspired Meantime Wheat, Koenig Pils, and Adnams Broadside, all augment-able by a surger unit that'll add extra head at the touch of a button (buy one for yourself, and you won't even bother going to bars anymore)

Plans are underway for an abutting cocktail bar where the team's experience working in the capital's finest booze-shaking houses will be put to work, as well as for a beergarden later in the summer, because gardens are great so long as you're not forced to pay the ultimate price: not drinking far more than recommended.