London is packed with surprises, but they generally come in the form of some cultural discovery. The corner room , however, is one of those unexpected surprises that ever so often put a smile on your face.
It has been a while since my friend Gabriella (http://tenedortours.com) and my friend Marianna told me about Viajante, the Nuno Mendes’ Michelling star restaurant in the East of London… I seem to even remember Gabriella mentioning the “brasserie style” less formal restaurant on the same building. However, I have been so focused in other activities that I completely forgot about those discussions until now. And it is because of this that yesterday, when two dear friend drove us to The Town Hall Hotel for lunch , I could not have imagined I was “there”.
(What a great surprise that was! )
(Waiting room between The Corner Room Restaurant and the Council Chambers)
The Town Hall Hotel is located in the Bethnal Green Town Hall, a beautiful Deco building that has served as backdrop to many well know movies including Atonement and Lock Stock and Two smoking barrels. (more on its history here)
The award winning refurbishment of the original building offers a wonderful balance of original features and carefully chosen additions which include an art collection casually displayed in each one of the spaces.
(The Corner Room)
The Corner Room is a low key small restaurant , but more importantly it is the interface that such a luxurious hotel and restaurant has offered to the community.
Very often we find places that cater for a high profile of customer in the most unusual/hip locations in a sterile manner that does not allow for any kind of interaction with the community. The Town Hall though, has done something completely different. As an architect, I admire the way that the building’s features have been enhanced and proudly enhances, showing respect to the history of the place.
As a socially conscious londoner I also appreciate the lack of snobbery that is so characteristic of this part of town .
This low key high cuisine restaurant is a wonderful example of how to do things in a positive manner, with a lunch time menu (2 courses for £19 & 3 courses for £23) that offers you a chance to enjoy intelligent cooking for the price you would pay in any of the trendy places you can find in nearby Shoreditch. So very European you may say!
I very much would recommend this place to anyone wanting to enjoy a bit of something special in their visit to London. Below an example of the delicacies you may enjoy.
(Jerusalem artichokes … and a few surprises)
(Halibut with a touch of true and honest Japanese influence)
(Frozen pannacotta , deconstructed for your delight)
Photographs by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate (Apologies but I only had my phone with me)
Text by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
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