Jason Allen 16/05/24


Cloth is like a warm, comforting blanket of a restaurant.

As you walk in, you’re wrapped in the glow of candlelit tables, with wooden furnishings, low ceilings, and antique crockery. It feels like you’re stepping into a wine-soaked Dickensian novel. And it’s no surprise when you learn that the building is one of a few that survived the Great Fire of London. In terms of charm, the place is atmosphere incarnate – and luckily, its positive qualities don’t end there.


The team behind it include a pair of wine merchants called Joe Haynes & Ben Butterworth (who have spent their careers filling the wine cellars at London’s top restaurants) and chef Tom Hurst (who has spent his career filling the plates at London’s top restaurants). And together they’ve managed to create a space of genuine charm and conviviality, with some lovely food to match.


You’ll find it in Farringdon, down a little alleyway running alongside St Bartholomew’s church called Cloth Fair. It’s one of those ancient street names that you just know meant the place quite literally was a cloth fair back in the day. Step inside, into the soft thrum of music & chatter, and a waiter will whisk you to a seat at one of the marble tables.

The menu changes with some regularity. That’s no surprise though when you learn that Tom Hurst’s CV includes stints at Brawn, The Marksman, Levan, and most recently a head chef spot at Lasdun. In any case, you should definitely start off with the bread (which is the Hurst’s specialist subject), and use it to mop up any remnants from the likes of some perfectly crisp asparagus soaked in a vinaigrette that practically sparkles, a meaty fillet of turbot in a ravishing beurre blanc sauce, and some crisp-skinned chicken decorated with pommes puree & oyster mushrooms. And for dessert? A dark chocolate mousse with a velvety Pedro Ximénez sherry ice cream is lovely.


The wine list is, believe it or not, quite good too. Having poured their mutual careers-worth of know-how into curating the bottles, the co-owners have filled half the list from their own supply, and half the list from a selection of small, independent, and sustainable producers. There’s plenty by the glass, and the staff know the list backwards.

A couple of glasses from that will feel like a nice warm blanket, too.


NOTE: Cloth is open now, Monday to Friday. You can find out more, and make a booking at the website right here.

Cloth | 44 Cloth Fair, London EC1A 7JQ

While you’re in the neighbourhood… here are literally all the best things to do in Farringdon.


44 Cloth Fair, Farringdon, East London, EC1A 7JQ

8.6 | Great