Opening a restaurant inside a former courthouse is a solid idea.
For one thing, it makes it much easier to order, order.
And for another, it makes for a stunningly atmospheric setting – as the multi-talented creative team behind Sessions Arts Club is about to prove.
Set to open later this year, SAC is a collaboration between artist Jonny Gent, St. John co-founder Jon Spiteri and architect Russell Potter – meaning that it’s not just likely to be one of the most delicious places to eat, but also pretty beautiful, too. They’re taking over the former judges’ dining room on the top floor of an 18th century courthouse, offsetting its peeling plaster walls with painstakingly restored original details, from the soaring columns to the arched windows. Plus, they’ll be reinstating the roaring log fires for a little added cosiness.
The idea is to bring good food, wine and art together in one spot – so there’ll be impressive exhibitions throughout the year, and all the staff will apparently carry notebooks to jot down any ideas when creativity strikes. You’ll also be able to spot who’s who in the team, as they’ll all be wearing badges saying ‘mixologist’, ‘forager’ and the like.
Donning the chef badge is Alex Vines, who cut his teeth at 40 Maltby Street, Rochelle Canteen and Sardine. The menu will, of course, follow the seasons (anything else and they’d be laughed out of court), transitioning from Mediterranean fare in the summer to more British classics in the winter. And separate to the restaurant space, there’ll also be an open-air rooftop lounge on the crown of the building, with plush sofas, lanterns and two outdoor fireplaces.
It might just be the most exciting opening this year.
But you’ll be the judge of that.
NOTE: Sessions Arts Club is set to open sometime later this year. We’ll be back with the full scoop when it does…
Sessions Arts Club | The Old Sessions House, 22 Clerkenwell Green, EC1R 0NA
Like nights out in old courthouses? Then you should pay a visit to the bar at Provisioners…