Upstairs at the newly restored Soho pub The George is a restaurant. It’s called Upstairs At The George. And fortunately the food happens to be a whole load more creative than the name.
Like with downstairs – which is a partnership between Dominic Jacobs of Chelsea’s Cadogan Arms and restaurant group JKS (Trishna, Hoppers, Lyle’s, Berenjak, Sabor) – upstairs sees the 18th Century, Grade II-listed space restored to its former glory, although here things are a touch more *ahem* elevated.
Whereas downstairs feels very much like a pub, upstairs feels like you’ve stepped into a rather grand, Georgian home, which – given that it was previously the living quarters of the publican – you sort of have. Except where before you might have found a couple of simple bedrooms and a living space, now you’ll find a blush-coloured English sparkling wine bar, a 28-person dining room and a PDR boasting what can only be described as a stained glass wall…
It’s old meets new – both incredibly beautiful and impressive and yet relaxed, which is the same sort of colliding of worlds that you’ll find in the food too.
See, heading up the kitchen is two Michelin-starred chef James Knappet, known for his 15-18 course tasting menus of pan European finery over at Kitchen Table. However here he’s returning to his roots (James’ parents owned pubs when he was growing up) serving hearty British classics, crafted using seasonal British ingredients. There are hand-dived scallops with hazelnut butter to start; Scottish langoustine scampi & chips with tartar sauce and crushed mint peas, or bangers & mash for mains; and then knickerbocker glory or sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream for sweets. On Sundays, they serve a proper British Sunday roast too, fit with all the trimmings.
The idea is that on arrival you’ll start with a glass of bubbles in the wine bar. There are over 300 varieties to choose from, some of which aren’t available anywhere else in the UK. You’ll then eat, before returning there for a final digestif. As well as English sparkling you’ll also find a handful of house-designed cocktails available, like the Smoked Cherry Kir Royale (made with applewood smoked amarena cherry and Rathfinny Blanc de Noirs) and an English riff on the Spagliato Negroni, made with Gusbourne Brut – instead of Prosecco – they’ve given it an extremely English name too, although that might not have been intentional…
…it’s called an Oopsie Daisy.
NOTE: Upstairs at The George is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday-Saturday, as well as for lunch on Sundays. For more information, or to make a reservation, visit their website here.
Upstairs At The George | 55 Great Portland Street, W1W 7LQ
Fancy carrying on the night somewhere else? Our guide to the best bars in Soho has some solid options…
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