Creating a restaurant in a church is easier than you’d think.
They often already come with a good friar.
And in this particular instance, they also come with a supremely talented head chef to oversee it all, because Cloister is a new pop up from the head chef and founder of the Michelin-starred Club Gascon in Smithfield.
You see, while the restaurant gets a little spruce after a solid 20 year run of service, Pascal Aussignac’s keeping his hand in by running a miniature version just a stone’s throw away, in what just happens to be London’s oldest church.
Dating back to 1123, St. Bartholomew-the-Great is arguably one of London’s more impressive buildings, with soaring pillared walls, a gilt statue (built by none other than Damien Hirst), and candlelit, atmospheric cloisters running round the periphery. And it’s in these very cloisters that Aussignac’s serving up his equally ornate four-course menu, with the option to pair each dish with wine or luxury teas. You can expect to find dishes like aromatic king scallop with spicy berries and frosted watermelon; peppered braised beef rib with oceanic tapioca and samphire; and glazed black cod with tea-smoked beetroot and hibiscus – or, should you plump for the vegetarian menu, a dish promising ‘truffled, slow-cooked duck egg in the nest’. And of course, both finish with ‘spirit of absinthe and a frosted geranium’…
So you’ll leave feeling pretty spiritual.
NOTE: Cloister will run until 6th October at St. Bartholomew-the-Great in Smithfield. The set menu costs £80 (+£15/£40 for tea/wine pairings) and can be booked online HERE.
Main image credit: Dun.can/Flickr
Cloister | St. Bartholomew-the-Great, Cloth Fair, EC1A 7JQ