Photography by The Lady Ottoline
Words by Simon Difford on 06-Dec-2015
11a Northington Street, (corner John St), London, WC1N 2JF, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7831 0008
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sat noon-11pm, Sun noon-5pm (closed bank holidays)
Recommended for: Food
Owned by: Affinity Bars And Restaurants
This superb gastro pub sits on a quiet corner in the back streets, just off the Gray's Inn Road, where Clerkenwell and Holborn become the altogether more desirable Bloomsbury. The "Dining Rooms" in its elegant name refer to the homely first floor rooms which lie at either side of the top of the staircase. Both have dark khaki green walls, varnished floor boards and are dotted with standard issue gastro pub mismatched vintage brown wood dining room tables and chairs. Appropriately, the larger of the two is hung with artwork inspired by the Bloomsbury Set, a group supported by the patronage of Lady Ottoline Violet Anne Morrell (1873 - 1938), an English aristocrat and society hostess after which this pub is named.
The wide, shallow ground floor bar is altogether more pub-like, although still gentrified with much the same décor as upstairs, although with cream walls. Four hand-pumps stand on the long oak bar, three of which are usually guaranteed to be dispensing reassuringly recognisable cask ales. Lager drinkers will find they are similarly accommodated and the broad wine list offers both reasonable bins and value. As befits a good gastro pub, Bloody Marys are something of a speciality with four variations on offer, including the excellent Smoking Bloody Lady which is made with smoked vodka.
The Lady Ottoline is rightly a gastro pub of some note and head chef, Greg Martin produces a daily changing menu of what the pub describes as "home-comfort, traditional dishes with a cheeky twist".