Come for the food and drinks, stay for the Instagram-worthy opulent interior decor at this Grade II listed former Victorian Gin palace. WGSN City by City Associate Editor Emily Cater reports
This beautifully grand, yet inexpensive restaurant and bar from the people behind Maroush is City by City’s latest recommendation for a dining destination to impress (that won’t break the bank).
Where: 24 Aberdeen Place NW8 8JR / 44 (0)20 7289 9898
What: Eat & Drink
Three Reasons We Loved It:
1. The Interiors:
Crocker’s Folly is housed in a truly impressive Grade II listed former Victorian Gin palace, in a seemingly quiet street nestled halfway between St John’s Wood and Warwick Avenue. As soon as you enter this imposing building, noticeable are the stunning interior features which include 50 kinds of marble, Romanesque columns, cut-glass chandeliers and intricately carved mahogany. There are three rooms that make Crocker’s Folly as well as an outdoor terrace which seats up to 30. Enjoy cocktails at the bar with its restored stucco walls, gilded ceilings and fine wood panelling, dinner in the spectacular Marble Room featuring a large open fireplace, striking central bar and Italian tables and chairs, or opt for the more formal and intimate dining room – The Lord’s Room – named in honour of the famous nearby Lord’s Cricket Ground. In this room, prepare to be dazzled by the oversized Baccarat crystal chandelier and original bay windows, whilst watching the chefs prepare dinner through the open kitchen, a great choice for a special occasion.
2. The Food:
The food at Crocker’s Folly is one of the key talking points – a fusion of Lebanese and modern British gastro grub. At the helm is head chef Arek Bober, previously of Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social, whose simple seasonal dishes prove a success here, presented beautifully too. Following a serving of fresh bread and olives, for starters we opted for the Pork Terrine, and the Crab and Avocado Tian, both fresh and flavoursome, while for mains we tried the lamb cannon and the rib-eye steak, both strong choices and presented medium-rare as recommended by the chef. Other similarly unshowy, yet delicious items on the menu include Mushroom Gnocchi and Seabass fillet, though everything changes seasonally. Wash it all down with a nice glass of Malbec or one of its excellent cocktails – we loved the Folly’s Bellini or the St John’s Garden.
3. The Service:
The Service at Crocker’s Folly is friendly, professional and informed, with wait staff dressed in three-piece suits and cocktail dresses, making for a refined experience. Always happy to make recommendations and provide more detail on the menu, as well as ensuring you’re never without a drink, their attention to detail makes for a pleasant experience, but fussy they are not.
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