Solo Dining in London can be tricky, at least for me over the years, as I’ve often felt really out of place. Through trial and error, I’ve developed my solo dining routine of places that I like and feel comfortable – places where the food is wonderful, the service attentive and the atmosphere trendy/cool but also cozy/comfortable. For my last visit to London, I would stay in Holborn for the first time at The Rosewood London and break with routine. With my first stay in Holborn, I had so many plans to try different restaurants but was so taken by restaurant at the hotel, Holborn Dining Room that I would dine there multiple times during the week (and do room service too!). The locally sourced, seasonal British food was really good. Yes, I just said “British food was good, really good”. If you think otherwise, you haven’t been to London in a long time as the food scene is genuinely exciting with each visit.
First Impressions of The Holborn Dining Room
The restaurant can be seen as you walk outside on High Holborn and you can enter either via the hotel (as guest) from the staircase or alternatively the main door from the street just inside the archway. While I know that the hotel renovation has been spectacular, I didn’t know what to expect from the restaurant space but was quickly impressed.
What I first noticed was how big the restaurant was, which surprised me, as well as the interior design of woods, glass and red leather. It has separate spaces to break up the space – the bar, different sections and the outdoor patio terrace. Despite its high ceilings and open space, it was a rather cozy environment. I saw the restaurant in bright light each morning so I could appreciate the interior design and function a bit more than at night when it was candle lit and more intimate.
Breakfast at The Holborn Dining Room
Since I could walk to work rather than take the tube one stop, I was able to have a bit more time for breakfast. Upon entry, I was greeted by the host/hostess and the smell of burnt toast (this was a recurring smell during my morning visits and most likely a one-off but it made me smile). They each offered me my choice of table (at 8 am, you can sit anywhere) as well as a plethora of newspapers to read.
There is no breakfast buffet here it is ala carte and surprisingly reasonably priced (for a hotel). I would keep it simple with either eggs (£4.50) or pancakes (£7.50) and vary it by adding one or more sides – toast, potatoes, juice (£3.50) and maybe expense account bacon (£6.00). The pancakes took two tries to get it right as raspberry pancakes in the U.S. are not quite the same in the U.K. (the U.K. like it much, much sweeter as you can see below – more raspberry soup with a side of pancakes. Other hotels served it this way too). Service was quick, attentive and working in teams, constantly available.
Dinner at The Holborn Dining Room
On a Wednesday night after my spa treatment in Senses, I would stay on property for dinner. I sat alone at a half booth with American businessmen on my left and a birthday celebration for three on my right. There are many seating options – at the bar, a table or the long communal high top table. My server explained the menu and was easy to converse with. At no time did I feel weird dining solo as I was able to be a bit of a hotel guest mixed in with the locals. The room was a good mix of hotel guests, business people, visitors and locals.
As with breakfast, I looked forward to the bread and the local soft delicious Abernethy butter. At dinner, I got a full loaf of bread all to myself, my inner carb loving fat girl was thrilled!
My fillet of cod with chorizo and tomatoes (£21.75) was simply light, airy and delightful followed by a Valrhona chocolate pot with sweet cream dessert (£6.50) which was simply decadent. The house red wine (£5) accompaniment worked to cap off a great spa + dinner experience.
The Holborn Dining Room at The Rosewood London Hotel – Final Thoughts
The Holborn Dining Room with it’s varied British fare menu and attentive service would definitely bring me back on my next visit on my own dime (or quid). Whoever said British food isn’t good hasn’t been here yet! The service was attentive, the butter worth every damn calorie and the bread worth cheating on your gluten free diet. I found it easy to dine solo in London here for breakfast and dinner and happily recommend it to others on an expense account and those looking for something posh in Holborn.