The Handbook
The Handbook

Never mind had me at hello, The Henrietta Hotel had me at 1am late-license because, correct me if I’m wrong, but when cocktails are on the cards, the later the venue closure, the absolute better.

The boutique Covent Garden townhouse will open a new bistro next month named Henrietta Bistro, and with newness being the theme, a brand-new chef will also be on hand to rustle up the dishes. Head chef Sylvain Roucayrol joins from sister site Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, replacing Ollie Dabbous. Meanwhile, Dabbous is doing what chefs at the top of their culinary game do best and has opened up his own restaurant, Hide in Piccadilly.

The Henrietta Hotel is one of many locations for the Experimental Group, and boy do they know how to add a certain je ne sais quoi to a location. Experimentation in fact lies at the entrance of Henrietta Hotel, which is covertly tucked away behind a discreet black door, on the eponymous London street.

Behind the Alice in Wonderland style entrance however, will lie Henrietta Bistro’s alluring menu, which has enough personality to keep you entertained if your company is lacking. The small snack-style menu sees grilled Galician octopus with herb relish as a feature, alongside bocadillo’ of beef txistorra – a fast-cure sausage patty sandwich from Aragon. The menu, experimental in nature, is inspired by southwest France, the Basque country and the Catalunyan region of northern Spain, reaching across to Corsica. With 18 cocktail bars, restaurants and wine bars to their name, across a plethora of locations, there’s a certain automatic trust donated to the Experimental Groups’ drinks menu, so rest-assured we hope, cocktail critics.

The 80-cover intimate space pays homage to the garden of Covent Garden, boasting a music turned-up and lights turned-down vibe and a hand-painted mural of a tiger that fills the entire ceiling. Roar! However relaxing this garden vibe might sound though, bikinis and speedos are not recommended…

Henrietta Bistro:  Opening next month, 14 – 15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH,