This month sees the reopening of The Harcourt on Harcourt Street in Marylebone, with newly refreshed interiors and menus by chef-director Henry Harris, in collaboration with head chef Kimmo Makkonen.
The Harcourt, which opened in 2016, was the first site from Harcourt Inns, a collection of five pubs, founded by James McCulloch.
Originally established in 1826 as The Harcourt Arms, the Grade II-listed five-storey Georgian townhouse has been sensitively redesigned to showcase the building’s Regency layout.
The front room, with its oak panelling and simple leaded windows dating back to the early 19th century, has been refitted as a traditional pub front, welcoming guests for a drink after work and offering a selection of bar snacks. The back room, meanwhile, is a dining room serving an a la carte menu created by Henry and Kimmo.
Upstairs on the first floor, two elegant rooms are available for private dining and events. One seats 20 and is grand, opulent and suits special-occasion events; whilst the other is more intimate, seating 10 in a discreet ambience.
Concise menus feature the signature classics for which Henry is well known, adopting a resolutely seasonal approach, and showcasing his flair for combining the best of British and French cooking techniques.
Current highlights include the likes of pea and wild garlic soup with goat’s curd to start; followed by roast brill with fennel and aïoli or lamb rump, smoked aubergine, grelot onion and anchovy.
There are also sharing dishes, such as Hereford T-bone served with chips, salad and béarnaise sauce.
Pudding runs from classic sticky toffee pudding and vanilla ice cream, to fruity chilled Alphonso mango rice pudding.
Focus has been placed on produce sourced from British suppliers with whom Henry has built long-standing relationships. Lamb, for instance, comes from the Cotswolds, while British coastal fish is delivered daily by Cove South West in Poole and responsibly reared meat is supplied by H.G Walter in Barons Court.
Drinks have been carefully considered to include beers and ales from independent breweries where possible, as well as a predominantly European wine list and grower Champagnes.
It also includes speciality spirits such as Cognac, Armagnac and artisanal French aperitifs and digestifs, supplied by Harris Vintners. A curated cocktail list includes popular choices such as White Armagnac Martinis and Negronis.
The team is ably led by General Manager Alexis Ross (Zobler’s @ The Ned, Zetter Townhouse, and Polpo) along with head chef Kimmo Makkonen (The Greenhouse, Avenue), who has been at The Harcourt since 2016.
The Harcourt is one of five sites from Harcourt Inns, a collection of London based pubs with dining rooms, alongside The Three Cranes in the City (2017), The Coach in Clerkenwell (January 2018), The Hero of Maida in Maida Vale (May 2018), and The Crown in Chiswick (January 2019).