Grind started in Shoreditch (ofc) in 2011. They’ve expanded since then and there are now six cafe-bars and three restaurants scattered all over London. They roast their own blend at their Shoreditch HQ and deliver it to all their branches. Trust me, it’s immediately clear they love their coffee. Their Clerkenwell offering is in a converted warehouse building (love it) and takes shape as one of their restaurant branches.
So when an old Uni friend and I found ourselves in Clerkenwell with a bit of time to spare and in desperate need of a bite to eat, we had to give this place a try.
To start with, Clerkenwell Grind must be one of the most instagrammable places to drink/eat in London. There aren’t many days that go by that I don’t see their marble tables, neon or pink and blue velvet seats as I scroll down my feed. Heck, I’m not complaining. I’m a sucker for going anywhere that has a great interior. If I can sit in a restaurant, coffee shop or wherever and wonder why on earth I don’t have half of their furniture in my flat then as far as I’m concerned, they’re doing something right.
Even though the restaurant wasn’t busy and we could have had a table straight away, we decided to head to the bar first for a cocktail. We started with a Strawberry Fields – a nice mix of gin, Cointreau and strawberries. Then we had a Chilli Mojito, which could have done with a little more chilli. Then we headed for dinner, where I had a Clover Club – a mix of gin, raspberry and egg white. Also pretty good, but if I’m honest, nothing to write home about. After dinner we had the Hot Flat White Russian; this is where Clerkenwell Grind comes into its own. It’s no surprise really that between the coffee cocktails and the non-coffee cocktails that they’d be better at the coffee ones! I like a White Russian and could definitely see why their coffee cocktails are raved about. Then we had an Espresso Martini which again
After dinner we had the Hot Flat White Russian; this is where Clerkenwell Grind comes into its own. It’s no surprise really that between the coffee cocktails and the non-coffee cocktails that they’d be better at the coffee ones! I like a White Russian and could definitely see why their coffee cocktails are raved about. Then we had an Espresso Martini which was pretty awesome. I had high standards because they know their coffee and I wasn’t disappointed!
I ordered the Ox Cheek Pappardelle, which was pretty yummy to be fair. My friend had the chicken and avocado salad, which when it was first delivered was horrifically salty and had to be sent back. The waitress was really good about it, had it changed over immediately and the next salad that came out was much better. We think it was a mistake by the chefs in the kitchen, rather than a crap recipe!
Would I go again?
Mmmm. Maybe. Probably. I don’t know. I had a great time, loved the atmosphere of the place and the service was pretty swish too. But it just missed something. If I was going to be a bit of an arse, I’d say it lacked a certain je ne sais quoi. I’d probably go back for the food. I probably wouldn’t go back for the cocktails. I really do think you can get better cocktails in London for the same price. Or, slightly more expensive cocktails with a much better view. Realistically, I think I’d skip this Grind and try a different one instead. I’ve already got my eye on Covent Garden Grind – not least because I always have good food anywhere on Maiden Lane.
Having said all that, I’ve heard a lot of good said about their
bottomless brunch offering – so maybe it really is a brunch venue over a dinner venue. And if I ever found myself in the area with some time to kill again, I would be extremely tempted to go in there, grab a drink and fill up my camera reel for some Insta-stock. No, seriously, I would.
Do let me know what you thought if you’ve been!