As you will be aware Elysium Magazine loves visiting new places to drink and eat in London. So when we got the opportunity to visit 52° North, recently opened in Soho, we were keen to see what everyone was tweeting about. But what did we make of our experience, and is this the type of place you would visit? Read on to see what we thought.
52° North is located just by Oxford Circus station, close to many of the media offices. Newly opened its runway of lights gives it a unique feel in London which has not been seen before.
The Look, The Feel
52° North pays homage to everything British. 52° North, being the circle of latitude that begins in Hertfordshire and the menus: British cuisine, British ingredients, and British booze.
The layout and setting is contemporary and appealing to the after work drinks crowd. The fresh looking visuals adds to the welcoming feel as do the attentive staff – eager to make you feel at home. The runway of lights leads you straight to the bar where you will find the mixing of cocktails a regular sight.
Arriving at 52° North at just after 7.00pm, we were lucky to have reserved a table. The atmosphere was buzzing with a decent crowd around the bar and literally every table, bar-seat and sofa taken – across both floors! There was clearly a great social buzz about 52° North already – only three weeks from opening.
Our host was extremely friendly and reassuring about the menu and knowledgeable about the wine list. Despite it being an extremely busy night she was attentive and happy to recommend wines and cocktails from the various menus. This certainly helped the overall experience.
For starters we enjoyed English Mushrooms on Toast with Garlic Cognac Cream (£6) and Flashed Tiger Prawns, Cornish Squid with Chorizo (£8). The Mushrooms on Toast, although simple, was full of flavour – oozing with fresh ingredients cooked perfectly on freshly baked bread. The Tiger Prawns were an absolute treat with fresh salad and dressing tickling our taste buds. The starters were presented beautifully and you could really smell how fresh the ingredients were.
While the variety of starters were limited, we were impressed by the quality on offer. All ingredients are locally sourced and this really came out when tasting the starters. This prelude got us excited for our main course. Based on how impressed we were so far would the main course live up to our expectations?
Our host swayed us into opting for the Roast Rump of Lamb with Grilled Vegetables (£15) and English Pork Chop with Garlic Mash, Mushroom and Madeira Sauce (£15). I’m glad we were hungry as the portions were generous. The Roast Lamb was cooked perfectly and served with fresh vegetables in a tasty gravy. The meat was clearly a good quality cut and went down easily.
The Pork Chop was served with mash which was full of flavour. The combination was perfect and provided a really carnivorous treat – again a generous portion which maintained the high quality that was apparent with the starters.
The menu is quite varied, but focused around the best of British, with options for pork, chicken and beef which all looking tempting. There are also a few dishes available for vegetarians although the focus is certainly on the carnivores amongst us.
52° North embeds social media at a new level with a Twitter account that recommends menu items, arranges bookings and provides treats when you tweet about it! These treats range from complimentary side dishes to glasses of champagne. We thought it was a great idea and clear it seemed to be working with the number of drinkers and diners seeing what they could get when flashing their iPhones to the staff.
Overall, 52° North is a great addition to the London scene -for both drinking and eating. The menu, although limited, is based on the best of British and is of high quality – certainly healthier for the discerning gent to appreciate then a kebab on the bus home. The lighting and décor of 52 North will appeal to drinkers and diners looking for a social environment to let loose – as opposed to a intimate dining experience. However, the lower section of 52° North does have a more intimate, candle-lit feel which the lady in your life may appreciate.
Although 52° North is just the new kid on the block it is already very popular. Bookings for areas and tables are filling the place rapidly and already making it the place of choice for the local media crowds. If you want to go for a drink around central London and are looking to try somewhere new, the professional crowd, attentive staff, great service and quality food make 52° North the venue of choice.
52 North Bar & Kitchen
21-22 Poland Street
020 7287 1661