SMITHS of Smithfield is the kind of place that you’d like to stay all day. No, cancel that. All weekend. The recently refurbished city diner is cool, stylish, and cosy, and full of great places to eat and drink.
The venue is also surprisingly busy on a Saturday afternoon in late July. City bars have a reputation for being jam packed between Monday and Friday but as dead as a dormouse at the weekends, however, SMITHS seems to have bucked this trend.
It’s all good though, as there are just enough people in the building to create an atmosphere but not quite enough for it too feel crowded and/or uncomfortable.
SMITHS is set over four floors of an 19th century listed building and features a cafe, cocktail bar, grill, and restaurant. The ground floor café and bar is spacious and informal, with a polished concrete floor, exposed brickwork and exposed metal beams painted in blue. The 1st floor cocktail bar (Death + Victory) continues the blue theme with blue walls, sofas and chairs complemented by a bright yellow sofa.
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It’s the rooftop bar that I have come to visit, however, and I am certainly not disappointed. The venue is buzzing when I arrive with a mainly female clientele enjoying the venue’s many brunch, lunch and bottomless options.
The rooftop is an impressive space with a long indoor dining area and an outside terrace running the length of the indoor space. The decor is sober yet smart with brown wood floors, wooden tables covered with crisp white table clothes and deep turquoise walls. The outdoor section features several tables, heaters, furniture and best of all, panoramic views across Smithfield Market.
The service at the venue is friendly and attentive with the lovely Sandra in particular going out of her way to make my visit an enjoyable one. The views are good, too, with the humped back of Smithfield’s meat market visible as well as the spires of several city’s churches.
The weekend food offering is dominated by small plates and serves as an accompaniment to the restaurant’s bottomless brunch deals. There are several bottomless offers with a welcome cocktail, two small plates, bottomless prosecco and one dessert for £60 while £85 buys you the same package but with the prosecco exchanged for champagne and with a helping of caviar too boot.
With regards to the food, the Cajun spiced Devon crab cake is excellent, with a fluffy interior and seasoning and accompaniments that complement rather than overpower the crab.
The grilled flat iron steak, meanwhile, while not quite melt in the mouth tender, is soft, flavoursome, and cooked to perfection with the chimichurri making an agreeable a complement to the meat and eggs.
The fried Jersey royals dish is just good, too. This is comfort food at its very best. The dish is so simple with the potatoes accompanied by a ducks egg, coppa ham and but the combo is gorgeous and the potatoes are done to perfection.
As for the desserts, the dark chocolate tart is wickedly rich and indulgent tasting, with a well chosen accompaniment of honeycomb and ginger flavoured ice cream while the strawberry parfait is lovely too with a rich strawberry flavour and an agreeable creaminess.
SMITHS of Smithfield is the perfect spot for enjoying a drink or a meal while meeting friends, business colleagues or merely city gazing. The venue is spacious and welcoming, the service prompt and friendly and the food absolutely hits the spot.
More information about SMITHS of Smithfield can be found here.
For information on other great places to eat and drink in London, please click here.