The City can be a daunting place if you’re looking for some good beer and a bite to eat. With suits generally resigned to the fact they’ll be paying £6 for a decent brew and triple that for a decent meal, us average Joes are often forced out to find haunts without an EC postcode. But we think we may have just found somewhere for everyone at The Trading House on Gresham Street.
Located just a few minutes’ strides from Bank, The Trading House fuses Phileas Fogg/faux-Victorian trading house décor with a vast selection of spiced-twist cocktails, a traditionally British G&T list, Champagne, wine, and one of the best craft beer menus we’ve found recently in central London. And we haven’t even mentioned the food yet…
First thing we’d say about The Trading House is don’t be fooled by its Grade II-listed exterior and design. Formerly the Bank of New Zealand, this place could be daunting to the average punter but in reality is far from intimidating. The menu reflects this with options like a curate-your-own deli board and a section entitled ‘Home Comforts’. Think pies, steak sandwiches and even schnitzel…
Choosing what to taste off the deli, rotisserie and BBQ-inspired menu was far from easy but our Joes/Janes party went for an array of starters with the standout being the Baked Camembert which came with a bacon and onion crust – it’s not reinventing the wheel but it’s those extra little touches which really impressed at The Trading House.
For mains, we enjoyed the Lamb and Chickpea Tagine, the Fillet Steak (cooked to perfection), as well as a delicious Pork Belly off the Specials which was served with creamy mash, bacon and an onion fritter. The real star of the show, however, was one of the Trading House’s Hanging Kebabs – we did say this place wasn’t intimidating… Succulent meat, fluffy chips and a bit of theatre. What more could you want?
As you can probably guess by now, the Trading House is a place of juxtapositions. The building itself is stunning and the vast space is filled with a very talented pianist/vocalist almost every night. But this is, in the best sense of the phrase, glorified pub grub. And thankfully, the prices reflect that with the majority of main just a shade over the £10 mark and rarely rising above £15. Extremely good value for money.
While the food was a surprising success, from the minute we stepped into The Trading House, we knew the drinks wouldn’t disappoint. The beautifully-presented soft-bound beer menu is titled, ‘The Anthology of Ales’, and will have any beer enthusiast foaming with 90-odds crafts all described in detail. Our recommendation; try the Big Wave by Kona, a 4.4% golden ale, and the Einstök Icelandic white ale. You’re looking at around £4 – £6 a bottle.
Cocktails are similarly excellent here and the menu is extensive to say the least. All your classics are on show, as well as a vast selection of gin options and some even some beer cocktails. They’re all generally priced around £7 – £10.
Overall, we loved our evening at The Trading House. Perfect for some after work cocktails or a bite to eat, this contradiction of a bar won’t deliver bells and whistles. But if you want high-end vibes without the price or fuss, we can’t recommend it enough. They also offer beer tasting masterclasses, so head over to The Trading House London Website for details and for full menus.