Bar open late
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Merchants Tavern Restaurant Review: It may be called a tavern, but it’s a very smart one. Curved leather banquettes and a long bar fill a large space that has enough industrial style (iron pillars and red brick walls) to bring the trendies out in droves. It’s a collaboration between Angela Hartnett, whose Murano is so successful, and chef Neil Borthwick (from The Square), who goes with the seasons for his style of cooking. You can toy with an oyster for most of the year before tucking into the likes of scallops with crushed celeriac and a black truffle vinaigrette, or a hearty Jerusalem artichoke soup with a poached duck egg and Saint-Nectaire on toast for starters. Mains such as venison with beetroot purée, crushed parsley root and juniper crumb, and roast halibut with purple sprouting broccoli, toasted almond milk, caper and raisin purée hit the right fashionable note, and are skillfully prepared. It’s a reassuringly comfortable, and chic, venue with great snacks at the bar that also champions British lagers and wines.