Knightsbridge is home to many brilliant, storied restaurants from Holy Carrot on Hans Crescent to Heston’s Dinner at Mandarin Oriental and Gordon Ramsay’s Petrus. There are also SW1 foodie experiences that have caused a sensation on Instagram, like Nusr-Et, with its social media friendly gold-leaf enwrapped steaks.
Festive Restaurant of the Week: The Bishop at The Berkeley
20th December 2022
The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge is surely one of the most welcoming spots in London for non-guests of its spectacular five star service. Not only does it play host to Cedric Grolet, one of Instagram's most popular patisserie chefs - 5.7 million followers and counting - it has also opened a pop-up cosy pub, The Bishop, offering deliciously elevated festive food in a cosy, upbeat environment – and it still has festive availability.
Tucked a moment away from the blingy exterior of Nusr-et, though, is The Bishop at The Berkeley, a temporary addition to the food scene in Knightsbridge. This adorable spot offers a 5-star experience in a non-showy manner which feels like an honest, high quality riposte to the overload of unrealistic glossy perfection of offer elsewhere.
The Bishop is a place of two halves. One part bar – where you can sup their own beer, sourced from a Sussex brewery, including The Bishop pale ale and their own stout, paired with elevated bar snacks. Myself and my guest, an opera singer, enjoyed their Welsh Rare-bites, (£8), gooey mini-cheese toasties with lashings of Worcester sauce, and were surprised by the moorish deliciousness of their fried pickles with blue cheese dressing, (£8).
The other half is the main restaurant. We were provided with blankets, and thus began the enjoyment of some incredible “pub food.” Between us, we demolished a steak and ale pie, served with wilted, buttery kale and creamy mash (£28, the Thursday special), and their Chicken Kiev, (£19) an everyday staple on their menu, accompanied by roasted root vegetables (£8) and hand-cut chips (£8). The Kiev’s garlicky butter oozed satisfyingly onto the plate, and was mopped up with still-warm freshly made bread.
Because this is The Berkeley's take on pub food you'll find recognisable dishes across the various menus, including bangers and mash (£19), scotch eggs (£12), fish and chips (£25), and a fancy prawn and crayfish cocktail (£18) which pops up on their Sunday menu, plus evolving daily specials – Friday is Shepherds Pie day, and from Thursday to Saturday they offer a Chateaubriand for two (£75).
The puddings on offer at The Bishop are satisfyingly unctuous, including classic bread and butter and sticky toffee puddings (£15), but – confession – we eschewed these, and finished our Berkeley experience inside the main hotel with Cedric Grolet’s Mandarin Flower tart, £17. Months of enjoying his mouth-watering ASMR-style content on Instagram, finally made real with a bite of crisp diamond shortcrust pastry with a burst of clementine marmalade and mandarin gel, topped with a timut pepper cream. A sensorily fabulous end, to a delicious and satisfying lunch.