Having launched to widespread critical acclaim back in 2005, Bedford & Strand has managed the enviable trick of keeping a low-profile whilst still remaining popular amongst those in the know, particularly as London’s foodies get sucked in by the ever glitzier new restaurant openings in the city.
Being located on the edge of Covent Garden and The Strand, many a hungry Londoner has probably unwittingly walked past the inconspicuous doors of the basement venue on numerous occasions as they seek somewhere good for dinner. However, those who do take the steps downstairs into the restaurant are unlikely to look back because Bedford & Strand is a definite keeper!
Bedford & Strand is a wine room and bistro that answers the trend for honest and straightforward bars and restaurants. It specialises in offering an extensive variety of well-priced wines, complemented by affordable bistro dishes. Having been an occasional visitor for some years, its popularity never ceases to amaze; whether visiting on Wednesday or Friday night, every inch of the place is likely to be buzzing with regulars who realise the gem they have chanced upon.
A quick look at the drinks reveals that over 20 of the 70 wines listed are available by the glass, with many in the £4 region. If you’ve got something to celebrate, they’ve also got Perrier Jouet at just £10.50 a glass, whilst a concise selection of classic cocktails can also be enjoyed. The bar also houses a deli-counter full of delicious meats, cheese, small bites and now legendary pork scratchings that are ideal for nibbling on with a few drinks.
Chef Tim O’Brien’s restaurant menu is equally tempting, with a range of traditional rustic British and French dishes that you could happily eat every day. Braun fritters with gribiche sauce are an absolute must for starters, although you won’t be disappointed with the rich Chicken liver partfait or the Warm house smoked salmon with fennel & cauliflower purée. Similarly, the mains such Coq au Vin and Fish Pie may sound fairly pedestrian to those who expect a Masterchef style ensemble from their meals, but more than deliver on flavour and execution. Leave some room for puddings such as Chocolate orange fondant, and you most certainly will be left with a sweet ending to your meal!
Cuisine type: British
Dinner for two (excluding drinks): £60
Bedford & Strand
1 Bedford Street
London, WC2E 9HH
Tel: 020 7836 3033