Drake and Morgan has been around for the guts of 10 years, and with two more ventures planned for 2017, its empire is showing no signs of slowing down. With this news fresh off the press, I decided that it was time to take a long over due trip to one of its venues. Cue: The Refinery CityPoint.
It took me approximately 20 swear words, five/six wrong turns and one desperate phone call to find The Refinery CityPoint. Just before you start to sneer at my shit sense of direction - this Drake and Morgan plot is nestled in the shade of towering office blocks. So do yourself a favour when you visit and don’t repeat my mistake of walking aimlessly up and down Ropemaker Street. Duck into the first left towards the hub of buildings and you’ll be at number one in seconds.
Prepared and welcoming warmer days, The Refinery has a cluster of tall tables decked out with tea lights, hot water bottles and blankets plonked outside their front patio. Due to it being April and strong winds out in full force, these were unoccupied - but come hotter climates these seats will no doubt be the most sought after. Venturing past the threshold and into the warmth of the restaurant, we were met with a large and open-plan space shamlessly waving about fisfuls of character. Statement zig zag wallpaper, large potted plants and bold seating made up of different shades work in harmony to build a comforting and homely city hangout. Seated at a bottle green coloured booth with a decent view of the restaurant, the attention to detail of The Refinery was more than apparent. Faux fur throws and blankets pimped out seating arrangements and tables were accessorised with miniature plants and golden candle holders. This coupled with the large window-to-ceiling windows, letting in endless beams of natural light, make this place a dream for unwinding with a drink in one hand and a fork in the other. Clientele wise, the crowd filtered out come 9pm, leaving a few tables occupied but a little birdy told me that this restaurant attracts an attractive city crowd thanks to its location and accessibility.
The Food and Drink
Not in the right frame of mind to work my way through the wine list, we entrusted our waitress with her choice of white wine. A bottle of Chenin Blanc, Long Beach comes priced at £17.95 and lasted us for the entirety of our meal. Carrying full fruity notes, our server's recommendation done us proud.
Dining from the All Day Menu, we took one look at the starter section and almost immediately agreed on the chicken satay £6.25 and the Scotch egg £5.95. My Scotch egg came served runny and golden, wrapped in seasoned meat with a moreish side of chorizo and smoked paprika mayonnaise for dipping and dunking. My companion’s starter came with a pool of rich peanut sauce and the chicken tore away from the skewer with ease.
Hoovering up every crumb like my good ol' friend Henry the home appliance, we were promptly presented with our mains shortly after our plates were cleared. Seeking comfort food, we came to order the beer-battered haddock and chips £11.95 and the sirloin steak 8oz £16.95. The batter enveloping the haddock was crispy and the the fish resting underneath was flaky and flesh; accompanied with a cargo of chips and tartare sauce, it was the ideal choice for the evening’s mood. With an unusual craving for meat, I ordered the steak medium, with a side of peppercorn sauce. For me, the sauce lacked flavour and thickness, but the sirloin was cooked to my liking, slightly pink on the inside.
Skipping dessert and making a beeline for a strong cocktail, our liquid libations of choice were the old fashioned from the Timeless section £9.95 and the London spritz £8.95 from the Heritage section. The old fashioned used Bulleit bourbon as a base but the spritz was a light and easy drinking with the mix marrying Tanqueray gin, cucumber, elderflower, apple, mint and soda.
Although my patience was tested finding The Refinery CityPoint and my swear jar is now £20 richer than I am, I’ve come to the conclusion that my midweek trip was worth it thanks to our dreamy starters, the refreshing cocktails and stylish interiors.