We decided to waltz on over to Spinningfields’ latest fine dining haunt – The Refinery – to try a dash of the finer things in life. Known across London already, we wanted to see how this restaurant could stand out on the Spinningfields scene.
We felt an almost nervous excitement as we walked through a starlit Spinningfields and The Refinery came into view… this place was far nicer than we anticipated. Yes, we did take a sneaky peak at The Refinery’s website, but even the stunning photos on there didn’t prepare us for that level of ‘plush’. We noticed the pristine outdoor seating area, which had a mix of tables and chairs with faux-fur lining, en route to the world’s heaviest door. Y’know, one of those really expensive doors. Inside was just as beautiful: bright, modern and full of pazazz. There was a monochrome patterned floor, copper candle holders, floor-to-ceiling shelves carrying an array of art objects and even some fresh thyme atop the white marble tables. This was a sizeable and impressive place that mixed a healthy dose of class in with a splash of industrial substance for good measure.
The Food and Drink
Prepare for a mouth-watering menu of gastro orientated dishes and proud British flavours. To start, my companion and I shared two small plates: the crisp and fresh Salt and Pepper Squid with Lemon Mayonnaise (£6.50) and the sumptuously nutty Chicken Satay Skewers (£6.25). They were both delicious with savoury flair, and good portions for small plates at that. For mains, we both went for a medium-rare 8oz Sirloin Steak (£16.75) with Sweet Potato Fries and Cowboy Fries (both £4.50). Cowboy Fries, you say? These bad boys were chunky chips doused in a sticky, sweet and sour sauce and absolutely held their own beside the pièce de résistance steak which was cooked to perfection. To finish off the evening my companion opted for the Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice-Cream (£5.95) whilst I worked away at the beautifully tart Raspberry Sorbet (£4.50). The Refinery has an equally impressive drinks offering. We deliberated over the cocktail menu, which boasted a mix of timeless, inspired and heritage concoctions, but decided upon a bottle of the Ana Sauvignon Blanc (Malborough, £29.50). It’s safe to say we did our best to make the bottle last as long as we could… it was sublime.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
With a bar, bar snacks and dining tables, it’s no wonder that The Refinery was busy on a Thursday evening. On first arrival, the venue looked smaller than it was due to clumps of post-work professionals enjoying a beverage or two, although as we wandered by, an expanse of dining tables filled with groups of different sizes splayed outwards. There was a welcome buzz, although it was clear that these diners were out for some organized posh nosh as opposed to last minute belly-filler. Being located in Spinningfields, patrons treat this place with the respect it deserves and give the food, drink and great company ample attention.
Looking for somewhere new to take the other half on an occasion? The Refinery is, after all that, evidently one of the best new dining spots to open in the city. It's clear we'll be coming back, and it's clear to see why.