Gezellig – serious food, but a relaxed ethos

31 July 2019

Nick Savage, Innerplace Concierge

Gezellig‘s hospitality roster scans like a supergroup. Between them, Graham Long, Wieteke Teppema and James Comyn have CVs comprising stints at The Ledbury, Viajante, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Pied à Terre and The Square. They know their way around a Michelin star but have never had the opportunity to run their own independent restaurant. Well, until now. Named for the Dutch word for hygge or cosy - gezellig - they‘ve rolled out every amenity to satisfy the discerning bon vivant.

Gezellig has taken over from Burger & Lobster and, prior to that, Shanghai Blue in the Grade II listed Holborn Hall. Behind the prepossessing Portland stone façade, you‘ll find a haven in hunter green, with a comfy bar, two private dining rooms, a mezzanine area and a more formal dining area. Darkwood floors and tables play off oxblood banquettes and walls clad in posters, mainly of wine events and David Bowie. We settled in with a bottle of Taupenot-Merme white burgundy and enjoyed bar snacks of pulled pork bitterballen (Dutch croquettes) and pork shoulder sausage rolls whilst perusing the menu.

The quality of the food was in line with the founders‘ CVs. Grilled trombetta courgettes and broad beans were shot through with ewe‘s curd and mint. A brandade raviolo was crowned with a dollop of airy aioli and sat atop a smouldering octopus ragu. Mains improved on the promise. A tarte fine of courgette and tomato with baked aubergine, basil and Belper Knolle cheese was pure summery indulgence, whilst the chicken breast was definitely one of the best we‘ve ever enjoyed - garlanded in crispy potato straws and perched on a bed of hispi cabbage and morteau sausage farce. A peach melba and almond sundae brought it all home.

Gezellig is a serious restaurant with serious wines and serious chefs cooking serious food. The great thing is that they‘ve found a way to counterbalance all of this seriousness with an inviting room and relaxed ethos.

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