The Trading House
89-91 Gresham St
If you’re looking for a quiet evening in the city, this is not the place – it’s filled to the brim with bustling people, delighted conversation, and live music from the talented acoustic guitar player in the corner belting out pop classics. It seems like one of the more popular spots for post-work city drinks, with people spilling out onto the pavement in chatty groups.
We made our way through the crowded bar to a quieter spot in the back, taking in the beautiful scenery on the way. The space is huge, stretching skywards and dotted with gilded palm tree style chandeliers. It is, as the name suggests, decorated with huge luggage trunks, rich dark wood panels, and ornate lighting. We made ourselves comfortable on the heavy furniture and were introduced to our lovely waitress. She talked us through the extensive menu, pointing out a few of the most popular dishes and cocktails. The menu is vast, covering classic nibbles from spicy chicken wings to baked Camembert, calamari and pork crackling.
The Deli Boards seemed popular with the casual diners nearby, large platters themed to seafood, meat, or home made favourites – the ideal accompaniment when you fancy a lighter bite with your drinks. Between those and the smaller plates you’d be be covered for an evening out with friends, but for a full dinner there’s plenty to take your fancy. We were tempted by the home comforts section, especially the chicken chorizo pie and the lamb chickpea tagine, and the hanging kebabs looked an absolute treat too. Going for a steak in the end – they looked great – we were very satisfied by the tasty peppercorn sauce and perfectly cooked rump.
Too full for dessert after sampling the padron peppers, sesame coated falafel and calamari beforehand we skipped dessert but opted for a house Old Fashioned, using smokey cardamom syrup to add their own spin on the classic. It was a shame it was a schoolnight or we would have explored their expert craftsmanship further, but what we had was impressive.
Stepping into The Trading House is like stepping back in time visually, with the vibrant, busy atmosphere of a city pub and attentive, well skilled staff.