Latest opening: Henri

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Jackson Boxer has partnered with hospitality operator Experimental Group to launch new bistro restaurant Henri in London

Related tags Henrietta Hotel Experimental Cocktail Club Jackson Boxer Fine dining Restaurant London Bistro

Chef Jackson Boxer has once again partnered with hospitality operator Experimental Group to launch a new bistro concept in central London.

What: ​A contemporary, Parisian-inspired restaurant located on the ground floor of the Henrietta Experimental hotel in the heart of London’s Covent Garden.

Who: ​Henri marks the second collaboration between international restaurant and bar operator Experimental Group and London-based chef Jackson Boxer, owner of Brunswick House and Orasay. Experimental Group, which was founded in 2007 by childhood friends Olivier Bon, Pierre-Charles Cros and Romée de Goriainoff, operates a mainly bar-focused portfolio that includes five Experimental Cocktail Club bars in Paris, London, Venice, the Cotswolds and Verbier. Boxer’s decision to once again partner with Experimental Group follows the success of Cowley Manor Experimental, which opened last summer.


The food: ​Boxer’s menu combines elements of both classical and contemporary Parisian bistro cooking. The structure, split between smaller snacks and entrees and larger dishes (many cooked using a charcoal grill), allows diners to either opt for multiple dishes to share or a more conventional three courses. Snacks and entrees start at £4 and feature Boxer’s versions of Parisian classics like the fried pied de cochon with agen prune and beer mustard; a seaweed canelé served with crème crue and trout roe; a tremendous bowl of grilled snails with green garlic and veal rice; and jambon de Paris served with celeriac remoulade. Larger dishes are pitched primarily between £15 and £30 and include a raclette burger ‘au poivre’; roast duck with blood orange and green olive; and Swaledale bavette with XO cognac and wild peppercorns. Desserts range from a lemon sorbet to Grand Marnier soufflé with frozen almond. There’s also a riz au lait with poached apricots and dulce de leche to share.


To drink: ​Cocktails are very much the focus here with Experimental developing a list whereby each drink is named after a French ‘icon’. They include the Marie-Antoine (presumably named after French chef Antonin Carême), made with Vulson Domaine des Hautes Glaces, Rittenhouse rye, ginger syrup, honey-infused lapsing soughing tea, lemon juice and peach bitters; and the Gaston (in honour of French pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre, known as a possible creator of the opera cake) which blends cognac, Rittenhouse rye, Byrrh, Aperol, green Chartreuse, maple syrup, and a dash of Angostura and Peychaud's bitters. An expansive, French-focused wine list also features that includes magnums of Vouette et Sorbée and Châteauneuf du Pape 2007.

The vibe: ​Combining the best of British and Parisian sensibilities, Henri’s interiors, created by designer Dorothée Meilichzon, are intended to combine Art Nouveau accents from typical French brasseries with elements of the traditional British pub. It’s a smart and glamourous yet comfortable space with dark wooden panelling, intimate booths and long banquettes. In a nod to its Covent Garden location, botanical shapes are also woven throughout the room, paying tribute to the area’s historic fruit and vegetable market.

And another thing: ​Henri is the latest opening in a growing new wave of rustic and contemporary French bistros popping up in London and beyond that appear neatly positioned to offer diners a more accessible form of fine dining. Others include Anthony Demetre’s recently launched Bistrot at Wild Honey in St James, Claude Bosi’s Josephine Bouchon, and Sandy Jarvis and Clément Cousin’s Bavette in Leeds.

14-15 Henrietta St, London WC2E 8QH

Related topics Restaurant Openings Fine Dining

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