*Fun Fact* The Crowne Plaza London is located on the site of Henry VIII’s Bridewell Palace and the current Grade II listed building was once home to a bank.
If ya like that little nugget, you’ll love the bar, Voltaire, which may look like any other but it hides something unique… venturing through the bar doors there are several of the bank’s old vaults which have cleverly been turned into private bar spaces. The vaults vary in size, and are free to reserve. They also feature iPads to choose your own music and personal heaters for the unpredictable British weather.
Both restaurants, Chinese Cricket Club and Diciannove, have been awarded Rosettes. Alongside their usual restaurant menus, each host themed events, such as the upcoming Chinese New Year Celebrations. Fresh dim sum, made on site daily, seems as good a reason as any to visit!
We dined in the hotel’s Italian restaurant, Diciannove. The focus is on fresh, seasonal and local ingredients, alongside specially imported ingredients from Italy, such as super creamy buffalo mozzarella. The menu consists of classic Italian dishes and takes inspiration from Liguria, Head Chef Alessandro’s hometown.
To start we sampled the Il Grande, a selection of Italian meat and cheeses. This included proscuitto Toscano, coppa di Parma, grana di pecora and primo sale al pepe nero, alongside freshly-made focaccia. Pizette with N’duja and black olives and a selection of Arancine (risotto balls) rounded off the starters. The dishes were simple but delicious, allowing the quality of the ingredients to really shine through.
Pesce Spada (chargrilled swordfish with a rocket and cherry tomato salad), Fileto di Manzo (beef fillet, potatoes tortino, sautéed leeks and veal sauce) and Risotto ai Funghi Selvatici (wild mushroom and Grana di pecora risotto) followed. The swordfish, from one of the restaurant’s fish suppliers in Cornwall, was the standout dish for us. Simply chargrilled, you could taste the flavour and freshness of the fish. Paired with a simple salad, the whole dish was light yet satisfying.
Stuffed but always with room for dessert, we had the Classic Tiramisu. It was lighter than most tiramisu we’ve ever tasted (and we’ve had a lot!), perfect for those who like to finish on a sweet note. If you prefer cheese to end a meal, there is a great selection on offer, including Parmigiano, gorgonzola, ubriaco al vino rosso and paglierina.
It may not be somewhere you would usually consider for a meal out, but we would highly recommend visiting Diciannove. Alessandro also hosts special events with menus inspired from different regions of Italy. We’ll be back to try more!