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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Holborn Whippet, Bloomsbury

Brought to you by the people behind The Euston Tap and its sister cider bar, the Whippet is a retread of a defunct Italian restaurant on Sicilian Avenue, that cute little passagio that's a colonnaded corner of Palermo in hum-drum Holborn. The clunky wooden interior brings to mind a below stairs room in Dumbdown Abbey. That, or a 1930s bookies office: 'I'll 'ave half a crown each way on Wallis Simpson, trap 5, in the 6.30 at Catford Dogs, guv.' Apparently, this new craft beer bar's name stems from Georgian times when there was whippet racing to be had in these parts... 'before the chains started to move in.' That'd be Mrs Beaton's Ultimate Burgers; Snuff-a-Snorter; Sweeney TGIF et al? Tonight, the crowd is a mix of whippet-thin office workers and scruffy mongrels who have let themselves go to the dogs. Why do so many craft ale fans imagine Stig of the Dump crossed with a 'before' off The Biggest Loser is a hot look? Fill your boots, boys, at a bar built around a brick ‘beer wall’ whose 20 taps sensibly eschew global big brand swill in favour of sterling stuff from Thornbridge, Black Isle, Dark Star, Magic Rock and Essex brewer Mighty Oak. For hop haters, there's a selection of cider, wines and Gosset champagne. Hungry? Pile on even more calories with chargrilled steak sandwich, chicken club and burgers. The bar recently tweeted that a customer asked if its 'Whippet burger' was made from real whippet? Why not? The flesh of any well-looked-after creature that spends its life racing is bound to be lean and lovely. As my regular boucher chevaline in the Pas-de-Calais claims all his steaks come from ex-Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winners;  what's so odd about chowing down on the winner of the 7.45 at Walthamstow slathered in onions?
25 - 29 Sicilian Avenue WC1A 2QH  3137 9937