This culinary refuge serves modern British and western food that greets you like an old friend.
It’s a grey and overcast day, there’s a hangover raging among the three of us and comfort food is required to brighten the mood. Turns out lunch at 69 on Jervois is just what the doctor ordered.
Our spirits begin to lift as soon as we walk into the dining room, a cosy 28-seat space that feels light and airy thanks to eight-metre high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. (There’s also an intimate space that seats 22 upstairs on the mezzanine floor called The Blue Room.)
The decor of charcoal black, wood and patterned mirrors is calming as is the rusty-brown coloured seating in high, low and banquette options. For my next visit I’ll opt for the latter as the tall chairs were a bit too high to climb up and down from with such short legs.
Jasmine tea is ordered – it’s not a day for alcohol, no matter how appealing the wine list and other bevvies look – and it arrives in an elegant glass tea pot replete with a sensible wooden handle. Free-flow still and sparkling water is consumed.
Menus are delivered by a friendly server; a choice of set lunch comprised of a starter, main and dessert or cheese plate. All of us choose dishes from the a la carte menu.
For starters we have Cotswold country pate – deliciously livery with soft bites of pistachio and green peppercorns – served with mustard butter toast and house-made pickles that we hope 69 on Jervois will bundle into glass jars and sell to take home. We also try potted crab, a zesty, fresh affair with horseradish cream and a buttery top served with sourdough toast, and a side of chilli potatoes, which have perfectly roasted skins, fluffy innards and just the right amount of heat to kick that hangover to the sidelines.
Warmth is also abundant in our mains of orecchiette with Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, garlic, and chilli – Italian comfort food – and sausage and lentil casserole with three big, juicy Cumberland sausages on a bed of earthy buttered puy lentils.
All dishes are generous in size. We shared the starters and side and dipped into each of the mains, and I still took home a sausage, some lentils and potted crab, which made a delicious early evening snack.
We also loved how the food isn’t overly salted. Or flashy. Just nicely presented, down-to-earth dishes that you can tell have been put together with love and care – much like the restaurant itself.
Sadly, none of us had any room left for desserts; something to rectify another day because, well, there’s baked apple crumble and Eton Mess. After a pick-me-up coffee, we exit feeling totally satisfied – and hangover-free. The sun had come out too. Moods lifted all round.