The Soho House group continues its creep into the mid-market with the launch of this new Cecconi’s restaurant in Shoreditch, which will, we are told, be more akin to the glamorous Mayfair original (founded in 1971 by Sgr Cecconi) rather than the spin-off Soho pizza spot.
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“There’s always such a buzz at any time” at the original Cecconi’s, “tucked away behind the Royal Academy” – a “bustling” and “sophisticated” all-day Italian brasserie, whose “open, bright, pavement terrace” helps make it a big favourite amongst the St James’s set, be it “for an upmarket business breakfast”, or as “a treat during a day’s shopping in the West End”. When it comes to the cooking, it “can be a bit hit or miss, but is generally good”. Nowadays owned by Soho House, the brand is being rolled out, but its diverse family of spin-offs echo rather than replicate the original. There’s a City outlet in The Ned’s capacious food hall, which like Mayfair is “fun” and “an excellent place to do business” of a less formal kind. Beyond that, the food is “reliable” but pretty “basic at the price”, and the setting can be “the noisiest ever”. A Soho pizza spot carries the name, on which there’s little feedback. New in September 2018, the Shoreditch branch is “a very good addition as a real neighbourhood restaurant”, with a “nice bar”, and a generally “winning formula”, including for brunch.
“Brash but fun” Italian bar and brasserie in Mayfair where “the people watching is good”, and where “a window table, especially when the front is open in summer, is the best place to be”. Service can be “slightly dismissive” and “it’s not the greatest food, but it’s worth it for the buzz”, and particularly popular for business entertaining, notably as “a go-to venue for breakfast with clients”. Owned by Soho House, it has been rolled out as a global brand, but how well its expansion goes within London remains to be seen. The year-old venture in The Ned (see also) is a bit of a non-event (“a business Italian with City prices, but nothing exceptional in the food”); and it’s still early days for its ‘Pizza Bar’ in Soho, or its September 2018 opening in Redchurch Street, Shoreditch.