RestaurantsLondonCity of LondonEC1A
44 Cloth Fair, London, EC1A 7JQ

Harden's says

Opening spring 2024 in Cloth Fair, an ancient row of houses that escaped the Great Fire of 1666, a new restaurant from specialist wine importers Joe Haynes and Ben Butterworth, and Tom Hurst, who was head chef at Lasdun and is a graduate of some of London's best modern kitchens. So we're expecting wine and food of unusual quality.

Owner's description

Having spent years supplying London’s top restaurants through their separate wine businesses, Joe Haynes and Benedict Butterworth have joined forces with Tom Hurst, who has worked at Brawn, The Marksman, Levan, and most recently as Head Chef at Lasdun, to launch the trio’s first restaurant together. Cloth is taking over a double fronted corner site that’s beneath the former home of poet John Betjeman and next door to the two oldest residential buildings in London. Inside, low ceilings, wood floorboards with antique wall lights and artwork create a cosy, intimate atmosphere, while marble tables, long dark wood banquettes, antique crockery and cutlery will create the feel of a classic bistro.

What the Newspaper Critics are saying

The Guardian

Grace Dent enjoyed herself at a new spot in one of London’s oldest corners – it apparently escaped the Great Fire of 1666 – set up by a pair of  “earnestly endearing” wine importers in Joe Haynes and Ben Butterworth, with an ex-Marksman, Levant and Brawn chef, Tom Hurst, in the kitchen.

This trio have “swept away the nonsense” behind a lot of contemporary restaurants, “leaving behind the bare bones of good, modern British hospitality. Namely: a table, a great glass or two of wine, and an interesting, hearty, ever-changing menu”.

Better still, Grace surmised that “Hurst had entered some sort of imperial cheffing phase” from her first taste of his miso-soaked mushroom, carrot and cucumber pickles, that were “especially delicious with a round of oysters in an apple dashi and a plate of housemade bread.”

Grace Dent - 2024-06-30

The Times

Giles Coren opened his review with a disquisition on the rising standards of London cuisine, stating that the critics of yesteryear – Michael Winner, Jonathan Meades, AA Gill and their ilk – were forced into writing hilariously savage put-downs because most of the restaurants they reviewed were “utterly bloody stinking”, with “rotten” produce, “filthy” cooking and “vile” staff.

“But around 2013-2015 that started to change and now almost all new restaurants, especially in London, are incredible. Just eye-popping. So, so good. Some of them are a bit pricey, it is true, but only because being anything less than 100 per cent awesome is no longer acceptable in this town.”

Giles’s point is fully supported by the evidence of this week’s reviews by his peers, which are universally rave, as you will see, with the not so honourably exception of one venue in Glasgow. As to specifics, the particular subject of Giles’s praise was a recent opening by wine importers Joe Haynes and Ben Butterworth in Cloth Fair, one of London’s oldest streets.

The food, from chef Tom Hurst, was all spot-on – “such fresh, simple, vibrant stuff to find in a beautiful room on an ancient side street, I was quite beside myself”. In fact, with the “humble values” indicated by its mismatched “found” crockery, its “local thinking” and ‘youthful vigour”, Cloth was everything that the “hipster food movement” of East London and Brooklyn back in 2007/8 was trying to be – but with better cooking.

Giles Coren - 2024-07-14


Availability 2 courses 3 courses coffee included service included
Lunch £24.00 £29.00

Traditional European menu

Starter Main Pudding
£5.80 £20.50 £9.00
Filter Coffee £0.00
Bread £0.00
Service 13.50%

The chef

Tom Hurst (whose impressive CV includes Brawn, The Marksman, Levan, Salon, Larry’s and, most recently, Lasdun)

survey result

Not enough people have commented yet

Our reviews are based on an annual survey of ordinary diners which runs in Spring each year. But this establishment has not yet gathered enough feedback for our editors to write it up.

Do you think it deserves to be better known?

Write a quick review now using our restaurant diary service. That way it might catch our attention. Next survey, you can transfer your diary entry into our survey system. Everyone who contributes 5 or more reviews in our survey will qualify for a free guide.

For 33 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. In a typical year, diners submit over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK. Each year, the guide is re-written from scratch based on this survey (although for the 2021 edition, reviews are little changed from 2020 as no survey could run for that year).

Have you eaten at Cloth?

44 Cloth Fair, London, EC1A 7JQ
Make A Booking
Opening hours
Monday5 pm‑10 pm
Tuesday12 pm‑10 pm
Wednesday12 pm‑10 pm
Thursday12 pm‑10 pm
Friday12 pm‑10 pm

The 2024 Harden's Guide

2024 Hardens London Restaurant Guide

"User friendly in price, size and outlook"

Financial Times