Whilst Trinity is elegance incarnate, Bistro Union is bright and functional. Yet conviviality is of the essence, and both restaurants extend a hand of welcome that turn a pleasant dining experience into a memorable one.
Karl Goward, whose distinguished credits include Soho House New York and Fergus Henderson’s revered St John Bread and Wine in Spitalfields, heads up the kitchen. The mutable menu, scribbled onto a scroll of brown paper attached to the wall, remains fiercely loyal to Byatt’s ethos – he’s a man impassioned by British produce.
The dishes are cheerful and nostalgic: examples such as Cumberland Toad in the Hole with Guinness Onions, Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and Brixham Fish Pie comfort and satisfy; the evocative puds – Treacle Tart and Tapioca with Stewed Rhubarb among them – are a nod to childhood. There are top-end kids’ meals, and the appealing brunch and bar snack offerings will sate many a rumbling stomach.
This is very much a British bistro, a place where contemporary cool effortlessly coalesces with stylish versions of retro fare. Trinity’s laidback little sister has arrived in town and it looks like she’s here to stay.