Small and intimate with a relaxed and friendly air, the dining room throws the austere exterior into sharp contrast with its contemporary design touches and furnishings. Diners sit amid the preserved beams of the room but in an environment which speaks of modernity and relaxed fine dining.
Seated inside, in the bar or on the terrace, guests are treated to Drake’s highly refined cookery style, where simple base elements are marinated, salted, infused and contrasted to produce plates which look incredible and taste just as good. Precision is key in taste as well as presentation; look out for touches such as celeriac-salted cherries and cocoa gnocchi accompanying pigeon as a starter, or mackerel cooked with a blowtorch to add a great depth of flavour.
Frequently, Drake’s food is about contrasts – lamb might come served with roast greengage, beef with Marmite – and unusual items make appearances here and there, like for example a dessert made of parsnip accompanied by sorrel ice and elderberry “leather” and another consisting of raspberry ravioli with white pepper.
A tasting menu is available which seeks to open up the flavours of whichever ingredients are chosen as being central to each of the items on the list; this is available in vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. The wine list is extensive, and the sommelier is on hand to add a personal touch of recommendation to proceedings (in keeping with the restaurant’s overall friendly air of service).