Restaurant Review: The Harcourt, Marylebone in London
Down a Georgian street in Marylebone Village, fluffy spring snowflakes dust Harcourt Street and a subtle warmth glows from a grade two listed building. Known as The Harcourt, tucked half way down the elegant street, this laid-back and luxurious gastro-pub embraces a Scandinavian meets English dining experience.
The oak panelled oak with open fires and polished wooden tables offers a comfortable escape from London’s bitter white weather. Epitomising the trend for Scandinavian hygge, The Harcourt is an elegant and calming place for a sophisticated evening. However, to add a certain contemporary flair to the space, modern paintings around the bar contrast with the bespoke furniture which are slightly disproportionate to the overall setting.
Away from the paintings is a menu that features a blend of food and beverage styles from across Scandinavia. This for sure isn’t your usual pub menu: weaving its northern European theme throughout the evening à la carte, The Harcourt looks far beyond English beer battered cod or often sad, beef patty burger with instead high quality ingredients from land and sea to insure a distinct USP.
Served from 6-10.30pm Monday to Saturday and all day Sunday, The Harcourt’s à la carte is essentially a hybrid gastro pub menu. A few of the popular dishes you would find in any half decent establishment are included here such as truffle, triple cooked chips, a superfood salad and various grill options with béarnaise and hollandaise sauces. The Scandinavian elements shine through such as Swedish meatballs with lingonberry and brandy sauce, Nordic reindeer with wild mushrooms and Baltic rye sprats with chicory, pickled beetroot and mustard leaf. A poke dish also surprisingly pops up with Atlantic sea bream, spring onion soy, ginger and chilli.
However, whilst I tuck into a hand cut steak tartare, my vegetarian guest is limited with her choices and selects the only option available: pumpkin soup with celery cress. And while I slice into a tender confit suck breast with cabbage and figs – she selects the vegetarian main dish: potato dumplings with stilton sauce. Admittedly these, were delicious, but with a distinctly varied menu I would expect a wider selection of meat free options.
For the most of us, The Harcourt’s strengths are to be found in its menu. And whilst there are positives to reflect on, it is also a place that needs to maintain and balance attentiveness throughout. With party goers spilling out from the popular private event space at the rear, many of the tables within the main restaurant of The Harcourt were overlooked. I would expect more from the service but the good food served in the charming 19th century scandi-style building does offer a greater reason to visit.
Address: 32 Harcourt Street, London, W1H 4HX, 020 3771 8660, theharcourt.com