Escape to The Folly, immerse yourself in a world of wonder and relax in this botanically-inspired haven.
An eye-catching centre-piece, 8m-high Norwegian Spruce tree trunk, ‘grows’ from the basement through the floor above to the main bar, plant-pot lampshades and a bee hive-inspired back-bar work together to create a bar and restaurant that instills a sense of the outdoors and nods to all things natural.
The large dining room sees heavy-set wooden bench tables set against contemporary bar stools to create an open-plan feel where guests can watch the theatre of the kitchen and seafood bar. For a little more privacy, the chunky kitchen-style chef ’s table is ideal for 14 guests.
Towards the rear of the first floor, the library snug is great for a quick coffee with friends, where books are read, borrowed and replaced at leisure.
Downstairs, three raised private vaults, decorated with free-hand botanical ‘graffiti’, each have space for 12 to people-watch from above, whilst curvaceous leather booths are great for cocktail sharing. Turn to the deli or ‘potting shed’ for foodie delights from Borough Market including Spanish specialities from Brindisa, oils from Danilo Manco of The Olive Oil Mill as well as mustards and pickles from London’s oldest butcher shop, Allens of Mayfair.
Bursting with freshly made breads, sandwiches and cured meats, the deli is a quick and easy option for those grabbing a bite to have at their desk. The potting shed will also offer freshly cut flowers for those last minute gifts whilst a pop-up element to the space also provides guests with something current, seasonal and fun to explore time and time again, from a hair and make-up boutique one month to a Pop champagne bar the next followed by a cupcake cafe, it will be full of surprises!Innovative mixology is showcased throughout the cocktail menu, from well-loved classics to house signature concoctions, including a menu of ‘skinnies’ (at around 100 calories a pop) and a collection of hot cocktails and toddies, some served in retro Thermos flasks.
Developed in collaboration with Tom Aske (Fluid Movement), signatures include the Berry Espresso Martini – Kahlua and Chambord raspberry liqueur shaken with a fresh double espresso and garnished with homemade chocolate; or the Warm Spiced Apple Toddy – cognac and calvados shaken with fresh apple juice and a hint of liquorice bitters and mint from just £6.95.
Calorie-counted cocktails on the ‘skinny’ list are ideal for those who fancy a trim tipple. The Skinny Pistol – Sipsmith gin shaken with King’s Ginger and crème de cassis, lifted with agave nectar and an orange twist (99 Kcal); or Warm Skinny Belle – warming Buffalo Trace mixed with cranberries and earl grey tea and a touch of agave nectar (110 Kcal). A selection of punch jars start from £18.95 and serving four make ideal party starters. Ask to see the selection of spirits on the cocktail trolley where your personal bartender is on hand to mix and muddle for you.
A noteworthy wine list offers a variety of vintages from across both new and old worlds and, with over 40 available by the glass, guests are spoilt for choice. Logically listed, and starting from a modest £13.50 a bottle, wines are grouped together according to depth and flavour, allowing un-oaked, aromatic dry whites to balance the fuller bodied, intense reds. Prosecco and champagne are well stocked and cater for City celebrations with bottles of Dom Perignon and Krug Grand Cuvée. For the indecisive, flirting with a wine flight is an easy alternative to committing to a whole bottle, where guests may indulge in three 125ml glasses of varieties such as pinot noir, rose, shiraz or bubbly from just £8.75.
For special occasions, the fine wine list is sure to impress with a bottle of Chassagne-Montrachet, les Chenevottes, 1er Cru, Jean Noël Gagnard Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, France 2006 at £85, or the Chateau Laforge, Grand Cru Classé St Emilion, Bordeaux 2000 at £90.
The Folly also takes it food seriously although innovative presentation and quirky touches prevail. Open for breakfast from 7.30am, The Folly is the ideal destination for a flat white and warm pastry on the go, or a more relaxed ‘fully loaded’ traditional English with the morning paper. With free WiFi throughout, there’s no reason not to enjoy breakfast out of the office.
Come lunch and dinner, the modern European menu champions local and seasonal produce with an emphasis on comforting dishes. Choose from a range of nibbles for light bites, sharing boards, gourmet sandwiches and burgers as well as hearty mains and punchy salads, all beautifully presented.
To finish, cocktail lovers with a sweet tooth can indulge a Folly liquid dessert – the strawberry cheesecake with a twist feature Frangelico, crème de fraise, fresh berries and cream; whilst the chocolate chilli martini comes with Smirnoff black vodka, dark chocolate, a hint of chilli and is served with a honey cream float. Traditional dessert favourites include a Black Forest knickerbocker glory or tiramisu sundae.
Open from breakfast until midnight, seven days a week The Folly certainly brings a touch of the botanical to the Square Mile – come down and check out the wildlife! On a more serious note, The Folly’s botanical links are more than cosmetic. Drake & Morgan, which also owns the refinery in Bankside, the parlour in Canary Wharf and The Anthologist nearby in the City, has marked the opening by supporting ProAves, a conservation charity, by funding the purchase of an area of Colombian rainforest. The purchase will protect the forest from deforestation, save animals from extinction including endangered birds and pumas and will effectively offset The Folly’s carbon output. The Folly is also donating 50p for every purchase of its chargrilled vegetable sandwich to Hauser Bears, a charity that seeks to protect bears worldwide, including species native to Colombia.
41 Gracechurch Street
London, EC3V 0BT
0845 468 0102