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INC Bar and restaurant, Greenwich

Kim McAusland checked out this smart neighbourhood diner

Greenwich INC - dining for art-lovers and antique enthusiasts

Greenwich, the most visited place in London… Greenwich, the home of time, where 'Greenwich Mean Time' was first measured. Greenwich, where Cutty Sark, the last tea clipper in existence, is now dry-docked, and has a long and fascinating maritime history. With its royal connections, Greenwich is also home to modern day celebrities including Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Glenda Jackson and Jools Holland.

However, if you're like me, and you've never felt very spoilt for choice when you go and eat or drink there, take a closer look now. You might find there's more to Greenwich than meets the eye, as I recently discovered on my tour.

Bar de Muse, The Trafalgar Tavern, Spread Eagle and the INC bar and restaurant to name a few, are surprisingly, all owned by the same company. Completely set apart by style, ambience and menu offering, the common bond is consistently evident throughout all seven hostelries - history, art and antiques clocks too, now that's a fitting connection!

I felt a connection with the INC Bar, for it's stylish and sociable ambience…for a moment, I thought I was back in the Big Apple. I was fascinated by the building - grade II listed, Victorian. The internal design is the work of celebratory designer Mr Llewelyn-Bowen, and some of the key decorative features are commissioned from some of Britain's most applauded artists Antony Stern, Neisha Crossland and Christian Lindenbauer.

The gold-embossed antique-style clocks are a splendid back-drop to the Bar, but, for considerable time, my attention was firmly transfixed on the art taken from the Bridgeman Art Collection, displayed on digital screen and the images perpetually changing.

INC restaurant describes itself as modern/contemporary British, offering simple food. The Head chef is Wayne Gray. The restaurant/diner grill serves rare breed meats, prepared in the venue's own butchery. There are all the possible kinds of beef steaks, from Rump and Rib-eye to Fillet, plus veal, lamb or pork cutlets, and exotic meats like ostrich as well as tuna, salmon and whole sea bass. You can choose your own sauce and side orders, so it's a sort of DIY menu. For those not wanting the whole hog, there are a range of appetising tapas dishes priced between £3 to £5.

On this occasion, we started with a cocktail - the Martini Mitch, a subtle blend of passion fruit, peach brandy, vodka and apple juice -I'll have more of those please! I decided to skip the main course and went straight to the biz - the deserts - all five of them to be precise (well, I'm easily seduced, and it didn't seem fair to not try them all!). The chocolate soufflé with beetroot ice-cream and the baked blueberry cheese cake are both worth a specia; mention. We also indulged in the Noble late Harvest 2002 desert wine from South Africa to accompany them!

The Inc Bar and Restaurant, 
7 College Approach, Greenwich, SE10 9HY Tel: 0208 858 6721
Opening Times: 6pm - 11pm (12 pm Fri and Sat)

Average Price per head: £40

Kim McAusland April 2004

UK Restaurant Reviews – The Best Of The Dine Online Restaurant Reviews 2001 - 2010

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