Show Stopping

Visiting Clerkenwell Design Week or checking out the local showrooms? Katy Salter rounds up the best places for refreshment along the way.


Moro, 34-36 Exmouth Market
Chef couple Sam and Sam Clark’s Moorish dishes are as good today as when they opened this local stalwart in 1997. It’s a great place to people-watch and is now also open for Sunday lunch. If you’re in need of something fast, head to Morito, its top tapas bar next door.

Just after a pick-me-up? Duck into TwentyTwo-TwentySix*, at 22-26 Farringdon Lane, for posh sarnies, a raspberry and red chilli mocktail and free wifi. The cave-like café doubles as a gallery space, which is hosting an onoffice magazine exhibition during CDW.
*CDW offer: A free hot drink with any salad, sandwich or cheese board.
Key showrooms nearby: TwentyTwentyOne, Moroso, Orangebox, Zip Heaters, Flos


The Clerkenwell Kitchen, 27-31 Clerkenwell Close
This restaurant has an impressive pedigree – it’s run by Emma Miles, who used to work at River Cottage, and Laura Hearn, the former head chef of La Fromagerie in Marylebone. Their commitment to seasonal, organic produce is reflected in dishes such as devilled Cornish crab on toast and pea-and-herb risotto. It’s an in-the-know place where you’re surrounded by design; it’s part of the Clerkenwell Workshops building.

CDW offer: a free carafe of wine with two meals bought by wristband wearers.
Key showrooms nearby: Ochre, EFG, Altro, Steelcase, and the CDW venues the House of Detention and the Priory Church of St John


Bistro du Vin, 40 St John Street
Nab a stool at the bar after a day’s pavement-pounding and relax with a glass of red and a steak from Smithfield Market. We give this Bistro du Vin, the first to open, the thumbs-up for its good wine list and unpretentious menu.

CDW offer: a free glass of champagne for all diners.
Just after a pick-me-up? For CDW, there’s a pop-up gin bar in the Farmiloe Building. The drink has long been associated with the area, which used to have many distilleries. The bar is called Gen Lane (short for New Generation Gin Lane), after local artist Hogarth’s 1751 Gin Lane sketch.
Key showrooms nearby: Forbo, Kusch+Co, Bene, B-Loose, OCee Design and the CDW venue the Farmiloe Building


The Well, 180 St John Street
Thanks to The Eagle, Clerkenwell is the spiritual home of the gastropub, and The Well is a fine example of one. You can enjoy great seafood – pints of prawns, Maldon rock oysters, Shetland mussels – or seasonal meat dishes in the light-filled dining room, with its exposed brick walls and reclaimed wooden tables. Brave it outside on the picnic benches if the weather’s good enough.

CDW offer: discounts for parties of up to eight people, and two-for-one cocktails before 7pm, on certain days.
Key showrooms nearby: Haworth, Interstuhl, Poltrona Frau, Cassina, Koleksiyon, Cappellini


Cicada, 132-136 St John Street
Cicada is where über-restaurateur Will Ricker cut his teeth before going on to open the Great Eastern Dining Room and west London’s E&O. This Asian-fusion spot has recently had a complete refurb. If it’s sunny, try to nab one of the tables on the pavement, where you can watch the design world go by.

CDW offer: cocktails, from a selection, for a discounted price of £4 each.
Just after a pick-me-up? Recharge your batteries with fish and chips and a pint at much-loved pub The Slaughtered Lamb, 34-35 Great Sutton Street.
Key showrooms nearby: Vitra, Humanscale, Desso, Modus, Figueras, Dauphin, Allermuir, Milliken, Thinking Ergonomix


Look Mum No Hands!, 49 Old Street
This bike hangout is hugely, and justifiably, popular. Pop in for a flat white and a slice of homemade Guinness cake or fill up with one of the cult pies (we like the British beef, stilton and ale). As the sun sets, the café morphs into a bar – try the house beer, Slag Pils, and, if you’re lucky enough to nab a seat, settle back to watch cycling on the big screen.

CDW offer: A free coffee with any cake.
Key showrooms nearby: Domus, BuzziSpace, InterfaceFLOR, Knoll, Porcelanosa, Boss Design, Ahrend, Bulo