Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Always Asks: Green's Restaurant at Cornhill

I recently had the pleasure of having a delicious lunch at Green’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar at Cornhill in the City. It’s a wonderful building which houses the Runner Bar also, with a discreet entrance, once inside you are greeted by a pretty amazing interior and it would make the perfect backdrop for a London wedding reception in the City.

I caught up with Lee Southwell, the wedding and events manager,  afterwards to ask her few questions about Green's and wedding planning:

There’s been a Green’s Restaurant & Oyster Bar in St James for a number of years, how long has Green’s Restaurant and the Runner Bar been at Cornhill in the City?
Green’s at Duke Street St. James’s will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2012, one of the longest-running productions in the West End.  Green’s Cornhill was opened in September 2009.

It’s a fabulous building and a great location for a wedding; can you tell us a little about the history of the building?
The site itself dates back to 1677, and was known as The Black Horse House where its occupants plied the trades of goldsmiths and bankers.  The black horse motif evolved into the Lloyds’ bank logo of today.  The building was constructed for Lloyds in the 1930’s with elegant features typical of the time.  A large floor mosaic of the prancing black horse in The Runner Bar is a reminder of the building’s past.  It is located within easy walking distance of many iconic churches such as St. Mary Le-Bow and St. Paul’s Cathedral. 

How would you describe the food at Greens?
Delicious!  And very, very fresh.  Green’s is known and loved for its very distinctive, traditional British menu.  Customers come back time and again for old favourites or to try the specials which always include meat dishes. 

Does Green’s have a signature dish as it is or you’d like it to become famous for?
A signature dish is the “smoked haddock Parker Bowles”, at first glance a comfort food, but the Champagne sauce adds a silky touch of luxury. We would like Green’s to be famous for its consistently excellent British dishes.

If you were having your wedding here what would you choose for your wedding breakfast/menu?
I would choose a seasonal starter, with it being Summer, I would choose the
Bulgar wheat and broad beans salad with minted yoghurt, sweet red pepper dressing,
Coarse pork terrine with apricot chutney and toasted homemade walnut bread

The main course would be a choice of:
Grilled halibut with wilted spinach and hollandaise sauce (my personal favourite)
Roast rump of lamb with runner beans and confit garlic, rosemary jus
Or, for the Vegetarians:
Grilled field mushrooms with sautéed spinach, poached egg, red wine butter sauce and garlic toast

And dessert would be another seasonal choice:
Lemon and raspberry posset with shortbread
Followed by Green’s British cheese platters!

{Mmm all of those sound delicous...}

I’m seeing a lot more couples go for restaurants as their wedding venue what is it do you think that makes them so popular?
I think that people have become a lot more interested in, and knowledgeable on, different cuisines, ingredients and wines.  A wedding is a personal expression of what the couple love, in addition to each other, and if it is good food and special wines, then a restaurant like Green’s is better equipped to deliver a high standard of catering with dedicated staff than a venue with all the catering and staff brought in for the day.  

What do you think couples should be looking for when booking their venue?
They should be looking to hold a fabulous, beautiful celebration that is logistically stress-free so that they can enjoy what is essentially, their day.  For instance, is the church near the venue, can the guests walk from the church to the reception is there accommodation nearby for guests from out of town? London is so cosmopolitan that guests could be coming from all over the world.  The atmosphere of a wedding is heightened by guests all staying at a venue, enjoying a weekend away, even if they are from London.  It is such an amazing city that to be a tourist in it for a weekend is a really relaxing break without the hassle of airports. They could book into the nearby Threadneedles Boutique hotel at special wedding rates, attend the service at St. Mary Le Bow church or a civil ceremony at the Guildhall, and walk to the reception at Green’s restaurant! 

What advice would you give to couples when planning their wedding?
Spend money on what is important to you – if it is food, wine, excellent Champagne, flowers, the dress or the little details that show your personalities.  

What do you wish couples knew already when working with Green’s?
That we have more than seafood on the menu.

What’s your one obsession at the moment (non wedding related) you just can’t live without
Oysters! I can’t wait for September – the start of the oyster season.

Thanks Lee, for more information on holding your wedding at Green's Restaurant take a look at their website or get in touch with Lee at

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