The Folly

It’s a brave move calling a restaurant The Folly. You risk a lot of headlines saying “The Folly of The Folly”. The owners who are also behind city restaurant’s, The Refinery and The Parlour, clearly had no reason to be nervous as The Folly has been a commercial success. It was completely full with a 40 minute wait for tables on the mid week lunch time I ate there.

Roasted beetroot and goats cheese salad
The attraction seems to be the central location right in the heart of the City proper and the slick fit out. The huge restaurant is spread over several levels and includes lots of lovely details like arm chairs to have coffee in lined with fur rugs, fresh pots of herbs on the tables wrapped in copies of The Financial Times and clusters of plant plot lamp shades.
However, The Folly’s appeal does not lie in the food. For a start, the menu is overwhelming listing a ridiculous number of dishes that span every cuisine known to man. Admittedly, the food was not too bad, it is just not particularly good either. It was hard to go to wrong with fresh steamed mussels cooked with cider to add a subtle tang (£8.95). My boss also enjoyed her roasted beetroot and goats cheese salad (£8.25), however things deteriorated with the hot smoked salmon salad (£9.95). It arrived on a ubiquitous board and the mix of spinach, pine nuts and sun dried tomato in the salad was good but the smoked salmon was over cooked and dry.
Knickerbocker glory
From the desserts menu the Black forest knickerbocker glory (£6.95) looked spectacular, arriving in a huge cocktail glass, but the crumbled chocolate brownie inside was wooly and flavourless. The dessert was emblamatic of The Folly itself, it looks impressive but is more style over substance. I would be more likely to return for drinks than a meal.
Details: The Folly, 41 Gracechurch street, City of London, EC3V OBT (Ph 0845 468 0102) Tube: Bank
Damage: Reasonable
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my review of nearby 40 I 30 at The Gherkin.

The Folly on Urbanspoon


  1. I love a sexy salad and the roasted beetroot and goat cheese looks very tempting. A shame the food was disappointing. Is it just me or does the knickerbocker glory look like there’s a little man with a hat ready to climb out? lol

  2. I’ve been to The Folly a few times in the evening for office drinks and I have to say that I found the service a bit hit and miss! We’ve arrived there with no record of a booking, even though we had spoken to the receiptionist only a few hours before. You can wait ages for a drink, they take away empty bottles without asking if you want any more…I could go on for a while!!!

    It’s a great looking place and makes a nice change from the chains in the City, but there is still alot of work to be done!

    They also own another bar called The Anthologist on Gresham Street, which is much better – possibly because it’s had time to iron out all these creases?

  3. Hmmm… that menu looks very similar with what they have going on over at the refinery. Have popped in to the refinery a few times because the location is tres convenient and space welcoming, but similarly, have always been a bit underwhelmed by the food.

  4. What a shame that it was more about look than flavour. There is definitely a big risk with that name!

  5. Beetroot & goats cheese salad, steamed mussels and knickerbocker glory? It’s like the last 15 years never happened….

    Looks dire

  6. Helen – I had not noticed the little man until you mentioned it!

    Sam C- Thanks for the feedback. Interesting to hear about the service as it was ok on my visit. I will have to check out the Anthologist to see if it is an improvement.

    Tori – Yes I think they are all owned by the same people. Interesting that you have had a similar experience.

    Not quite Nigella – Yes I thought so anyway.

    Chris – Total time warp apart from the wooden boards used to present everything which were very last year…

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