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Bedford & Strand

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If the apocalypse strikes when you are in Covent Garden (and if Donald Trump ever becomes President that could come sooner than we think), I would advise you to run for cover in Bedford and Strand. There is a great wine list to peruse, for a start, and the underground setting would protect you from missiles and irritating tourists asking for directions to Lie-ces-ter Square. The menu is simple, tasty and very well executed (a bit like Henry VIII’s 5th wife, Catherine Howard). We shared some new season Asparagus with hollandaise, a gloriously spring-heralding British starter. Then perky Devilled crab with bread crisps. There were also Ham and cheese croquettes that were well-balanced and not just a sludge of béchamel as so many croquettes can be. My Confit duck was so hearty it would see me through the apocalypse and the next one too - well rendered bird and haricot beans studded with garlicky sausage in a nod to Cassoulet.  MW had Onglet with frites and a béarnaise that he reckoned could have been just a little thicker for his taste. Stuffed to the gills, we nonetheless polished off a classic Crème brulée, with a pleasingly thick and even crust that I was only too happy to break. As it was a Monday we were restrained and shared a carafe of robust Viognier.  But linger a little longer and there are delights to seek out in the wine list. From ‘reliable’ to ‘staff picks’, there are wines to suit all pockets and palates, and the armageddon would be a welcome opportunity to spend time exploring them.

Bedford & Strand, 1a Bedford Street, London, www.bedford-strand.com ►Map D3

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