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Inside London’s Hippest New Hotel Restaurant

Margaret Crow and Brett Redman closed The Richmond in Hackney last year to open Neptune in Bloomsbury’s Principal hotel

The focus at Neptune is on seafood
| Steven Joyce/for Neptune

Restaurateurs Margaret Crow and Brett Redman, who closed The Richmond gastropub in Hackney last November, have confirmed that their second restaurant, Neptune will open on Thursday 24 May in the just-opened Principal London hotel in Bloomsbury.

The 102-cover restaurant and 30-seater oyster bar will be focused on Redman’s wood-fired cooking and seafood, respectively.

The oyster bar in the centre of the dining room will offer a variety of shellfish, plus large, 2018-kitsch seafood platters that will “evolve with the seasons, featuring classic chilled and raw dishes, all spiked with diverse flavours.” Examples given include:

  • Wild Cornish mussels with a saffron, orange and bay leaf soffrito
  • Steamed chowder clams with buttermilk dressing and dill granita
  • Dived scallop carpaccio with ajo blanco and nori
Seafood platter, 2018
Steven Joyce/for Neptune

Large sharing dishes meanwhile will include:

  • “Steamed-to-order” whole Cornish crab with house spaghetti in a smoked Datterini tomato, Vietnamese basil and long pepper sauce.
  • A modern-style British caviar service will swap traditional blinis for potato waffles and sour cream for house-cultured jersey cream, and use caviar sourced from suppliers in Devon.
Scallop, ajo blanco and nori
Steven Joyce/for Neptune
Steven Joyce

On the new opening, Crow said: “Brett and I are really excited to be opening a contemporary space within such a wonderful historic building. Our approach has always been to create food based on honest, good quality ingredients and to serve it in thoughtfully designed spaces. We see Neptune at the Principal London as a great embodiment of our ideals.”

Inside Neptune
Neptune [Official Photo]

Neptune’s wine list has been curated by Master of Wine Isabelle Legeron, who the announcement describes as “the world’s foremost authority on natural and low-intervention wines.” Champagnes produced by small growers are designed to pair with raw seafood dishes, as well as a section dedicated to what is tagged ‘Island Wines’: minerally and saline wines from regions such as Corsica, Santorini, Tenerife, Sardinia and Sicily.

Caviar and potato waffles
Steven Joyce/for Neptune
Monkfish and cabbage
Steven Joyce/for Neptune

The psychedelic logo, which is hand-drawn by New York and London-based design duo Craig & Karl is said to “play on the name’s invocations of the wonder of space and the magic of the oceans. Inspired by album covers and music posters, it also gives a nod to the aesthetic experimentation of 1960s Californian counter-culture.” Or, as Eater reported when the restaurant was first announced last year, “from another planet.”

Crab with datterini tomatoes
Steven Joyce/for Neptune

On the walls of the Grade II-listed building, artworks, curated by Antonia Marsh, will act as a rolling exhibition series in the restaurant. The first artist to display is painter George Rouy, who is known for his “charged, hypnotic paintings of figures, flora and fauna in enigmatic space.”