My friends and I recently made a mid-year resolution to not eat in restaurant chains any more. So goodbye Leon and sayonara Pizza Express, we will only venture to the as yet untapped (by us) estabishments from now on! London is a big city and it is a crime to just stick with the familar.

I have taken this approach into all after-work meetings now, and chose a new restaurant in which to meet one of my other friends. Look no further than Union Jacks in Holborn.

The brain child of Jamie Oliver and award-winning American chef Chris Bianco, the menu combines Chris’s technical expertise and artisan dough-making with Jamie’s love of top-quality ingredients, all sourced in Britain. I was curious to try it out after seeing it reviewed elsewhere and it is only a 15 minute walk from my office – bonus!

We started with drinks, it’s the thing to do. It was a school night (literally for her) so we chose from the menu of homemade fizzy soft drinks. I chose the Ginger Beer and my friend chose the Pink Cola. I’m a big fan of ginger beer, alcoholic or otherwise, but this was a pretty strong tonic. Reminded me of a form of medicine. The pink cola was a refreshing change however, very sweet (and pink) but still had a hint of coke about it.


My friend and I are pretty similar so our choices were very much the same. We shared a plate of the garlic mushrooms to start. Now, they look a bit like fried chicken wings but let me tell you, they were gorgeous. I would even go as far as to say they were the best garlic mushrooms I have ever eaten. Usually they are soggy little creatures with very little garlic or seasoning but these packed a really strong garlic punch.

For mains, obvioulsy we both opted for a flatbread, the Woodman to be exact. The menu explains it is made up of mixed field & wild mushrooms, Westcombe cheddar, red onion, tarragon & chervil. They look good don’t they? And they were, they just weren’t amazing. I really like what Jamie and co are trying to do with the whole ‘sourced from Britain’ thing but something about the taste in this wasn’t quite right; it lacked a little oomph – possibly meat. Still very enjoyable but I would probably go for something else next time.

As it was our first time visiting the restaurant, it would have been rude not have dessert wouldn’t it? I had heard good things about their home-made  ice creams so we both decided to try a flavour each. I opted for the Earl Grey Tea and Biscuits and my friend ordered the Marathon/Snickers Bar.

 As a fan of ice cream, I have to say these were good but not amazing. My earl grey scoop was nice, not my favourite, but then I like a more creamy ice cream. The Marathon was very creamy and tasted a lot like peanut butter. Which if you like peanut butter, you will love.

So all in all, a good 3.5 out of 5. The pizza was a little bit of a let down, but maybe that is just my specific tastes. Everything else was as expected and I would definitely go there again.