The Folly is one of those rare bar-slash-restaurants that actually works exactly as it should. You don't feel, as is so often the case in London, that you're eating a steak in the middle of a pumping nightclub, or trying to have a fun drink with a few friends but the 'bar' is full of couples dining in first-date silence.
The open-plan space of this City restaurant is capacious enough to accommodate both diners and drinkers in seamlessly delineated areas. But amazingly this doesn't detract from The Folly functioning as one coherent enterprise — largely aided by the consistent design concept, which is, in a word, 'foliage'.
As well as tables having potted mint or lavender plants on them, the walls are adorned with floral murals, the soft furnishings are all a bit 'leafy', terracotta pots are transformed into lampshades, while earthy greens and browns dictate the colour scheme. For once that classic marketing cliché rings true — this really is an inner-city sanctuary.
You enter the restaurant through the garden lounge and flower shop, which I imagine would be a lovely bright and airy spot for a coffee or lunch. The dining area is cosy and well lit come evening and the bar looks like it's become the latest place for the area's City slickers to entertain.
Downstairs it's all a bit Alan Titchmarsh meets Philippe Starck, with space for eating (for larger parties) and drinking (for louder parties).
It was a bit of a shame the menu was green in colour but not content, as vegetarian options were few and far between. What there was on offer for us lettuce-lovers for mains - a roasted squash and goats cheese risotto — was extremely good, but having earlier in the week dined in the most incredible vegetarian restaurant in New York (One Lucky Duck), it didn't really excite me.
The side order of truffle fries with Parmesan and rosemary did though, and the antipasto sharing platter looked like a whole lot of fun on a breadboard.
What the restaurant lacked in daring vegetarian cuisine (and I must say meat and fish-eaters would be exceptionally satiated with the likes of linguine vongole, côte de boeuf or chargrilled London pork sausages and mash) it made up for with its must-have desert menu.
After a chocolate-chilli martini with a fresh honey cream float, my experience at the restaurant went from good to a woozy kind of great. We all know what happens when a girl takes a bite of sweet temptation in a garden paradise and I have to say I left The Folly feeling happily postlapsarian.
The Folly, 41 Gracechurch Street, London EC3V 0BT (0845 468 0102; thefollybar.co.uk)