What London’s gangland restaurant from ‘Eastern Promises’ looks like now
The ruthless Russian gangsters at the heart of David Cronenberg’s crime thriller – and their softer-hearted enforcer (Viggo Mortensen) – stock up on borscht and vodka at a London restaurant called Trans-Siberian. IRL is the Farmiloe Building in Clerkenwell, a location that’s been used in everything from ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ to ‘Sherlock Holmes’, and has just had a facelift.
The location the Farmiloe Building, Clerkenwell, EC1
The scene Midwife Anna (Naomi Watts) delivers the baby to a 14-year-old girl, who dies in childbirth. Anna spots on her body a map of the mysterious Trans-Siberian restaurant, which is owned by Russian gangsters. She goes to investigate, where she is observed by the heavy Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen).
Then Farmiloe’s mysterious Italianate entrance makes it the perfect facade for a gangster hideout. (The restaurant interiors were filmed at Three Mills studios in London, meanwhile). David Cronenberg isn’t the only Hollywood director to use the building: it appears frequently in Christopher Nolan films, from “Inception” to the Batman trilogy, where it doubles as Gotham City’s police station.
Now Renovation work on this Grade II listed warehouse was completed last year. The result was a six-storey extension and a brick-for-brick restoration of its Victorian facade. The green door survived, but you can now peek into the building from the street, making it a less attractive location for murderers plotting murder. Bloody windows, huh?
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