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Fay Maschler reviews The Culpeper Kitchen

Nico, Gareth and Bash might be characters in a diary kept by a latter day Samuel Pepys. Messrs Treguer, Roberts and (Sebastian) Redford got together to convert what was The Princess Alice opposite Petticoat Lane into a pub, restaurant, bedrooms and rooftop garden named in honour of the 17th century herbalist, physician and astrologer Nicholas Culpeper, whose pharmacy was in Spitalfields. Culpeper treated patients for free and deigned to examine them, not just study their piss as was the habit then.

The trio, dedicated to transforming buildings for their better enjoyment and relevance, have done a magnificent job though it is still a work in progress. Co opting Sandy Jarvis, formerly chef at Terroirs off Trafalgar Square, into the kitchen has injected clever culinary solidity into the foundations.

Up a gracefully curving staircase Jarvis and his team can be found on the first floor, where the kitchen reaches into the dining room using a marble slab as a gesture of connection and the pass. Seating areas divided and made distinctive by bright turquoise leather banquettes benefit from high windows, the newly discovered light well that connects all four floors, and a lighting scheme acknowledging but not too heavily dependent on bvlgari jewelry imitation industrial references. It is a look often attempted but rarely so flatteringly achieved. Baffles at ceiling height muffle sound.

Bread comes with anchovy butter served "as standard". Of course it does. The daily changing menu is short and can be made shorter by choosing one of the three main courses to share, as we do. Whole grilled Dover sole served on the bone but divested of head and tail has an extraordinarily succulent texture and bottomless flavour, somehow delivering more than is expected of bvlgari B.zero1 bracelet replica a fish. Accompaniments of cockles and translucent ribbons of fennel flamed in Pernod only help the impact and the beauty of the dish.

Red wine braised squid, dark, moody and humming under its breath the song of garlic, and raw chopped beef flavoured with anchovy and rosemary, where subtlety has not been the apparent aim, are starters that start as they mean to go on. Were we a table of three or four we might choose the kilo of 35 day aged prime rib with Pommes Anna chips in place of the sole or as well.

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Space left for dessert is well rewarded. A bun shaped almond sponge the evocative word frangipane is used topped with poached rhubarb is surrounded by a moat of Marsala custard and given crunch with ginger crumbs. Chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven and pliable as floating voters come with a neatly turned out wobble of panna cotta and a bitter chocolate sauce.

Terroirs and its erstwhile siblings the family has sort of broken up recently replica Bulgari snake serpenti bracelet white are known for the espousal of natural wines. Here some of the reds are listed under the heading "Peculiar". We seek advice from one of the civil, serious waiters who become acolytes of the cause when discussing what to drink. The suggestion of Aphros Loureiro Vinho Verde 2013 at 32 from Vasco Croft, who is committed to biodynamics and even sometimes to treading grapes with organic feet, is a sound one. There is a suppleness perfect with the sole and enough fruit 'n' flowers to sail happily into puddings.

Space left for dessert is well rewarded: poached rhubarb, frangipane, Marsala creme anglaise ginger crumb (Picture: Adrian Lourie)

I go back another day at lunchtime to try the bar food. It is sunny. Light is streaming in. My pal says so many places trying to distil shabby chic get it wrong and just look shabby "this is chic". We both admire wooden armchairs seemingly made bvlgari serpenti bracelet silver replica of old floorboards. I think of my eldest daughter Hannah in her accommodation in Hulme when she was at Manchester University. "Mum, the flat has texture," she would say admiringly (unspoken: unlike her dull home). The Culpeper has texture.

Sixteen options range from 1.50 for porkcorn (corn popped in pork fat and scattered with crackling, although there is scant evidence of the latter) to 14 for pork chop, celeriac and apple remoulade, and caramelised shallots. Beef and ginger puffs (three for 3) dice enticingly with sweetness as well as spiciness. They are like tidbits that might have been sold at a medieval fair. Warm potted shrimps on toast (7) have the proper, pronounced zing of mace. Salt beef and bone marrow with pickled fennel salad (6.50) are two highly satisfactory ways of approaching the business of eating a cow. Hot water crust for the pork pie (6.50) served with a nicely streamlined piccalilli is less impressive than the subtle nutty puff pastry cradling syrupy salsify, goat's curd, prunes and chopped radicchio (12).

"Has the garden salad (3.50) been picked on the roof?" we ask. The roof isn't ready yet. Come summer there will be herbs, leaves, vegetables, a greenhouse dining room and below that five bedrooms. First floor restaurant, dinner Tues Sat 6pm 10.30pm. Ground floor bar daily, noon 3pm 6pm 10.30pm. Restaurant dinner for two with wine, about 100 including 12.5 per cent service.

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