Barbecoa was always going to grab attention. As the brainchild of Jamie Oliver and US Adam Perry Lang, its promise of fire-based cookery was destined to be a big hit with the City. But it is the butchery that has long-held our attention, with its front-of-house artisan skills and ultra-modern glass and steel interior. Located in one of London’s busiest centres - One New Change, there was never any pretense that it would feel like your village butcher. However, with its meat sourced from select farms across the UK and aged on site, it has more than delivered as a champion of the best of British. Beef is hand-selected by veteran Jim Taylor. Lamb comes from a single farm in East Sussex with all the flavour of grass-rearing on the South Downs. Pork is courtesy of Plantation Pigs; poultry from celebrated Temple Farm, Essex. Meat is cut to order and for those wanting to explore the art of butchery, Barbecoa offers master classes from The Whole Hog through to chicken and lamb chopping, where you can learn how to de-bone a chook and break down a whole lamb. Serious butchery in the heart of London.
82 Watling Street, EC4M 9BX
Tel. 020 3375 5553
Food from the Sky has CLOSED and so it is fitting that we dedicate this weekend inspiration to this truly pioneering food project. Started by Azul-Valerie Thome and Crouch End's Thorton Budgens supermarket, this unique collaboration transformed a once derelict rooftop into a thriving permaculture garden. Over its four years, the garden’s harvest was sold at the supermarket below: a short ten meters from soil to shelf. Depending on the season, you’d find organic salad leaves, red mountain spinach, edible flowers, or heritage tomatoes. Offering a unique solution to food supply in cities, Food from the Sky was a pioneer, enriching the lives of locals and volunteers . The good news is that many of the apprentices are now working in a new project in South London - Keats Community Organics, using the seeds sown on the roof of Thornton’s Budgens, This urban farm will offer the community fresh organic produce, workshops, gardens, and space to grow.
Like most of London's East End, Clapton is in the throes of gentrification, no more so than on Chatsworth Road. Along this once neglected high street, you’ll find thriving new businesses and a vibrant café and coffee culture that is making it one of London's most talked about destinations. Like Shoreditch and Dalston before it, E5 is reinventing itself - transforming its urban landscape, revitalising its community, and promoting London's newest foodtrepreneurs.
With a growing reputation for great eating, coffee and a Sunday market, Chatsworth Road is the ideal weekend destination - the perfect place for sartorial trend spotting and café hopping. For a truly local experience, start at NANA on Brooksby's Walk for its all-day comfort food (@wearenana). Housed in The Convenience (@TheConvenience), a converted public facilities building (that had been empty for 20 years), this social enterprise café run by local retired ladies and the bar and canteen upstairs typifies what you’ll find here in E5 - a creative and socially-aware reinvention of the urban landscape.
Further along Creperie le monde (no.51) offers great road-side eating from a travel-inspired and infused crepe menu (@CreperieDuMonde ). At the far end of Chatsworth Road, the very-popular Cooper & Wolf (no. 145) leads the way with Scandinavian fare such as kottbullar (traditional Swedish meatballs and beetroot salad) and kanelbulle (cinnamon buns) (@cooperandwolf).
We have been thinking of all things chocolate here at London Food Essentials in preparation for our upcoming feature on the subject just in time for Easter. On our recent walk around Belgravia, we turned a corner and discovered Artisan du Chocolat. We just love their fusion bars with flavours like carnation and orange, masala chai and matcha that show the true alchemy of this chocolatier.
89 Lower Sloane Street, SW1W 8DATel. 0845 270 6996