This summer, you’ll find us sampling Isle of Mull diver scallops, Richmond Bee Keeper Honey, and Kentish wine
Words Sophie Jean-Louis Constantine
From organic veggie boxes to market-sourced eateries, we’re increasingly attentive when it comes to the provenance of our food – and farm-to-table restaurants are a major part of that collective push. Seasonal and sustainable, with a focus on small-scale producers, these London eateries work with what’s best in the fields, sourcing the finest home-grown foods the British Isles has to offer. Whether you’d prefer to feast on petite Barra Surf clams at a buzzy new restaurant in Notting Hill, or comforting organic pub fare in North London, read on…
Orasay is a new restaurant in Notting Hill from Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke, fuelled by their obsession with the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Whilst the menu is focused on seafood, all the fresh green ingredients are sourced from their organic farm in West Sussex. The interior design has the feel of 70s California, with retro tones of sunset orange and caramel throughout. Star dishes include the Isle of Mull diver scallop, complemented by velvety puréed celeriac, browned butter and caramelised shitake mushrooms, and the petite Barra Surf clams sprinkled with chillies and spring onions. Turn to the wine list for an impressive choice of sixty vintages, or try the downright delicious Orasay Paloma cocktail. A cool neighbourhood eatery, ideal for a buzzy Friday night.
144 on the Hill
This newly refurbished restaurant that sits, as the name suggests, atop leafy Richmond Hill. The ‘turf-to-table’ menu honours local produce and heritage, and follows natural seasonal trends, so expect gin from nearby Kew and vegetables from local county farms. Inside, the space is light and airy, with plush velvet accents and pretty lamps on each table, an ideal spot for date night. Try the braised Surrey lamb and homemade pappardelle pasta with a glass of pinot noir from Chapel Down, a Kentish winemaker. For post-prandial drinks, the bar is sumptuous and inviting, a riot of petrol blue and pretty tiles. Cocktails are reminiscent of the menu, like the “bespoke mead”, made with Richmond Bee Keeper Honey. A stylish success story with culinary flair to match – well worth a visit.
144-150 Richmond Hill, Richmond TW10 6RW
Loved by the King’s Road crowd and beyond, Rabbit showcases the Gladwin brothers’ commitment to ‘the flavours, freshness and vibrancy of the English countryside’. The restaurant’s décor can only be described as tongue-in-cheek ‘rustic’, featuring a tractor bonnet in the bar. The ever-changing small-plates menu reflects the seasons, championing the wild, foraged, and locally grown. This includes livestock from the family’s farm in Sussex, with an emphasis on sustainability. Highlights include the grilled sprouting broccoli with sumac, blood orange, raw milk curds, confit lemon and linseeds, a dish that truly celebrates unadulterated ingredients. To drink, why not try one of the English wines from Rabbit’s very own vineyard. A light-hearted hangout spilling over with small-plate pleasures.
172 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 4UP
The Duke of Cambridge
Islington’s The Duke of Cambridge is Britain’s first and only certified organic pub, and is partnered with Riverford, the company delivering veggie boxes to homes UK-wide. The resulting menu is divine, built around the very best organic vegetables from the Riverford farm in Devon. Diners are also privy to the source of fish (Kernosashimi in Cornwall) and meat (Rhug Estates). We recommend the wing of Ray with wild garlic pesto, fennel, purple sprouting broccoli and cherry tomatoes. To accompany the meal, try an award-winning draft beers from Stroud Organic and St. Peter’s Brewery in Suffolk. A wholesome, characterful and welcoming joy of a pub.
30 St Peter’s St, Islington, London N1 8JT
Clapham’s The Dairy is a stalwart of the home-grown scene. All vegetables and herbs are grown and tended to on the roof, where the team also maintain their own beehives. Inside, the restaurant’s exposed brickwork, reclaimed furniture and stripped walls lend an industrial quality to the space. A hero of the innovative tapas-like menu is the bone marrow agnolotti, a ravioli-esque pasta from the Piedmont region of Italy that has all the hallmarks of butter but tastes a little nuttier, with Jerusalem artichoke and wild garlic. For vegetarians, it has to be the truffled baron bigod, a creamy British cheese from the brie family, with fig and walnut toast, and rooftop honey. The Dairy’s carefully selected ingredients show how experimental cooking can work like a dream using British produce.
Sophie Jean-Louis Constantine
Sophie is a freelance fashion, lifestyle and travel writer. An alumna of the University of Manchester, where she earned a BA in English Literature, Sophie went on to work at Conde Nast Traveller. She is a fervent North Londoner and happiest curled up with a book.