We had the absolute pleasure of attending the press tour preview of F’EAT – a free-to-attend, one-day promotion on Thursday 13th September, where attendees can eat and drink their way around Fitzrovia’s deliciously diverse food quarter. We were completely blown away by what was on offer within a two-minute walk and just had to share some of the highlights with you!
Charlotte Street has been a haven for foodie delights for well over a decade now. Authentic and exemplary eateries seemingly occupy ever shopfront, and the ambiance is wonderfully communal, relaxed and independently-minded. Some treasures, such as the Pied à Terre (one of London’s longest standing Michelin-starred restaurants, boasting 27 years of stardom) have been around since year dot and continue to lead the way in the world of gastronomy. However, the area also holds a distinct attraction to new kids such as Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals, that moved down the street in July of this year. With this in mind, F’EAT will celebrate the household names and the newcomers. From breakfast at Caravan to afternoon treats at Konditor & Cook, and pre-dinner drinks at ROKA to dinner at Pied à Terre, Fitzrovia is set to host a food crawl like no other. Visitors will be able to enjoy free samples and exclusive discounts on everything from Michelin-star meals to lava-stone-cooked burgers from over 35 participating venues (all conveniently located mere moments away from one another).
The dimly lit, subterranean Shochu Lounge at ROKA’s Charlotte Street address is the perfect spot for a debonair cocktail (or three). The décor is combines modern day Japanese cool with traditional touchstones, staff are effortlessly chic, and the drinks are on point! We were treated to a gorgeous shochu-based (a Japanese liquor made from grain and vegetables) cocktail that combines the sweetness of tropical fruits with the citric freshness of yuzu and lime, before leaving us with a lingering, tingling Szechuan peppercorn spice. If you get a chance, make your way down to this sexy dining spot for some small plates and drinks.
Sister restaurant to one of our favourite tapas restaurants, copita, barrica is a wonderful find. Authentically Spanish in its ambiance and offerings, this neighbourhood hotspot is a must-visit. Co-owner, Marta, threw delight after delight at us in the form of pressa ibérica (charcoal -grilled, acorn-fed pork, truffled celeriac purée, asparagus and porkcorn), sweet potato bread, Manchego cheese and ham croquetas. The wine was equally delicious and free-flowing, as were the conversation and unchecked sense of merriment.
Quite different again was our visit to Kua ‘Aina – a legendary burger and sandwich grill, transported from Hawaii to London (along with its original recipes and Hawaiian beers). Meat is grilled over lava stones and is mouth-wateringly juicy (no seriously – we drooled) and coconut-crumbed prawns are crisp and flavoursome. If you need a break from the booze, definitely ask for their “Choconut” milkshake (made from chocolate and coconut ice creams).
Ready for dessert? You’d be crazy not to step into Konditor & Cook! This pretty cake shop is home to a whole host of shamelessly decadent brownies and cupcakes. If that’s not debauched enough for you, you can enjoy Bottomless Prosecco whilst you gorge. The Boston Cranberry Brownie was a clear winner in our book, with its gooey dark chocolate and rich cherry flavour but those with a sweeter tooth may enjoy the Curly Wurly Cupcakes.
Our final stop on this gastronomic journey of exploration was the pièce de résistance, Pied à Terre. The restaurant owner, David Moore, greeted us with a gentle charm and relaxed amiability, perhaps born out of lifetime in hospitality. After pouring us some champagne, he introduced us to the vivacious Greek head chef, Asimakis Chaniotis, who proceeded to create some astonishing tasters before our eyes from behind the bar including Mac & Cheese Truffle Balls, Crab Tortilla and a Beef Amuse Bouche with Lentils.
Whilst arguably canonical in the world of fine dining, a night at Pied à Terre is far from austere or prone to laboured gravitas. Quite the opposite. The kitchen (which F’EATers can visit and even have a cooking lesson in) is jovial and calm and the dining experience is formally informal, with real care given to true enjoyment instead of mere pomp. If you haven’t yet been (or even if you have), eating here during F’EAT with its special offer of a £65 Chef’s Menu, is an opportunity that cannot be passed up on.
A selection of promotional offers throughout F’EAT include 50% off selected meals for two people at Kua ‘Aina, 20% off cocktails from Bourne & Hollingworth, diners at Señor Ceviche will get 20% off the total bill or a special £65 Chef’s Clean Lean Menu OR Seasonal menu at Pied à Terre, meanwhile Konditor & Cook will be selling 4 brownies for £10, and Caravan will be giving away unlimited coffee for £1.
Broken down into segments, the trail includes breakfast, 11s, lunch, afternoon treats, pre-dinner drinks and dinner.
F’EAT Trail Times:
Breakfast: 8am – 10.30am
11’s: 10.45am – 11.30am
Lunch: 12pm – 2pm
Pre-dinner drinks: 5pm – 7pm
Dinner: 6.30pm – 8pm
Participating venues include:
Pied à Terre, ROKA, Salt Yard, Senor Ceviche, Gigs Fish & Chips, Konditor & Cook, Al Dente, Barrica Tapas Bar, Bobo Social, Bourne & Hollingsworth, Caravan, Charlotte Street Hotel, Clutch Café, Coco di Mama, Conchiglia, Crosstown Doughnuts, Detox Kitchen, DF Mexico, Franco Manca, Hotel Chocolat, Jerusalem Bar & Kitchen, Kaffeine, Koox, Kua’aina, Lantana, Little Nan’s, Mac & Wild, Mortimer House Kitchen, Pilau, Pomme de Pain, Rev JW Simpson, Scandinavian Kitchen, Seventeen O Seven, T2 Tea, The Gentlemen Baristas, The Grafton Arms, and Yo! Sushi
F’EAT is made possible by The Fitzrovia Partnership – Fitzrovia’s Business Improvement District (BID). The Partnership has been representing the interests of local businesses for 10 years and for the past five as a BID. It promotes engagement with the business community to help create and enhance an economically vibrant destination, offering tangible benefits for those who work, live and visit Fitzrovia.