London Restaurants 2010
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Dining by Design - Brunswick House Cafe

Brunswick House Cafe
Douglas Blyde talks to Jackson Boxer about his restaurant, Brunswick House Cafe...
How does Brunswick House stand stalwart against its towering Vauxhall neighbours?
We take no credit for our staunch position juxtaposed to St. George's Wharf, but we thank LASSCo (our housemates and collaborators), who successfully had the building listed when it was faced with possibility of compulsory purchase and demolition. However, as an aesthetic rebellion, Brunswick House Café stands as a two-fingered gesture, both reactionary and revolutionary, towards the sort of gauche monolith which seems to be imposed from above rather than to grow from the rubble of London's history.
Who is your chef, and what is his style?
Matt Williams. We did food and nutrition GCSE together, then worked at Great Queen Street and then at The Canton Arms. Bored with endless hearty braises of wintry pub food, he wanted total creative autonomy.
What are the salvaged items in the dining room you'd least like to lose?
The items I particularly like in the restaurant are no longer for sale. You can still buy the beautiful chandeliers, of which there seem a never-ending supply from LASSCo's vaults, or the French panelling (which I hope no one can afford).
Are you visited by restaurant designers keen to gain inspiration?
Designers and architects of all sorts often visit LASSCo to buy gear. Originality is often just a clever synthesis of many borrowings, isn't it?
How does your clientele change?
First thing, we get market traders in for an espresso (they then come in for a brandy on the way home). The mornings are mostly LASSCo shoppers, and regulars who stop by for a table at which to work. Weekday lunch is generally tarts, salads, sandwiches and anything which can be easily boxed and hurried back to an office desk. At weekends it's a more formal service, with bookings for bacon, eggs and fresh madeleines and doughnuts. In the evening we down the lights in favour of candles, and do the most ambitious cooking and serve the most cocktails too. While much of our daytime clientele is local, evenings bring a crowd from all points, Vauxhall being a cinch to get to by bus or tube (and we have a car-park too).
With regards to wine, what has local supplier, Fields Morris & Verdin brought to the table?
We get a quarter of our list from them - they give us first call on odds and ends, which means we can have really special bottles at silly prices...

Brunswick House Cafe
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