Organic’ isn’t necessarily the same as ‘green’. The two concepts so often go hand in hand, though, that there’s something discordant about first impressions of this Pimlico palace to organicism, given that it’s so ostentatiously marbled, and so wantonly brightly-lit. Backed as the place is by the helicopter-loving (JC) Bamford family, however, it’s no great surprise that there’s nothing particularly hair-shirted about the goodness on offer here.
In fact, especially on Saturday mornings, the place has become the rallying point for ‘le tout Belgravia’, and can be quite a zoo. A City PR button-holed one of us in the adjacent farmers’ market, one such morning, to instruct us to award a drubbing for the appalling service. Consider it done, sir. Off-peak, however, our experience has been that the staff are very pleasant, if still somewhat slow, and not entirely together. It can’t help that the marbled dining counters and the produce for retail sale are rather jumbled up.
On the food front, the best advice here is to remember that – though quite an extensive menu is offered – this is basically a posh deli, and cooking is not a core deli function. So a good chicken and pistachio terrine with toast ‘n’ chutney, for example, is likely to eclipse a hot dish centred on rather turgid (organic) cod. As you would hope, though, the coffee, bread and cakes are reliable. And the mark-up for eating-in is lower than you might perhaps expect.
‘¢ A less obvious choice for a light meal in the vicinity is the elegant and understated new pizza ‘n’ pasta offshoot of the estimable local stalwart Caraffini. Reasonably-priced but very professionally run, Vivezza is at 101 Pimlico Road (tel 7730 0202).