Foxcroft & Ginger – London
‘Downstairs!’ read friend’s text message.’ Downstairs’ was at Foxcroft & Ginger’s first café/bar.
This branch is in Soho, at one end of Berwick Street – renowned for its fabric shops and street market. The street door opens onto a small narrow room with a stair case to one side, a few tables and a serving counter at the far end displaying some rather yummy looking tray bakes and other goodies including Cruffins.
There wasn’t an empty table! ‘There’s some space downstairs’ said a smiling young man behind the counter ‘and I’ll be with you in couple of minutes’.
Our smiling young man turned out to be Tony, the café’s manager. We asked him what a cruffin was. It is, he told us, a new line in pastries that is proving very popular, a combination of a croissant and a muffin with a gooey centre!
The café is open from 8am until 10pm and has quite obviously become a favourite haunt of youngish office workers sitting with their laptops or tablets catching up with their own affairs whilst having one of the café’s excellent sandwiches or coffee and cake.
The décor can only be described as eclectic – this is where industrial chic meets rustic and where a laid-back atmosphere meets a friendly welcome and very tasty cooking.
The café has a reputation for its very good artisan bread, a friend on a previous visit had raved about the goat’s cheese sandwich topped with a fig and a slice of candied beetroot plus a kale and walnut pesto.
But then one of us raved about the slow braised beef and mushroom hotpot whilst the other positively eulogised about the ricotta gnocchi in a tomato sauce with kale and broccoli topped with a poached egg and a little cheese.
We each had a very tasty main lunch dish plus coffee and cake, shared a bottle of white wine and our bill came to about £50. www.foxcroftandginger.co.uk
NB: Foxcroft & Ginger is the brainchild of Quintin Foxcroft and his redheaded wife, Ginger. Having been in the restaurant business for several years they opened the Soho branch in 2010 and have recently opened a branch in Whitechapel. The sourdough based bread and cakes, as indeed is almost everything else, is made in-house from locally sourced ingredients. They also sell takeaway sandwiches and salads.