The Handbook
The Handbook

Clean up on aisle six? You bloody bet we did! London’s restaurants have had to pivot throughout 2020 and into 2021. Some have fed the homeless or the NHS, others are volunteering as vaccination stations, but others have outsmarted the man, and through cunning, accident of location or both have reimagined themselves altogether, and now they’re supermarkets. And they’re the best grocery stores in London.

Here are some of our favourite shopstraunts out there, dealing with the pandemic in the only way they know how…

Darby’s

During lockdown 1.0 we queued, socially distanced, for wine. But the latest iteration of the government’s intercine covid rules forbids restaurants selling booze.

Which is fine because Darby’s ‘hatch’ is still good for baked goods and fresh pasta, coffee and charcuterie and their delectable meal kits.

Where: 3 Viaduct Gardens, Nine Elms, Battersea, SW11 7AY
Website: www.darbys-london.com

JOY

Stevie Parle opened JOY Portobello along with  Tom Dixon back in August, an open air restaurant by the canal along with a retail unit.

Which was smart thinking because it’s the shop that’s doing the roaring trade during the hospitality shutdown, and the open-seven-days-a-week store is perfect for all your grocery needs.

We just can’t wait for the restaurant to open as well…

Where: Portobello Dock, 344 Ladbroke Grove, North Kensington, W10 5BU
Website: www.joyatportobello.co.uk

Augustine Market

Augustine Kitchen to its friends, this Battersea restaurant deftly turned on the proverbial sixpence to transform from French bistro to Little Waitrose beater!

From fresh veg to fresh and from butchery to bakery, Augustine Market’s got you covered.

Where: 63 Battersea Bridge Road, Battersea, SW11 3AU
Website: www.augustine-kitchen.co.uk

Parlour

Takeaway meals are the currency of the day over at Parlour, but this restaurant-cum-shop-cum-takeaway has demonstrated the power of the pivot (impossible to read without an accompanying with Ross from Friends impression).

Parlour puts Kensal Green on the map, and if we could only travel there under current restrictions we’d be queuing up daily.

Where: 5 Regent Street, Kensal Green, NW10 5LG
Website: www.parlourkensal.com

Westerns Laundry

This is a place you can take your dirty clothes, apologetically explain your mistake and put them back into your backpack and then leave with a paper bag packed full of pastries and it not be, y’know, weird.

Because you always feel at home at this restaurant   turned weekly  Farmers’ market. Which is good because the produce is fantastic!

Where: 34 Drayton Park, Highbury East, N5 1PB
Website: www.westernslaundry.com (nb we’ve been unable to get on the site for a couple of days now – keep trying back)

The Melusine

There’s something fishy going on at The Melusine down in St Katherine’s Dock.

The fish restaurant has managed to keep its sole, repurposing as a general shop albeit with a focus on sealife (not the theme park).

From oysters to fruit and veg, The Melusine proves that it really should be your lobster…

Where: Unit K, Ivory House, St Katharine Docks, East Smithfield, E1W 1AT
Website: www.themelusine.co.uk


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