Some places just have that certain something. The French have a phrase for it: ‘zat certain sumsing!’ Quirky spots you stumble upon and tell stories about. Lesser known marvels like bonkers bars, rickety restaurants or curious museums where the curator’s cats run wild. It’s not about price or prestige, no, no. It’s all charm and character. Places with personality. That’s a GLP, my friend. Come in and explore, then go out and explore.
The home of nose-to-tail eating, St John have turned the not so finer bits into a fine art. That means its offal and tripe is anything but awful and shite. Sorry.
The building used to be a smokehouse and following its abandonment had been used variously as squats, a greenhouse for harvesting bean sprouts, a Chinese beer store and the occasional rave. And the upstairs had once been the HQ of Marxism Today during the late 1960s.
But on with the restaurant. They gave it a lick of whitewash, but it’s not far different from how the guys would have found it. Except they installed a bar, bakery & kitchen, which gained its first Michelin star in 2009. It’s what might be described as a ‘minimal rustic’ look, with skylights 20ft up showering light on the space, and simple wooden furniture.
The food is the star here, and it’ll give you plenty of fuel for conversation. From good old favourites like ‘Blood Cake & Fried Eggs’ to ‘Crispy Pig’s Skin & Dandelion’ it’s nothing of not inventive. If you’re keen to widen your culinary horizons, St John is a pretty solid place to start.
Have you been here? Then be a champion and give it a rating. No set numbers, just go by your razor sharp instincts. What's this about?
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