There isn’t anything so delightful as sitting with a friend in sunshine, with a glass of rosé in hand – and it’s one of the things we all missed so much during lockdown. Since it opened The Laundry, Brixton has been right at the top of my ‘to visit’ list, so much so, that it’s the first place that I wanted to go when lockdown began to ease.
The scene was perfect – sun out, terrace table booked, friend joining me and… social distancing in place. Let’s keep things real here – we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic, but our experience at kiwi-run The Laundry was so seamless that it felt like normal life. I was a little nervous (and more than a bit excited) about my first proper trip out of the house.
The Laundry has been inspired by and created in part to honour the Edwardian heritage of the restaurant’s building, Walton Lodge on Coldharbour Lane in Brixton. Built in the 1880s and opened in 1904 under King Edward VII’s rule, Walton Lodge served as a commercial steam press laundry until those operations ceased in 2014.
I love that this history has inspired more than just the name of Melanie Brown’s (boss lady of Specialist Cellars) first restaurant – it informs the ‘family sharing’ style of its all day dining menu. With Mel’s background in wine, you know we started perusing the wine menu immediately, both choosing a glass of the New Press Pinot Rosé (Marlborough 2019) which was infinitely sippable.
As it was a warm afternoon, and I’d stalked their socials beforehand, I perused their all day menu, eventually settling on the smoked salmon pâté from London Smoke & Cure with croûtons… and then got so busy catching up that I forgot entirely to order anything else.
I love the informal restaurant vibe – friendly, delicious and beautiful. It was the perfect spot to chat away a couple of hours on the terrace over a lovely dish. The social distancing guidelines were covered really well – our servers wearing masks, everyone keeping their distance from each other, taking test and trace information via the booking & WIFI login,hand washing reminders and hand sanitisers at the entrance.
“We create a menu where the philosophy is simple – anchored in sourcing quality seasonal local (where possible) produce and bringing it to life with careful consideration, respect and creativity. The menus created by The Laundry will hero some of the UK’s most heralded and innovative farmers whilst paying homage to classic international techniques. The Laundry will be laced with energetic Antipodean flair, with a food and drink offering honouring provenance.”
This review isn’t really a review at all, just a delicious moment in an uncertain time – and I can’t wait to return and try the menu properly. It’s such a lovely reason to pop down to Brixton, somewhere that I haven’t really explored for years.
What’s your favourite combination – rosé & sunshine, white wine & a cool breeze or red wine & a warm fire?
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