Grace Dent ‘I make the best of things by ordering a bloody mary because, by this stage, I am very confused’
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Grade I-listed building, and one with a famous architect, must be in want of a good tea room. In Ealing, west London, the folk behind the recently re-loved walled kitchen garden within Pitzhanger Manor, built circa 1800, have aimed much higher than this.
Soane’s Kitchen is an elegant, bright, airy, beautifully situated space promising breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, all of which, the menu promises, are so seasonally sensitive and ethically sourced that one ascends spiritually to a higher plane merely by eating its beans on toast. Sorry – its homemade, bloody mary-flavoured beans on Hedone sourdough, topped with a Breckland Brown egg squeezed from the hind portions of an ecstatic Norfolk free-range chicken. In the evening, there’s the likes of tempura shrimp burger served on a squid inkcoloured bun, and gluten-free rump of Paley Farm lamb with aubergine puree for £17.50, while your new potatoes to go with that will cost an extra £3.50.
The menu, filled with labneh, focaccia crisps, beef tartare and zero-waste chimichurri, reminds me of that great Victoria Wood sketch where she takes her ancient mum to a trendy organic vegetarian cafe and Food ○○○
Walpole Park, Mattock Lane, London W5, 0208579 2685. Open all week, Mon-Sat 8am10pm (10am Sat), Sun 10am-4pm. About £30 a head for three courses à la carte, plus drinks and service