As a chef and general food fanatic, one of my favourite pass times is eating out and discovering new restaurants, chefs and dishes. I’ve lived in London for well over 15 years and would like to think I’ve tried and tested most of the best restaurants in town; until this weekend, Brunswick House in Vauxhall was one of the fews places I’d still not had the pleasure of visiting.
Found on the heaving roundabout opposite Vauxhall bus station, Brunswick House is a stunning 18th century Georgian building that exudes casual glamour; the interior is a heady mix of checkerboard floors, antique chandeliers, red leather booths, bare wooden tables and thick draped curtains.
On the night I visited, Brunswick’s chef Andrew Clarke and The Beacon‘s Doug Sanham hosted a feasting dinner to celebrate the launch of Pilot Light – a social media campaign devoted to combating the stigma associated with depression, mental health and addiction with hospitality. Needless to say it was a totally inspiring and fascinating evening and having struggled with anxiety myself, it was fantastic to see so many people come together to highlight such a worthy cause.
On the menu? To start we enjoyed Tamworth pork piled high with peppers, fried duck eggs and garlic toast. This was followed by a stunning fish dish of hake with lentils, Harissa and aioli. The main event was an indulgent hunk of ox shin and cheek with creamy parmesan polenta and cepes. By this point, I was ready to burst but that wasn’t going to stop me from tucking in to the chocolate pot dessert with boozy prunes.
The Pilot Light has been designed by Andrew to make it easier for kitchen professionals to speak about their problems; the hospitality industry is notorious for being incredibly high pressure with unsociable hours and unhealthy habits, here’s to hoping that by being more vocal, change will come.