August 9, 2020
The Corner Shop
Opening an extension to our Shop opposite the Restaurant during a global pandemic was possibly not something a sane person would do – but that was precisely what we did last week.
Having worked on our plans and ideas for well over a year, taking very kind suggestions from our lovely customers (which ranged from butchers shop, to pizza bar to Pilates studio…), we eventually decided on a coffee shop with our freshly baked bread and croissants within the sunny corner, and a beautiful space to display our wines in the ‘middle shop’.
Having opened up the rooms completely has amazed us all just how much space there now is. Once social distancing and face masks are a thing of the past, we will be able to allow customers to flow freely from one end of the shop to the other. For the moment however, we are continuing with our â€˜2 in and 2 outâ€™ rule, and appreciate your kind patience in the queue outside.
In addition to this we are gradually extending our opening hours… From 7.30am every day (except Sunday) the new Corner Shop is open for takeaway coffee and pastries. The Main Shop opens a little later in the morning (10.30am Monday and 9am Tuesday – Saturday) to allow deliveries from our Production Kitchen and Bakery to arrive before you do. We are now open each day until 4pm.
Included in the new offerings are a fabulous range of sandwiches, available throughout the day, an extended selection of our slowly-fermented sour dough breads, the much-missed raisin and rosemary loaf, and a bespoke â€˜Travel Mugâ€™ which when used in the shop will allow a 15% discount on the hot (or iced) drink of your choice. Our delicious own label Tuscan olive oil is back (no kitchen shelf should be without it) and perhaps to add this – a recent discovery of ours – a bottle of Liberty Fields Apple Balsamic vinegar made from Dorset apples.
Meanwhile over the road, the Restaurant will re open its doors during the first week of September. Freshly painted walls and newly polished floors await you – as will all the COVID-aware protocols. All staff will be temperature-checked on arrival, our already rigorous deep cleaning routines will be stepped up even further, and the tables will be suitably spaced for your comfort and safety. We have learned a great deal over the past few days from fellow restaurateurs, and how they have coped with these measures. We are grateful to many of them for their help and advice as we work our way towards hitting both the right balance, and the ground running.
September will offer 2 sittings at Dinner from Monday to Saturday, and from October we will be open for both Lunch and Dinner. Reservations are now available online – or if you prefer, please send an email with your preferred date and time, and we will do our best to accommodate you. Please note that our Private Wine Room (located down a few steps from the Bar Room) is also available for groups of 10-20 guests. Here we are able to seat you comfortably and elegantly, allowing ample spacing, a dedicated head waiter to take care of your event, and private facilities. Please let us know if you would like further information of our Party Menus and Wine List – we would be delighted to send details to you. Before signing off, this slightly less than sane person would like add one more small piece of â€˜Corner Shopâ€™ news…
A few weeks ago, after many years of looking, we found the perfect site for our 2nd Shop in a wonderfully exciting neighbourhood. Positioned on yet another sunny corner, where Portobello Road meets Westbourne Grove, this site will give us plenty to get on with between now and when we open later this year.
So please wish us luck – as we wish you continued good health and a delicious August!