Lucie Loves... Food // Looking for feel good food in London? Try Farmstead, Covent Garden
Lucie Loves… Food //
Looking for feel good food in London? Try Farmstand, Covent Garden
Being a freelancer in London, networking is incredibly important to me, but then again, so is maintaining the friendships I’ve made over the years too.
I can’t stress enough how much having a strong support network is. It’s definitely something that you should never take for granted. Be it in a time of personal or professional crisis, having someone whose ear you can bend – who can make you see things in a different light or just generally give you a shoulder to cry on (and vice versa) – is without a doubt, one of the things that, I believe, has made me who I am today.
But, when you don’t work a standard 9-5 Monday to Friday job, how do you make the most of your time to fit in everything you need to give time and attention to?
My solution: kill two birds with one handy little stone. I tend to couple my restaurant review opportunities with meet ups with friends – personal and professional ones (and there’s a lot hybrids there too!)
Meeting up for coffee, food, beers or cocktails is always a good solution. When Mat and Nik, my friends from Buckets and Spades blog, got in touch and said they were down in London, I quickly scoured my inbox to see whether I had any restaurant review opps in the Soho/Covent Garden area.
Result! An invite to check out Farmstand – think: Wholefoods meets Soho Farmhouse, founded by American Entrepreneur, Steve Novick. I sent an quick reply and managed to get the three of us a reservation for 6:30pm.
Mat and Nik are pretty discerning when it comes to coffee joints and craft beers, so I was thrilled to see Farmstand’s self-proclaimed ‘fast-casual’ offering of organic goodies.
There’s no big, shouty signs or marketing proclaiming how Vegan-friendly the restaurant is. Nope. They’re much more modest, but pretty savvy too. They were aware that being seen as too wholesome could be a turn off for most normal diners.
So what do we see instead? A spacious, yet ambiently lit restaurant, over two floors. The interior is dotted with greenery – fresh herbs for their menu, and boasts exposed brick work, wood floors, and French cafe style chairs. It has an industrial, fuss-free feel.
Downstairs at Farmstand, Covent Garden, is a cosy little space, with a handful of tables and chairs, which can be hired for events.
Farmstand is pretty much a phoenix from the flames type concept, inspired by the roadside produce stalls of Wisconsin. After finding out he was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, Steve set himself three goals: make more time for his friends and family, finish climbing the highest peaks in each of the seven continents (Yup! Everest was one of them!) and start an online and offline healthy food business: Farmstand.
Farmstand offer a ‘Build your own’ menu, which offers 53,000 menu combinations. Food-wise, everything in the restaurant is sugar free, and includes no GM or hormones. They also don’t serve any pork.
We went for a bit of everything: fresh pasta, harissa chicken, beef brisket, meat balls, roasted aubergine, salmon, organic red wine, Crate beer, and chocolate brownie. They also do Workshop coffee: tick!
The food tasted great, and is so budget-friendly. You can get a whole dinner + drink combo for around £12, which in London is pretty damn good! Plus, because it’s so healthy, it’s guilt-free too! It was great to meet Steve and hear his passion for creating good, honest grub at affordably accessible prices.
My only criticism – and it’s a small one – is that with the introduction of Deliveroo, the staff were run off their feet trying to satisfy deliveries, and, at the same time, accommodate their restaurant diners. Which meant that we had to wait a good while before being served. This was fine, as we weren’t in a big rush – but we were pretty hungry, so devoured the food when it came. I’d definitely eat here again, and would recommend it to friends and family if they were looking for somewhere to eat within the Covent Garden area.
Check out the Farmstand menu – they offer breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Photography © Lucie Kerley