St John Bread & Wine by Charlotte
Nose to tail eating. A concept that to some may seem rather unrefined, when really it is the best way to eat; you cook every part of the animal, indulging in dishes and cooking methods that are novel, inventive and definitely worth talking about.
A pig’s head - euugh! The imagination goes wild, a large blackened pig’s face looking at you as you daintily cut off his cheek and chew it down, while trying not to look him in the eye. In reality, St John Bread & Wine is an informal eatery (initially intended as a bakery to service the St John restaurant), with small tables and unassuming chairs, plain walls and chefs whizzing about in the background. You choose wine and dishes in a tapas fashion, sharing plates of gorgeous food as and when they arrive at your table. This is possibly my favourite way to eat, you can share and try lots of things, chat in depth about each mouthful and not get food envy!
So, on the night in question, we ate- pig’s head, which came as a light stew packed with incredibly tender meat and seasonal vegetables; ox heart with winter leaves and capers, a wicked dish which really got my taste buds dancing; mallard, big pink, meaty chunks of it, with tiny black elderberries; beetroot and goats curd salad, a creamy tasty compliment to our meat feast; and finally a dish of pork and sprout tops, an amazing slab of perfectly cooked pork with the biggest and greenest sprout leaves I have ever seen. For dessert we shared a gingerloaf pudding with a super sweet buttersc0tch sauce and a ball of vanilla ice-cream. And to drink we had some sparkling wine (it was a celebration after all).
The price is right, that is, it’s not too expensive, I will be going back soon and already have a list of different people that I’d like to share food with at St John.
The atmosphere is perfect for a lazy lunch or dinner, great for a group of friends. And if you really do want to eat a whole pig, you can! For a mere £330 (for 14-16 people) and provided you order a week in advance you and your pork loving chums can tuck into the whole hog!