In this job I am constantly asked for restaurant and bar recommendations, particularly in London where there is almost too much choice.
It takes something rather special to be the first venue off my tongue and in the spring of 2014 a restaurant tucked away in a quiet corner of Battersea stole my heart; so much so that I included it in issue #8 and Jack also paid them a visit last spring. I am of course talking about SOURCE Battersea.
Husband and wife team Johan and Elsa de Jager opened source at the end of 2013 in the tranquility of Ransome’s dock. the sound of the river lapping against the side of the dock, coupled with the conservatory on the front of the building is reminiscent of a seaside fish and chip restaurant; it’s a refreshing departure from the stuffiness of Chelsea on the opposite bank of the thames. The interior oozing with taste; smooth concrete flooring against whitewashed wall may seem harsh and cold to some but exposed piping, old fashioned lightbulbs and a wood panelled ceiling add warmth and comfort. But the biggest nod to source’s industrial past is bottled water on each table. source sits above london’s only natural spring allowing them to filter their own water, proceeds of which are donated to magic breakfast charity.
On both my visits, Jack’s as well, I enjoyed some of the best British food I’ve had in London along with the best roast I’ve had outside of my native Yorkshires – possibly the highest praise I can give! I enjoyed some perfectly pink Swaledale beef accompanied (of course) by golden Yorkshire puddings, fluffy roast potatoes, carrots and kale. The beef so tender and succulent that extra gravy was not required, especially with the buttery veg. Jack meanwhile sampled ‘daphne’s lamb’ which is served with aubergiene caponata, pink fir potatoes and ricotta. again the presentation was immaculate with the lamb arriving a beautiful reddy/pink colour possessing a slight crisp on the outside. the caponatas seasoning further added to the dish along with the creaminess of the ricotta. In truth, whatever you order, you’re guaranteed excellence with every forkful.
Over the last three years the dynamic and delightful johan and elsa have renovated the dank, warehouse beneath the restaurant to create a stunning event space. Able to be hired for those wanting a room to wow party-goers, this spectacular room has been completely stripped back to reflect the historical time it represents. the large open rustic space with antique rugs garnishing the floor is adaptable to any party be it a sit down dinner, drinks party or wedding reception.
Earlier this month the familiar ding from Mail on my Mac announced the arrival of ‘a letter to our loyal guests’ from Johan and Elsa; after three years in Battersea, source will be closing as they look for a new premises. I will definitely be one of the first through the door when source returns! I just wanted to take this opportunity, before their final service on Sunday, to say thank you to Johan and Elsa for creating a truly special venue where everyone is welcomed like an old friend and treated to some bloody brilliant food. We hope to see you again very, very soon!
Words by Todd Riddiough Robinson and Jack David
Words by HQ