December is the perfect month to celebrate English tradition, decking the halls with bells and holly dressed in our favourite Christmas jumper seems only natural, as does indulging in the finest food and drink on offer- which is why a visit to Damson & Co in W1 is essential this month. Still a relatively new arrival on the Soho dining scene its quintessential English charm has earned a loyal local crowd and visitors will find the intimate deli/bar packed day and night with media trendies and food bloggers- it`s easy to see why.
Firstly the environment is ideal, it`s Soho cool at it`s very best – quirky enough to feel special, causal enough to feel relaxed, diners can eat as little or as much as they like at brunch or dinner. We went in the evening after a day of shopping in town, so the calm, unpretentious atmosphere was welcome as was the excellent service. Ordering is easy, forget a lengthy cocktail menu and instead peruse a limited list of English gins and British spirits for an aperitif. I tried `bloom` a dry London gin with honeysuckle notes and chamomile undertones served with fresh strawberries, tonic and a lemon twist- delicious!
Foodies will love the platters, small plates and charcuterie boards for the simple reason they allow one to indulge little and often which is precisely what we did. Start with the seafood platter, what could feel more indulgent than a dozen oysters and small plate of smoked salmon shared between just the two of you? It`s a light enough starter to allow for a side of baked flat bred with spicy chorizo and a couple of lightly dressed salads (my personal favourite was a steamed broccoli and green bean combination marinated in a soy and tossed with roasted peanuts and chilli). The flatbread is filling but if you have room attempt a pick n` mix of charcuterie , the smoked cured duck breast , venison carpaccio and dorset mutton alongside English cheeses – all are superb. Of course all was washed down with fizz from English vineyards, sparkling white from Denbies in Surrey and more unusually a sparkling red recommended by the staff.
The team at Damson seem proud of their British Deli, and rightly so, I will certainly be going back for a stiff gin and some regional fare, rule Britannia!
21 Brewer St, London W1F 0RL
020 3697 2499
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