Caravan & Exmouth Arms
I used to work around Exmouth Market, and I quite miss it: it’s got cute shops and cafes and several outstanding pubs and restaurants – Moro, Medcalf, The Easton, The Wilmington Arms…
Caravan is probably my favourite, though:
It’s an all-day Antipodean eatery in the vein of Workshop (previously St Ali), with those small sharing dishes of food that I can’t get enough of. The head chef is ex-Providores pedigree, and they take the coffee seriously too, with a roastery in the basement.
I’ve been here for dinner before with my parents (who are always wildly impressed with these trendy London eateries we take them to) and for their fabulous brunch a few times, but when they started tweeting some amazing-sounding new veggie dishes I knew it was time to head back again.
I love getting ‘freebies’ in restaurants and this aperitif of cold garlicky gazpacho went down very well indeed (fish eaters get miso soup instead).
We ordered aubergine and onion bhaji; asparagus and baked manouri cheese; spicy tofu; deep-fried duck egg with morcilla (black pudding, for Josh) and the standout dish of mushrooms with creamy cheesy polenta with a red wine sauce. I love when I don’t feel that I’m missing out as a vegetarian and you certainly don’t here – the little dishes give such a flavour punch and I love having a small taste of lots of different things in one meal.
It’d be rude not to finish with a freshly-roasted coffee!
After dinner, we went just over the road to the Exmouth Arms. Under new management since November and previously somewhere I hadn’t thought of stepping into, it now boasts tons of craft beers and a nice USA-inspired food menu of sliders (mini burgers) and sides like coleslaw and deep-fried pickles. Try the Odells if you go, it’s a classic American IPA. Happy Friday!