Pearson Square can only be described as one of those small nooks of London that has so far remained strictly in the grasp of those in the know. Situated in the centre of Fitzrovia, and home to new health-conscious café, The Larder, I was previously unaware of this sleek square of apartments, businesses and fashionable eateries despite having previously worked in the neighbourhood (for over a year!)
But this is one of the things I love about London. Just when you think you’ve exhausted it, you stumble upon a place to retreat from the madness. The same mantra can be applied to the city’s dining spots – it seems there are more openings each month than you could get ever get your chops around!
And Pearson Square is the home of quite a few newbies, including The Larder’s sister restaurant Percy and Founders, keeping everyone in the vicinity happy with British-sourced nourishment and Instagram fodder.
Having visited The Larder recently for breakfast, it was clear to tell this place is loved by the locals, but I really can’t see it being an underground secret for too long. Around us business meetings and catchups took place but wide-eyed exotic tourists had also found their way here.
So along with Thoroughly Modern Milly and Lacey from Dotty Dishes, I tucked into the Green Vegetable With God-Given Status (avocado) sat chunkily atop fresh thicky-sliced sourdough bread, and The Larder’s take on the Egg Mc Muffin (Softboiled Egg and Bacon Muffin) which means surrounding McDonalds’ now won’t stand a chance! You’ll definitely want more than one of these. Yummy but delicate Avocado and Egg and Spinach, Mushroom and Ricotta toasties are also available for a more unconventional take on breakfast.
For Monday mornings spent trying to rectifying the obliteration of your diet thanks to the weekend, Chia Seed Pots with berries will ease your conscience, while pots of Granola, perched on a combination of fruit coulis and a mixture of full-fat & low-fat yoghurt, have enough flavour without the extra calories (yay!) Or perhaps you’re being really good? The Superfruit Salad with coconut and mixed seeds will keep you on track!
Got a sweet tooth? Or throwing caution to the wind? The Pain au Chocolat is a must! Deep brown in hue, the pastry chef revealed that the secret to its satisfying colour and crunch is brown sugar laced through the pastry. Doing sugar-free? Forget it – you won’t regret this! Fresh Orange Juice (so good!!) and Peppermint Tea (very flavoursome) helped me wash all this down, but The Larder’s own specialist blended coffee from a Dorset roastery and a selection of teas are also available.
The name Larder is a touch of genius – the space boasts shelves upon shelves of foodie goodness including craft beers, cookbooks, jars of cupboard staples and independent brand soft drinks while the counter displays were stuffed with homemade pastries, cakes and artisan doorstop sandwiches. So of course this really is much more regal than what I consider a ‘café’, exuding the charm of a bistro-cum-deli-cum-Wholefoods-cum-winebar. The interiors are a nice balance of chic and rustic: matte black contrasts against wooden finishes and industrial style lighting fixtures stick out amongst paper price-tag adorned bottles of wine and hanging charcuterie. The lighting is bright, the ceiling is high, the windows are big and the seating is more spacious than you would expect for its size.
On a summers day the location is perfect for grabbing to go and popping outside to the landscaped patio area to take in the surrounding minimalist design, neatly kept grass, stone monuments and open space seating.
Though you might not have heard of it either, Pearson Square is a short amble north of Oxford Street, and The Larder is a hideaway to take note of, especially for anyone wanting an alternative gastronomic experience and a reason to shun Soho’s confines.
Visit: 8 Pearson Square, London W1T 3BF