Beyond the core products at F&W, the coffee, the cured meats, the cheese, the bread and wine there are a number of other essential elements that have become very much part of our offer. The idea of this section is to highlight some of them and as ever to whet the appetite for the next visit.
Created for F&W by Dee Rettali at the Blue Door Bakehouse. They are made with a milk-based sordough starter, a recipe Dee’s grandmother used in her Irish ‘sweet breads’, although they contained no sugar and were eaten with homemade jam or sweetened stewed fruit. The sourdough gives a slightly sweet and sour flavour and a denser quality, as well as reacting with the sugars to give a lovely caramelised crust. Key to the range are the Banana Sourdough Loaf, the Moroccan Honey Cake, the All Butter Shortbread, the Ras-el-Hanout & Molasses loaf, the Greek Orange, Almond & Semolina Cake and the Eccles Cakes.
Time is of the essence when it comes to baking bread and that means taking it slowly. Our sourdough baguette is naturally fermented over 3 days using a sourdough starter that’s as old as the bakery itself. The ciabatta-style bun, fermented over 2 days, has a generous splash of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of semolina to give it a golden crust and rich chewy crumb. Bespoke for us is the potato honey focaccia, again fermented over 2 days but with a softer texture thanks to the potato. The patisserie is made with equal care, with Beurre de Charente in the croissants and Valrhona chocolate in the pain au chocolat. They all come from Seven Seeded Artisan bakery, where Aleem the owner uses only really top quality flour with no artificial additives.
Lovingly made by hand in Bermondsey and sourced from local fruits and berries, for us these preserves from Sky and Kai of England Preserves evoke the essence of the English countryside.
There’s nothing as simple and satisfying as a fresh brown egg and these free-range Burford Browns from Mabel Pearman at Clarence Court are the business. They say the delicious dense yellow yolk will remind you of another era – and we agree.
From family firm Nardin, these are bought from small boats in the tiny Cantabrian port of Getaria, north western Spain. The fresh fish are smoked with beech wood on the same day that they are caught, then cured and packed by hand.Perhaps that’s why they have a tender freshness and smokiness like no other.
The most famous product of Padrón in the province of La Coruña, northwestern Spain, grilled with a dash of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt they simply melt in the mouth. Perfect with a glass of fino or manzanilla.
Somewhere in the not-too-distant-past it became acceptable to call juice ‘fresh’, even if that means it sits in a plastic bottle or packet of some kind in the fridge. This is not the case at F&W where you can get orange (blood orange too when in season) or pink grapefruit juice that is squeezed directly into your glass.
The classic mineral water from Spain, was first bottled in 1889. Its very high mineral content and natural carbonation are said to aid digestion and can certainly allay the effects of a long night out in Soho.
The original F&W staple when it comes to tea is Barry’s Gold Blend Irish tea. A refreshing ‘breakfast’ blend of Kenyan and Indian leaves, this is great at any time of day and particularly good with a slice of warm sourdough banana bread and butter. We have now added to this with some delicious leaf teas and tisanes supplied by Tim D’Offay at Postcard Teas.