Test drive Apricity – Chantelle Nicholson finds a home in Mayfair | Test drive

roomThe upstairs room looks beautiful – we love this undressed look.

What can you tell us about Apricity?

This is the new restaurant by chef-owner Chantelle Nicholson. She is best known for Tredwells, where she launched the restaurant with Marcus Wareing and then really turned it into something completely her own.

Over the years, she has received more and more praise for her cooking, which fights for vegetables, while she has a strong focus on sustainability and no waste. That was something that really came out in her latest Hackney pop-up All’s Well, and this Mayfair restaurant feels like the next step from there.

Much of the team is back from before, both from Tredwells and All’s Well (something that is always a good sign of quality), including chef Eve Seemann.

Where is it?

It’s right in the middle of Mayfair on Duke Street, just a few minutes walk from Selfridges or Bond Street Station.

The restaurant took over what used to be a shop but has been completely transformed inside. The walls have been removed upstairs to reveal the plaster work and there is a real sense of shabby chic done extremely well. The attitude without waste is displayed throughout – some of the tables used to stand on Tramshed in Shoreditch, while the chairs upstairs are created from recycled coke bottles. It is one of the nicest new restaurants we have seen recently, so it is particularly impressive that it was achieved with this method with low / no waste.

Where is good for a drink nearby?

If you meet someone for a drink before or after, good recommendations are nearby the bar at The Beaumont, or it’s a short walk to Claridge’s Bar if you’re really pampering yourself.

roomThe kitchen downstairs with the chef’s table. Note the wall cladding on the left and in front of the kitchen – it’s actually created by foot panels that used to be in the previous store upstairs.

Where should we sit?

Sit by the window if you can, but really anywhere is good. There is a small space for outdoor seating, and tables can be moved together for larger groups. Downstairs you will find the open kitchen and chef’s table, which is perfect for larger groups (and there is also a private dining room downstairs).

What about the food?

There is a lot of focus on vegetables and low / no waste, but it’s just scratching the surface of what’s on the menu. There is a real sense of something unique about cooking here. Everything looks absolutely beautiful as it hits the table and the menu is filled with winners. The dishes will adapt to the seasons, but you will also find a few classics that they have developed over the years, such as the mushroom dish and “chouxnut”, which you can both see below.

It all starts with snacks and you should definitely order oatmeal and fennel biscuits with spilled dip (it was eggplant on our visit) and the Flor sourdough / porridge-bread combination (you need that bread to dry up as much as you can ).

There’s one thing we’ll say in advance – the prices are a bit punchy. But there is so much attention to detail and amazing products used here that we can see where the costs are going (not to mention that the portions are generous – we went pleasantly full). Here’s a taster of what we tried.

roomLondon red butterhead lettuce salad, miso aioli, cobnut, crispy kale (£ 11) – cut down through the layers, everything just fits together perfectly (the aioli is amazing).

roomMyatt farm asparagus, watercress & onion dressing, pumpkin butter, slow cooked egg (£ 13) – about as seasonal as it can get (pumpkin butter and onion dressing do wonders).

roomSummer oysters & black pearl mushrooms, ‘XO’ sauce, Flanders wheat, wild garlic (£ 30). One of their signature dishes that mixes mushrooms with different texture, taste and texture. A true showcase for how a plant-based dish can be an absolute showstopper.

roomDevon pork belly, braised blade, Hollis Mead creamy kale, spring onion (£ 32). While vegetable, the menu includes meat and fish. The pork in this dish has changed on the menu even in the last week (the braised blade here was unique).

roomCull Yaw Ewe, curry-spiced chickpeas, braised leek (£ 34). It is worth pointing out that one can only see half of the ewes here, which are just very much hidden on the other side. We also loved the curried chickpeas.

roomPink Spruce Potatoes, Brown Butter and Wild Garlic (£ 7). As regular readers may know, we like good potato food. This can also come with smoked emulsion, but the brown butter and wild garlic were phenomenal.

roomRhubarb, cashew cream, honeycomb (£ 12). A fully plant-based dessert, where the slightly sour tinge to the rhubarb balanced perfectly with the gingerbread.

roomChouxnut, Mairac apple, Alexanders, double cream (£ 11). Another signature dish – with the donut made with choux dough, which makes it very delicate.

Anything else to look for?

The dishes above are from the a la carte menu, but there is also the option of a five or seven course tasting menu, which you can choose to have completely plant-based if you prefer.

And drink?

In addition to a few good options for no / low alcohol, we tried one of the cocktails – an excellent rhubarb & herbal vodka collins (£ 13) – and we heard very good things about miso & brown sugar rum old fashioned (£ 14). Great emphasis has been placed on the wine list to achieve a low / no intervention list. Bottles start at £ 33, which is standard for Mayfair, and we were especially taken with the Naturtrub Gruner Veltliner (£ 9 a glass, £ 49 a bottle), which was a good match for much of the menu.

Overall thoughts

Apricity certainly offers a few ideas that have become more popular lately – namely a much stronger focus and variety of vegetable dishes and a strong approach to low waste. However, it also comes with all that to deliver a menu packed with startlingly good dishes in a restaurant that is beautifully realized. It really is an excellent addition to the Mayfair scene and is highly recommended.

Hot dinners ate as guests at Apricity. The prices are correct at the time of writing.

More on Apricity

Where is it? 68 Duke Street, Mayfair, London W1K 6JU

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @apricityrestaurant.

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