What: Just launched on Mayfair’s Duke Street, Apricity is the latest project from former Tredwells chef-patron Chantelle Nicholson and continues the sustainability ethos of her Hackney-based pop-up restaurant All’s Well, which was launched to preserve jobs, morale and positivity within the industry over the pandemic. The restaurant takes its name from the word describing the warmth of the sun in winter and is said to symbolise regeneration, rejuvenation, generosity, and light.
Who: Working alongside Nicholson is head chef Eve Seemann, a former head chef at Tredwells. Seemann has a degree in Cinema and Philosophy from Sorbonne in Paris and started working in hospitality as a bartender in London back in 2004. Her first kitchen role was as a commis chef at Sheraton Park Lane. Front of house is general manager Beth Morgan-Jones, who has also previously worked with Nicholson at Tredwells and was instrumental in the opening of All’s Well. Like Seemann, her move into hospitality has been unconventional; she graduated from Imperial College London with a physics degree and left behind a career at IBM to pursue her passion for food and drink.
The food: Nicholson’s veg-forward approach is very much on show with Apricity focused on using sustainable produce at the height of season from small-scale farmers as well as locally foraged ingredients. Dishes on the a la carte menu include starters of braised ox tongue, spring vegetables, ricotta gnudi, and aromatic broth; London red butterhead lettuce salad, miso aioli, cobnut, and crispy kale ; and Isle of Wight aubergine, zhoug, and roasted almond butter; with mains such as shio koji cured pollock, Shetland mussels, sambal butter, and purple sprouting broccoli; miso cured spring cabbage, smoked hemp cream, and black garlic ketchup; and yellow oyster and black pearl mushrooms, ‘XO’ sauce, flanders wheat, and wild garlic. Desserts include nettle and rapeseed sponge, with lemon basil; and rhubarb, cashew cream, and honeycomb as well as selection of cheeses from Neal’s Yard. Apricity also offers a five-course tasting menu for £65 (a matching wine selection is £40) that features dishes from the a la carte and will also soon launch a weekday lunch menu.
The drink: Apricity’s zero-waste approach to cooking extends to the bar with drinks featuring peelings, trims and stalks balanced with pickles and ferments - a kimchi margarita uses the juice from the kimchi made in Apricity’s kitchens and its beetroot negroni uses juice from vegetable off-cuts. British ingredients are used where possible in its cocktails, meaning that we fruit such as lemons and limes will only feature at certain times of the year. Its wine list includes a number of low intervention wines from growers that care about soil and biodiversity and champions English vineyards and winemakers but includes selections from France, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Greece and New Zealand.
The vibe: Design studio Object Space Place has used a restorative design framework with bare floorboards and walls taken back to original brickwork and rendering. The restaurant has a small terrace on the street as well as basement chefs’ table with views of the open kitchen.
And another thing: Apricity operates a service charge included model so that all kitchen and front of house staff take home the same pay packet each month.
68 Duke Street, Mayfair, London, W1K 6JU