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NATIVE

23 September 2016

Tucked away from the Covent Garden hustle and bustle in the colourful, quirky Neal's Yard sits a brand new foodie gem.  Native is an informal, intimate restaurant run by the lovely Imogen Davis and River Cottage alumnus Ivan Tisdall-Downes serving wild British food.

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

After gaining popularity with street food stalls, supper clubs and pop-ups, Imogen and Ivan opened the doors of their first permanent location in February this year offering a simple, modern menu which changes daily featuring plenty of nose-to-tail and stem-to-root eating: seasonal British produce, foraged ingredients, fresh fish, rare-breed meats and lots of game.  The decor is simple with white walls, exposed copper pipes, rustic wooden tables, fresh flowers and plants with covers for 30 diners spread over two floors.  We were lucky enough to sit at the counter overlooking the open kitchen so we could see all the action.

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

We started with naughty-but-nice crispy hog skin chicharron served with hogseed salt and mayonnaise, garlic and rosemary foccacia fresh from the oven and a cocktail each: I had a glass of prosecco topped with elderflower and apple eau de vie and my boyfriend had the sage and apple old fashioned.  The short drinks list features wines from Three Choirs vineyard in Gloucestershire (I'd never had wine from the Cotswolds before, yet it's one of the oldest and largest vineyards in England) - the rosé was quite pink and not as dry as I'd normally go for, but went down a treat nonetheless.  We were poring over the menu when Imogen asked if we wanted any help and I'm glad we followed her suggestions: every dish was a delight.  For starters we had the pig's head croquettes and the wonderful rare, pink wood pigeon kebab served on pitta bread with beetroot houmous, pickled cabbage and harissa. We then shared two delicious mains: the Dorset plaice served with burnt cucumber, seaweed mayo, tempura radish and South Downs venison with cauliflower, heritage carrots, crispy onions and salsa verde.

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

For dessert we shared a dish of raspberries, meadowsweet cream, meringue and shortcrust, ate some wood ants which were crispy, tangy and tasty, and last but not least some whisky truffles topped with honeycomb whilst sipping strong, warming Somerset cider brandyNative may only have been open for a couple of months, but the restaurant is steadily filling up with regulars already and you can count me as one of them.  If you like the sound of feasting on beautifully-presented modern British food at a reasonable price (who doesn't?), hotfoot it to Covent Garden.  See you there.

Native, 3 Neal's Yard, London WC2H

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog



Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog



Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

Dinner at wild British restaurant Native, Neal's Yard | London lifestyle blog

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