Sometimes, you really want to go to the seaside – with its laid-back atmosphere and casual fish and chips – but you find yourself unable to escape London. Enter Vintage Salt.
Vintage Salt is the latest concept restaurant to open on the roof of Selfridges. It’s inspired by a Cornish fishing village, and the seaside vibe is well established – the waiters wear Breton tees, the floorboards are washed wood and the menu is seafood heavy.
We were lucky enough to make it along for lunch on a gorgeous sunny day, but there is a retractable roof for those days that are not so fine. We had a corner booth, which was pleasantly out of direct sunlight but still enjoyed the warmth.
A highlight for me was the cocktail menu – the concoctions all sounded delicious and those that we sampled definitely lived up to their descriptions. The colours were incredible and added another taste of summer to our lunch. Conveniently, Vintage Salt has its own bar – the Drift Bar – which would be a great spot to enjoy some post-work sun and libations.
At our waiter’s suggestion, we shared a serve of London particular fritters with Coleman dressing (£6). Having never had a particular fritter before, I really enjoyed the delicious combination of pea and ham fried goodness, with the little kick from the dressing. Next time, I won’t be sharing!
For my main course, I went for the Camden Hells fried fish and chips (£15). It tasted just like it does at the beach… but it was HUGE! I think I only got through about half my serve. My companions both really enjoyed their (more reasonably sized) Cornish shrimp burger (£15.75) and sea bass a la plancha with sea clams and wilted beach greens (£24.50). We also had a side of truffled chips (£5.50), which are highly recommended.
I couldn’t fit it a proper dessert, so I had a refreshing Bellini popsicle (equivalent to half a standard drink with its peach and prosecco goodness, so this is most definitely one for adults!). One of my companions enjoyed a decadent serve of strawberries and cream (£8) and the other (who wasn’t in the mood for sweet) looped back to the start of the menu and had half a dozen Jersey rock oysters (£16.50). Both were incredibly fresh in their respective ways.
All in all, we had a really enjoyable day out. Vintage Salt would be good for a casual catch-up with family or friends, with the added bonus of feeling like a bit of an escape from the city.
The good: The cocktails are incredible, but when it comes to food, get the London particular fritters to start and the sea bass a la plancha for the main.
The bad: The fish and chips was ridiculously big, so if wasting food concerns you, avoid this dish.
The insider tip: Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and sunglasses – you’re perfectly positioned to catch some summer rays (weather permitting!)