A late lunch at Caravan Bankside in London

The trend for small plates is slowly coming over from Australia and New Zealand and it’s a foodie fashion I can get behind.

Caravan Bankside is a great place to experience this trend, it has a well-travelled menu, it’s based in an old metal box factory and it’s nestled in an emerging area of London.

Headed to London soon? Take a look…

Sometimes I think it’s really easy to find somewhere good to eat in London and then other times I think it’s really hard to. Knowledge is key and I think if you have a few good places up your sleeve it’s never a bad thing if you find yourself lost for somewhere to go.

Caravan Bankside will definitely be one of those places that I keep as a handy place to go to. This is the Southwark branch but I believe it’s opened its doors in Fitzrovia, King’s Cross and a new sister restaurant called Vardo in Chelsea.

Inside Caravan Bankside

Inside there’s a serious industrial vibe and uncovered 19th Century features thanks to the renovation. Tables are simply set and with beautiful stone patterned plates and the whole place feels very relaxed.

I’m a big fan of understated elegance, comfort and a relaxed environment. I really liked it here and visited mid-week when there was an eclectic mix of people working, picking up coffee, enjoying business lunches and those just out on a ‘jolly’.

This breakfast bar set up was specifically for people working and I know if I loved in London I’d really appreciate being able to work over lunch or a coffee in this beautiful space.

Caravan’s Menu

The dishes on the menu are really diverse, take a look at the Caravan website to see what’s currently flavour of the month.

While there are large plates and dishes, my interest was captured by the choices from the small plates menu and oh what a gorgeous mix of food I picked and shared!

Here’s the broken lamb meatballs, chermoula, aubergine, tahini labneh and pickled red onion…

It’s colourful, tasty and just the right blend of spicy, salty and tart. When the flavours pack a punch like this you don’t need tons of it.

I think Caravan Bankside is fairly well know for it’s cauliflower small plate – it’s the one thing I’d heard about from friends who have visited and it certainly lived up to its reputation. It’s blinking’ delicious and it’s something I’ve definitely tried to do at home since.

My latest version was rubbing a cauliflower in fajita mix and cooking it for 40 minutes. Not quite the finesse of the restaurant standard but, still simple but wonderfully satisfying. I love picking up inspiration from restaurants I visit.

Here’s the Spiced cauliflower, harissa, pomegranate yoghurt and nigella seeds…

Yes, it is as tasty as it looks! I would, hands down, have this dish every time it was fantastic and would make a brilliant side for some of the larger dishes too.

Jamon and smoked san simon croquettes and saffron aioli…

Some people may think a croquette is a bit old fashioned but when done well, and this one was, they are pure joy to eat. And, saffron aioli is an inspired dip for them. 

Coffee

Just like its New Zealand influences Caravan Bankside is serious about coffee. With a bespoke coffee bar there was no excuse not to pick up a coffee as I left and made my way for the train!

Caravan Bankside

What a wonderful business lunch I had – being able to combine somewhere nice and work is a real treat.

Lunch was excellent. Small plates work well for me because I’m indecisive and usually like to try a couple of things when I go somewhere new.

It also makes me slow down, otherwise I tend to race through food as if I’ve not been fed for a week.

I’ll definitely keep this in mind when heading to London in future as it’s a great all rounder for food coffee, breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you think lunch looked nice, take a look at the breakfasts! 😍😍😍

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