Restaurant Of The Week: Apricity

Words by
Andy Morris

22nd April 2022

From the creator of the Covent Garden's much missed Treadwells, a new sustainable restaurant arrives in Mayfair with spectacular results. 

Chef Chantelle Nicholson is worried that her new restaurant in Mayfair might come across as overly worthy or virtue signalling. She needn’t have been concerned. Because although Apricity ticks all the 2022 boxes - hyper seasonal, coral pink website, sustainable produce, locally foraged ingredients (and no, that doesn’t mean going to Selfridges food hall) - the warmth of the welcome, the technical skill and the exemplary staff are all second to none.

Apricity is the third venture from Nicholson after Green Michelin star winner Tredwells and pandemic popup All’s Well. (Yes Apricity has the same name as a nearby fertility clinic also in W1 - if you find yourself having a conversation about sperm count, you’ve gone to the wrong address). Apricity - the restaurant -  is set on Duke Street, a short walk from London's best Martini slingers. The room is stripped back and bare and has a rough hewn unfinished beauty about it - it's the sort of place that would have Queer Eye's Bobby Berk talking about "good bones". 

Apricity restaurant interior

Things start off strong with intriguing cocktails (a miso infused old fashioned hits the spot, a sensational rhubarb margarita does the trick). The standout dishes on offer, as one might expect from a “vegetable forward” menu, are the cauliflower (soaked in miso, served with picant zhoug) and the crispy oyster mushrooms (paired with smoked hemp cream and black garlic ketchup).

Aubergine with cashew butter had a delightful and delicate precision while thin strips of braised ox tongue felt like french kissing the Laughing Cow (the broth is also great for mopping up the excellent sourdough). The Devon pork presa with purple sprouting broccoli was particularly impressive (what it lacked in refinement it made up for in punchy Iberican flavours). The chalk sea trout was accompanied by cracking crispy onions and a tangle of sea buckthorn. Wines, served by charming manager Beth Morgan-Jones, tend towards the natural, the low intervention, and the orange - standouts included ramato Pinot Grigio from Walthamstow’s Renegade Wines and Pinot Noir from Blackbook urban winery.

Dessert is part triumph and disaster. The “chouxnut” simultaneously recalls Eighties’ British fairgrounds, Dominique Ansel’s NYC and French exchange trips - a thing of beauty. The nettle and rapeseed cake (complete with a nettle leaf on top of it) with oat cream was, in short, the kind of thing that would have you running for a dock leaf. But this was the only misstep in a delightful evening.

Overall, Apricity might prove something of a template: brilliant food, impeccably sourced, in a reclaimed locale and a tasting menu slap bang in the centre of London that starts from £65. Conscious, joyous, delicious: what’s not to like?